Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

What the written word can do

I grew up in the state of Indiana (USA) but never read, until this summer, one of the state’s classic authors, Gene Stratton-Porter. Her novels Girl of the Limberlost and Laddie (among others) tell poignant stories set in rural Indiana of the early 1900s.

Her books are not “Christian” per se, but the author weaves in themes of forgiveness, honesty and loving one’s neighbor. Personal faith and prayer are important to the main characters, who also take a keen interest in the plants, birds, insects and wildlife of the vanishing wilderness.

Though some characters did seem a little too perfect at times, I found myself reflecting and wanting to emulate some of their qualities: to be a better neighbor, to have a stronger prayer life, to be more loving in my relationships, and to take time to appreciate the beauties of God’s creation. Hence, the novels unexpectedly influenced me in a positive, even spiritual, way.

Can you think of a book that positively impacted your life or outlook in a small or big way? Have you read something that gave you a deeper knowledge or hunger for God? Or even that led you to commit your life to Christ?

The written word has power to influence and even transform lives. That’s what excites me about the training ministry of Media Associates International (MAI). With your prayer and financial support, we are helping to create life-transforming Christian literature for readers in hard places of the world.

Last week we held our first Christian writer workshop in Papua New Guinea. Each participant wrote a personal testimony and read it aloud (photo at right). One man told his story of being kicked out of the house as a boy and joining a street gang. One day, in a drug-hazed stupor, he heard a street preacher’s message of love and committed his life to Christ. Today the man is a pastor. “He cried as he read to us,” trainer Bernice Lee said. “We cried with him.”

It’s that power of the written word again.

I pray that MAI training will result in locally authored Christian books and articles that make a difference in readers’ lives. May these books give readers hope, pleasure, knowledge, even eternal life. May the words penetrate the heart as well as the mind—much like Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost: “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said…’Brothers, what shall we do?’”

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