Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

Still Standing

Have you ever waded into the ocean and been caught off guard by a fast-approaching ominous wave? You quickly bend your knees, tighten your muscles, and dig in your feet. You want to stand firm…and avoid getting rolled in the surf like a rag doll, salt in eyes, sand in mouth.

Stand firm. That’s what Paul told the Ephesians. He repeated the phrase several times. “Put on the whole armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes (i.e. the big wave), you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm, then.”

There’s nothing especially newsworthy or exciting about standing firm. But for a Christian publisher or writer in a hard country, the very act of maintaining a presence, of staying afloat, can prove a major accomplishment.

Maybe the publishing house is financially running on empty and seeing little response to its books. But if the publishing house can just survive another day, another year, things might turn turn dramatically and all those years of struggle will pay off. You never know.

A friend from a publishing house in an extremely difficult place for Christians and publishing told me his company is going to close. There may come a time when a certain Christian agency or publisher should in fact close. But this one? Now? I don't know the answer, but hope this publisher—and others in similar hard circumstances elsewhere--will withstand the waves a little longer.

In the mid-19th century, George Stott applied for missionary service to China despite having only one leg. Asked why, he responded, “I do not see those with two legs going, so I must.”

The former China Inland Mission sent Stott to the city of Wenzhou, where he served more than two decades. Stott didn’t see spectacular results at the time, but he maintained a presence for the Gospel. Today Wenzhou is sometimes dubbed “the Jerusalem of China,” because of the dynamic Christian work going on there.

“Therefore, stand firm,” Paul wrote, this time to the Corinthians. “Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

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nancy sele - November 12, 2010
great encouragement!

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