Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing
Evelyn's Writing Rooted in the Filipino soil and Godís Word
I’d never seen a pepper tree until visiting Evelyn and David Feliciano’s small farm on the lush, rolling hills south of Manila, Philippines. They showed me around their place, with its chickens and tropical fruit.
Then we enjoyed a cool drink and chatted as the night insects chirped outside the window. As we visited, a stranger suddenly entered the living room, and Evelyn explained, “This is a writer friend.” I learned the Felicianos frequently opened their home as a kind of writer retreat. And, as Evelyn encouraged and mentored other writers, she wrote prolifically herself. (Pictured right in photo with OMF Literature editorial director Yna Reyes.)
Hearing the news of Evelyn’s death on August 26, I immediately thought of my brief, memorable visit in her home. And I recalled how far Evelyn’s influence as an author had spread from that small farm in the Philippines to around the world. (See related article.)
Small in stature, soft of voice, Evelyn wrote with power and courage. She challenged readers to examine their lives under the microscope of Scripture and live consistently with biblical truth, regardless of consequences or cultural pressures.
Ate Evelyn impacted the work of MAI through her selfless service as a trainer in various LittWorld conferences and in-country workshops. (Photo at left: pictured 2nd from right with fellow Filipino writers.)
In the past couple of years, Evelyn began sending the MAI office short emails of encouragement after each of our e-newsletters. I dug back into the email folder and pulled out a few excerpts these letters, one being:
“I rejoice with you all for what God has done in your midst [at LittWorld 2009] in Kenya. I could imagine how grand it was to be among publishers, writers and editors. Yes, indeed, we toil in our own little corner in obedience to our Master and can only hope that he will bring joy and hope to those who read our pieces.”
We will miss Evelyn, her encouragements, her writings, her witness. (Pictured left in photo at right with Filipina author Grace Chong.) So will many other people, as the following comments demonstrate.
It was a joy to meet her at the LittWorld conferences in the Philippines and to have her contribute SUCH a thoughtful piece to The Lion Handbook to the Bible on “Justice and the Poor” in the Prophets. It was an honour to have that contribution from her.
-Pat Alexander, co-founder of Lion Publishing
It was such sad news to learn that Evelyn Feliciano had passed away. What a remarkable and gifted person she was. I remember how encouraging she was from the very outset of MAI's training ministry and how significant she was in the very earliest MAI editor/writer training seminars in Manila. I remember too the outstanding plenary talk she gave at one of the LittWorld Conferences at High Leigh. In so many ways Evelyn was a pioneer in Christian publishing and writer-development in Southeast Asia. It was such an honor to be among her friends.
-Bob Reekie, co-founder of MAI
Evelyn was the first “national” writer I knew, way back in the early days of MAI. I can remember being challenged by the conditions she had to work under with power cuts and lack of resources. She was an inspiration to me then, and she has been an inspiration since. I'm sure that all the trumpets sounded for her “on the other side” as they did for Bunyan's Pilgrim. But what a legacy to leave behind. I would love to think that I could in any way emulate her.
-Marion Stroud, author, UK
She was very helpful to us at the Christian Writers’ Fellowship over the years. She spoke to us several times at CW–perhaps more than five times. And she always came prepared, encouraging us to be good writers for God. She was at one time one of our advisers, together with Melba Maggay.
Josil Gonzales, MAI-Asia Trustee
Her last text message is a great comfort and a reason for joy. Although we will miss her, we rejoice that she is now at peace in eternal land with our Lord and Savior.
Grace Chong, MAI-Asia Trustee
Read Evelyn's last text message in related article.
Photos above from MAI-Asia Train-the-Trainer Conference, Laguna, Philippines, 2006
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