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God, where are you?

- 09/16/10   God, where are you?

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Words for the World | MAI

September/October 2010
C O N T E N T S : 
< God, Where Are You? 
< Save the Date and Meet Benjamin
< Where In the World is MAI? 
< By Their Books You Will Know Us  
< Malaysia: Heroes of the Faith Arise

Hi, Friend! 

In this issue, I am thrilled to introduce Congolese author Benjamin Kisoni, whose writing will help readers find victory in the midst of suffering. He spilled many tears of remembrance as he wrote and penned equally as many words of hope in his manuscript, "God, Where Are You?"
We're also delighted at the publication of three new books that are emerging as a result of our writer workshop last year in Singpore. And, in Malaysia, learn how you can join us in praying for the growth of 14 fledgling books.
-Dawn Herzog Jewell, Editor

God, Where Are You?
“The ink which wrote this book is my tears,” Benjamin Kisoni says. He recently completed his story on God and suffering.

Five times men went to Benjamin’s house in eastern Congo to kill him. Each time the Baptist pastor and publisher evaded them. Desperate, he finally sought refuge in the U.S. last year, leaving behind his wife and 8 children, congregation and Christian youth magazine.
Benjamin was targeted because he alone pursued a court case for his brother’s assassination. Hired gunmen had murdered his brother, a veterinarian and businessman highly respected for his good works.
“I love my country and wanted to help change it by writing. I never imagined I’d be chased from it,” he says.
While in the U.S. seeking political asylum, Benjamin wrote his book manuscript, “God, Where Are You?” to encourage his countrymen. “I used to think you can go through suffering and then reach victory on the other side. But I’ve learned that when you are in the midst of suffering and have hope in God, that is victory.”
MAI honored Benjamin as a recipient of the David Alexander Author Fund last year, enabling him to finish his manuscript. The book will be published in English next year by Hippo Books, a shared imprint of several African publishers.

“People in Congo love reading, but often don’t have reading materials,” Benjamin says.

He developed an early love of reading as a pastor’s son, devouring each new issue of Billy Graham’s Decision magazine. In high school and later in seminary, he launched publications for students. Then, as a high school principal he created a small school library.

When war broke out, he started writing tracts, printing and distributing them freely. His popular tract, Cain, Where Is Your Brother? looked at jealousy and violence from a biblical perspective. A military commander once texted him from the battlefield, requesting more copies for his soldiers.
Now Benjamin is writing a novel for youth about child soldiers in Congo, victims of a war that has resulted in at least 5 million deaths. 
Photo above: Congolese refugees Christian and Félix, both high school students, read magazines in the newly opened library of Gihinga camp. The camp, located in central Burundi, is host to some 2,400 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In his new book, Benjamin Kisoni gives a Christian response to suffering in Congo. Courtesy UNHCR/C.-L Grayson.
Save the Date and Meet Benjamin

Meet author Benjamin Kisoni at MAI’s 25th anniversary international dessert celebration with guest speaker, author Jerry Jenkins.

Where: College Church, Wheaton, Illinois.
When: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 7-9 p.m. 
RSVP by October 6 to 
Photo above: Benjamin Kisoni (left) with MAI President John Maust.

Where in the World
Is MAI? 
Mongolia: design and editing workshops, Sept. 1-3

MAI-Europe Publishing Forum, Sept. 6-10

Sri Lanka:
writer and editor training, Sept.16-18

China: building relationships with publishers, Oct. 9-18
Chicagoland: MAI 25th Anniversary Celebration, Oct. 21

author development in the Middle East, Nov.12-16


By Their Books
You Will Know Us  
Emily in Singapore recently asked me to write a short endorsement for her new book. Well, hmm, I don’t know…Not!  It only took a second to accept that invitation.

Nothing energizes us like seeing a published book, article or even blog emerge from an MAI training.  In fact, three participants from last year’s writer workshop hosted by Armour Publishing in Singapore have finished book manuscripts.

Jiamin Choo wrote about her five years on the Doulos ship ministry (gleaned from 25 journals kept on the voyages). Ali Smith, a 20s-something TV news anchor, focused on God’s leading in choosing a spouse (see her book cover below). And Emily Lim, a former rising business exec, tells how a rare voice disorder led her to become a successful children’s author.

MAI doesn’t work only with writers. We also equip publishers, editors, designers and other specialists in Christian publishing. But the bottom line is seeing more published materials by local authors for the advance of the Gospel, with God’s help and your prayers.

As I said, nothing gives us greater joy than seeing a published work emerge from an MAI training. Nothing more, that is, than hearing that a reader’s life has been touched or transformed by that same piece of writing.

J O H N   M A U S T

M A I   P R E S I D E N T

 Malaysia: Heroes of the Faith Arise

“The writer workshop was a success and 14 eager newborn writers are writing seriously,” says author Hwee Yong Tan, who hosted MAI’s August training in Malaysia. Participants included church and lay leaders such as Sheila*, a Bible translator and pastor’s wife; Alan, a recent university graduate; and Lily, who helps pastor a church comprised of university students.

Guided by MAI Trainer Dr. Miriam Adeney, each writer selected a biblical hero of the faith to illustrate Christian living in contemporary society. Creativity and fun infused their writings. Pastor L wrote about how King David was tempted by Bathsheba because she used “Follow Me” shampoo, a popular brand in Malaysia.

“Fourteen books are underway,” Miriam says. “Writers were teachable, well-grounded in Scripture, and eager to develop skills.  

Please pray that Christ-honoring manuscripts are published to impact Malay society.

*Names of participants changed for protection.


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