subscribe | tell a friend | printer-friendly version

No Sand Between Our Toes

- 01/28/10  

Forward this message to a friend
January-February 2010
C O N T E N T S : 
< No Fear of the Future
< Nigerian Newspaper Covers Pentecostal Movement and More
< Top 12 Books
< No Sand Between Our Toes

Hi, ! 
Read anything good lately? I know an author who asked his friends that question.Then, while the friend was still thinking, he would smile slyly and hold up a copy of his latest book. "Seen this one?"
Inside MAI does something similar, except that we’re not featuring our own titles but Christian books worth reading from around the world—like the biographical story from Jordan highlighted below.   
We hope you’ll make “good reading” one of your resolutions for 2010.
-John D. Maust, president

No Fear of the Future  
For Julia, life, loss and pain are tightly interwoven. After the deaths of both her son and her brother, she is later diagnosed with a cancer that spreads to her lungs and becomes terminal. She Laughs with No Fear of the Future: The story of Julia's struggle with cancer and pain (Dar Manhal Al Hayat) is the true story of a Christian woman in the Middle East.

Julia Shehadeh is the wife of Doctor and Pastor Imad Shehadeh, who runs the prominent Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS) in Amman, Jordan. Today her name is equivalent to "overcoming difficulties" in Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other Arab countries.

"Many Middle Easterners don’t know how to cope with their own serious illness or a loved one’s," says Sawsan Tannoury, director of
Dar Manhal Al Hayat publishing house in Lebanon. Julia’s story shows how a believer can have a different perspective in the face of pain and beat the odds.

The book conveys a Christian message while addressing readers of all religious backgrounds, the intent of Jordanian author Suheil Madanat, a former engineer. "It has met such success because it was written by a local writer who knows the background and culture of Middle Eastern readers," Sawsan says. The title was highly rated by a Jordanian official book controller, a non-Christian who was suffering from cancer also.

At the story's climax, Julia fasts and prays for three days, petitioning God for healing. Doctors and nurses are stunned by test results at her next doctor's appointment: the cancer miraculously vanished.

Today Julia still suffers from a rare disease in her throat (not cancer), but she is living as normally as possible, confident in the Lord. "This biography quenches the thirst of every person in pain, whether it's physical, emotional, or social, and shows how the Lord intervenes in His own timing," Sawsan says.

Nigerian Newspaper Covers Pentecostal Movement and More

Julius Adegunna is founder and publisher of PTL News, one of the longest running Christian newspapers in Lagos, Nigeria. PTL News reports on the Pentecostal movement in Nigeria, major Christian events and crusades, Gospel music and more. MAI talked to Julius about his vision and the challenge of running an independent, non-denominational Christian paper.  

How did your vision for PTL News form?
I trained and practiced journalism in Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria. I used to help pastors publicize their ministries in secular newspapers. So it was not difficult for me to think of a newspaper that could promote Christian activities. I felt God calling me to this work in 1993, and the first issue came out in September 1994.
What are the challenges you face?
In Nigeria we have many infrastructure challenges like unstable electricity. There were few printing materials available when we started PTL, but things are better now. We were nearly alone as a Christian newspaper in the mid 1990s, but now there are a variety of other Christian newspapers and magazines. The more the merrier.
Tell us about the publishing forums and trainings that PTL hosts.
After returning from LittWorld in Kenya last November, I hosted a gathering for Christian writers and publishers to focus on current issues and trends. We plan to make this Forum ongoing to encourage, admonish, and pray for one another. By inviting everyone to come together, we can share challenges, celebrate achievements and learn from one another to improve the standard of Christian newspapers and magazines in Nigeria.

PTL Institute also aims to offer free quarterly training for Christian writers, and many other workshops. In January we held a new year’s prayer open to Christian writers, and a writer seminar.

Congratulations on PTL’s recent 15th anniversary edition. How have you kept PTL alive when many other papers have sprung up and died?
When things appear difficult, I can see God intervene, and this has been keeping hope alive.
We also started small and kept our overhead low. I worked sacrificially, and God used some people to encourage us in terms of sales, ads and gifts. We have also made use of volunteers. These have been helping us to grow steadily. As they say, "Slow and steady wins the race."

Top 12 Books
Check out the 2010 Christianity Today Book Awards. Editors' top picks were judged to best "shed light on the people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought and mission."

No Sand Between Our Toes

The story goes like this: author John Steinbeck had just finished his classic Grapes of Wrath and decided to take a break in Hawaii. The sand barely between his toes, Steinbeck got a call from his publisher.  "What are you doing" the publisher asked. "Resting—what else?"  the author said. "But when are you going to get started on your next novel?"
After all the work leading up to MAI’s successful LittWorld 2009 conference, the staff and I might also be tempted to take a break. But since the only "white" around here is snow, not toasty sand, might as well get back to work! Not only are we already planning the next LittWorld in 2012, we have an exciting training line-up for 2010. 
Raising up authors in the Middle East. Working with a Middle Eastern Christian publisher, MAI will launch a three-year training to help writers create publishable book manuscripts. A first training workshop will involve 20 advanced writers from Jordan, the West Bank, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq. The top three manuscripts will be published.
Reaching more readers in Europe. East and Central European Christian publishers want marketing help—knowing it does little good to publish quality books if no one knows the books exist or how to find them. The MAI-Europe Publishing Forum will provide marketing training for 60 Christian publishing staff from across Europe. Participants will implement the Forum’s teaching and practical helps to get their books and materials into the hands of more readers.
Making inroads in hard Asian nations. Grassroots Christian publishers are establishing a foothold in Mongolia, Sri Lanka, a closed country and other hard nations of Asia. We will send trainers to equip and encourage Christian publishers, editor and authors in these places. The goal: more locally authored Christian literature that makes a heart connection with readers.
Digging into Africa. MAI will deepen our training in Africa, building on LittWorld 2009 in Kenya. (More than half of the 150 participants were Africans.) We will provide on-site training and consulting in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and other nations, also aiming to help under-served French-speaking Africa.
Going deeper into digital.  We will multiply the reach of MAI training through fuller use of digital, internet and social media tools. Instead of a threat to Christian publishing, we see the fast-changing economic and global scene as a door-opener for new creativity in training and Christian witness through the written word. (Watch the MAI website,, for details.)
All of these projects have the potential for lasting and eternal impact. What better way to invest your prayers and giving in 2010?  We invite your partnership with MAI in 2010. Enjoy a well-deserved break and good book along the way too!
>>See the training line-up for 2010.
>>Pray for our upcoming trainings.
>>Invest for eternal impact. Donate now.


J O H N   M A U S T

M A I   P R E S I D E N T 





marketing by Spire2 Inc.
email powered by Emma