Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing
Publishing under a ruthless regime, by guest blogger Ramon Rocha III
Daniel talked about the challenges of publishing in a nation ruled by a military junta when I first met him in Manila in 2002. He sought MAI’s help, so we offered to provide trainings in his country and he attended subsequent LittWorld conferences and regional workshops.
God paved the way for me to visit Daniel in 2005 and see for myself the difficulties he faced. During that visit, we co-taught a publishing workshop with 18 local men and women. They were inspired to pursue publishing Christian materials despite contending with a ruthless regime.
I visited Daniel again last year. He greeted me with a warm hug and thanked the Lord for enabling him to publish three major books in their language: a handbook to the Bible, a Bible dictionary and a one volume OT and NT commentary. The Bible handbook project is the first hardcover, full-color book ever printed in his country. But he could not openly distribute these important books to the general public.
Daniel has to submit manuscripts to a government censor that can take from 6 months to 1 year before granting permission to publish. Sometimes the censor deletes several Scripture portions that cause the manuscript to lose its impact. In other cases, the manuscript is rejected. Daniel must pay huge fees. He has to print on the first page “For distribution within the church only.”
Daniel manages a modest bookshop that doubles as his office somewhere in the capital. He has a small staff of four. He is also pastoring a congregation of around 100 believers.
His wife, a former Buddhist, believed in Jesus through a gospel tract that Daniel handed to her years ago. She worked as a dentist in a government hospital, then was promoted to supervisor in a government facility far from their home. The Lord led her to resign a few years ago so she could spend more time raising their son and join Daniel in ministry, although the family had to give up her stable income to stay together.
"Many times I've wondered why God allowed me to be born here after seeing so much freedom when I travel abroad," Daniel says. "But now I'm glad God has called me here to proclaim the Gospel through the printed page."
Guest blogger Ramon Rocha III is the international literature development coordinator for OMF International and is the founder of MAI-Asia.
Reason to Vote #6: MAI walks beside local publishers in countries opposed to the Gospel. MAI provides mentoring and assistance to Christian publishers working in closed or restricted countries. The written word is an effective means of communicating the Good News in places where people otherwise may not hear.
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