Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing
Day 1 in Central Asia, by guest blogger Ramon Rocha III
MAI publishing director Ramon Rocha III and Roger Palms, former editor of Decision magazine, are currently leading our first writing workshop in a Central Asian country. Ramon sent this update at the close of Day 1.
Just want to share how God is answering our prayers. It was an exciting, inspiring and fruitful Day 1.
There were 11 who came to the workshop, plus the interpreter, our host and his wife, so we were 16 total. The participants came from different churches and groups. The joy, the 'Yes! It is time' kind of feeling, the deep sense of privilege to be part of history were very evident in their faces. After the MAI video presentation, a few testimonies of how the printed page had transformed people's lives, I flashed this question on the screen: What is your vision for Christian literature [in your nation]? Here are three answers from the group:
"I see [our nation's] Christian literature flourishing in the future because non-believers need them, not only the churches. I see our people are hungry for God's word especially if the stories are written from our cultural background. I am editor of a start-up bi-monthly Christian newspaper. And even the traffic policeman stopped me and asked when is the next issue coming out!"
"I was once a fortune teller. Now that I have believed in Isa, I can very well see how God would use our writings to impact more of our people to come to Isa. Thank you very much for coming at this time."
"God is going to start something new that we've only dreamed of before."
This nation's people love poetry. I learned this to be true not only amongst adults but even in children and teenagers. In fact, this love for poems was displayed when two of the participants sang their poems. Yes, they sang their original poems and not just recited them. Both of them were teary-eyed while singing. Applause and cheers were heard in the room. When I marveled in amazement, one joked that even dogs in this country bark in poems!
My co-trainer, Roger, taught very well despite the fact that he was so tired and lacked sleep for 2 nights. The group was very appreciative of him and asked insightful questions. The writing exercise for the day was 'write your own salvation story with non-Christians as your audience.' Each one gamely read what they wrote and heard comments from others on how to improve their article.
It was a good learning expereince because they critiqued each other, remembering to remove Christian jargon, which was difficult. The group even spent time discussing the proper words for the names God, Lord and Messiah because unbelievers have various images when they read different options for deity names [in their culture and language].
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