Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

"What if noone comes?" By guest blogger Marion Stroud

We met in the former headquarters of the Communist Farmers' collective in Dobromirka, Bulgaria. But now we were planting a different seed, as Christian writers gathered to learn from MAI trainers, how to produce locally written literature for the Bulgarian church.

The delegates all longed to write material which was culturally relevant and would help the struggling church to grow. They worked late on their short stories, carefully following the fiction techniques that they had been taught during the day by novelist and MAI trainer Robin Gunn. But some wondered aloud whether they were doing it for nothing, and whether their carefully crafted words would ever be read by anyone else, for the few local publishers, mostly prefer to translate books from the West.
God’s answer came early one morning, as an old lady sat in the open door way of the tiny Orthodox church at the far end of the gardens.  Wrapped in a thick winter coat, she patiently pulled the bell rope. After two or three clangs she paused, repeating the process for at least an hour – but no one came. I wondered if her arms ached and her heart was discouraged at the lack of response.
"She sits there ringing, calling people to come, reminding them of God, but it seems to be a total waste of time because no one takes any notice," I reflected. I thought of the writers in the classroom below, who had listened and worked so hard for the last few days. "Will anyone be able to read their work?" I wondered. “Will they keep writing, if there is no opportunity for publication?"

Immediately God’s Spirit whispered His response "You don't see what is going on in the hearts of those who hear that bell. Trust me. Your calling is to equip your writers, and theirs is to write. You can leave the rest to me."  

Guest blogger Marion Stroud is an author and Trustee of MAI-Europe. 
Photos by Nadia Ianakieva.

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