With this, our fortieth issue, we celebrate ten years of Footsteps. Much has changed in that time concerning the production of Footsteps. However, we have remained true to our original ideals of providing a source of practical encouragement from a Christian perspective to development workers around the world and we thank God for his continued blessing on this work.

Around the world the number of people living in poverty continues to increase; world climate is becoming more unpredictable, bringing floods to one area and drought to another; health and education services continue to lose precious funds so that Third World Debt repayments can be met and life continues to be a challenge for survival for many around the world.

We may be limited in what we can do as individuals but we can encourage each other by sharing good ideas and networking with similar people around the world. Each of us can make a real difference to those around us. Research shows that there is a famine of information concerning all aspects of development work in the Third World – often just as serious as other kinds of famine. Footsteps will continue to share useful information and help challenge development workers around the world to become more effective in their work.

We try to file all the letters and materials that we receive. Over the years the largest files are always those marked ‘Appreciation’, containing all the positive comments we receive from readers each year. These help us feel our work is worthwhile. When these files begin to shrink, maybe then it will be time to reconsider our aims. But for the present we plan to continue much the same, though observant readers will notice this issue has a slightly more ‘modern’ design.

We rarely publish the appreciative comments our readers make about Footsteps, but we will include some of your comments in this issue. We also take the opportunity to look back at the history of Footsteps and to consider some of the future possibilities. We look at some of the ways in which readers use and adapt information from Footsteps. And this issue will also share the results of the research carried out in Uganda and Ghana by the Editor, involving many Footsteps readers over the past few years.

What will the next ten years bring?

Isabel Carter