By Jayna Richardson
Families are in crisis around the world, and the UK is no exception. In 2015, the FamilyLife team began exploring ideas for reaching more marriages and families. As they researched apps for couples, they began to realize the potential for digital outreach and the great need for a Christian presence in the digital world. As they prayed and followed God’s leading, the idea for Toucan was born.
Toucan is a web-based app for couples that takes users on a relational and spiritual journey. It’s designed to strengthen relationships and give users the opportunity to explore the Christian faith. The team, with the help of many people God brought together at just the right time, spent months developing, writing, filming, recording, designing, coding, and testing the app. Over 200 subscribers (40% millennials) provided feedback for the beta version. The responses were overwhelmingly positive.
One couple said, “Toucan gave us time to really discuss some in-depth issues and really understand each other in a greater way. We have learned how essential communication is after finishing this great module.” Another couple described Toucan as “a helpful and enjoyable experience that enabled us to have conversations that we would not have had otherwise.” Many users loved the
honest stories of couples who are featured in the app.
FamilyLife UK has raised approximately £130k towards the development of Toucan through donations and fundraising activities. In August, a team of 26 cyclists and four support crew participated in a London to Paris bike ride that raised nearly £50,000. The bike ride was a fun bonding experience and a creative way to raise funds.
The team’s next steps are to make changes and updates to the app prior to launching it at Agape UK’s 50th anniversary celebration in February 2017. They will continue to add new content in the coming years and are praying to achieve their faith-stretching goal of 500,000 users in two years.
The FamilyLife team is small, and their goals are big. But they are praying that the Holy Spirit would guide their work so that this innovative digital resource will help reach thousands of families.