God’s Unfailing Love
On Wednesday, February 24, the first class of the new God’s Unfailing Love course met virtually through WhatsApp. The group primarily consists of former participants in our Loving Your Neighbor in the Corona Pandemic course. Eager for more from Timothy Leadership Training and DECIBEL Training, these participants joined to premiere the course, completed after three months’ consistent work by a small team.
The course builds upon the first collaboration between Timothy Leadership Training and us, the Loving Your Neighbour in the Corona Pandemic course. Upon the enthusiastic responses from participants, TLT reached out to discuss jointly creating another course.
“We got a lot of very positive feedback and a lot of people saying, ‘What’s next?’” said Mette Bjergbæk Klausen, Director of Training.
“I think one of the big challenges of this corona outbreak is that you have to sit down and do nothing… it’s really lonely, and you feel powerless in it.” Mette described how the previous Loving Your Neighbour course practically addressed this by helping students discover actions they could take responsibly, such as distributing face masks or setting up handwashing stations. “And God’s Unfailing Love is building on that, again addressing the loneliness and the suffering that people are going through.”
She explained how many issues such as domestic violence or mental health are known to worsen during stressful times. God’s Unfailing Love is addressing this broad range of issues, by giving people steps to work through emotions and difficulty in a healthy manner.
Students are encouraged to imagine themselves in the position of Biblical characters, and brainstorm how the stories’ principles could be applied to their own lives.
“That’s the elements that we like about it. It’s building on the Bible, it’s Christian, but it is also helping you develop your own faith, and making you reach out and change things in your community as you go through this.”
The participants will complete this first course within three weeks but will carry away action plans for the following month, to guide them as they implement the learning into their lives and community.
The simple design of the course allows it to reach the widest possible range of participants, not limited by distance, stable WiFi, or literacy level. The primary medium is WhatsApp, a social media app that most in the area already possess and can access cheaply. The small download size of materials through WhatsApp enables for a small, one-time internet use, and pdf versions of the video materials allow those in very poor internet regions to still benefit with socially distant in-person groups. However, the primary audio and visual content of the training, coordinated through weekly WhatsApp video calls, tailors to the strong oral culture of the audience.
God’s Unfailing Love course is expected to continue a long time into the future, past when Loving Your Neighbour in the Corona Pandemic is hopefully applicable. While we focus on facilitating groups within Africa, TLT will bring the course into South America and Asia as well. We are excited to help spread the message of God’s love, which enables people to take steps beyond and out of the loneliness and suffering within life.
Mette summarized, “We’re just trying to help people in a difficult situation.”
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I am a theologian and a pastor in the Lutheran Church. I am married to Alex, and we are both from Denmark, but live in Oxford in the UK now together with our lovely cat, Edward. When Alex and I had both completed our MAs in theology, we went into mission with a desire to help pastors in other parts of the world, who had limited access to theological training.