subscribe | tell a friend | printer-friendly version

New Day for French-speaking Africa

- 03/10/11  

Words for the World | MAI

March/April 2011
C O N T E N T S : 
< New Day for French-speaking Africa 
< Soul Food for Pastors and Churches in Latin America
< LittWorld 2012: Save the dates!
< European Christian Publishers Launch Online Catalog
< Pray: Upcoming MAI training
< The $10,000 Match

Hi, Friend! 

In this issue, we offer you glimpses of wordsmiths at work in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America via MAI training and more. 
By the way, you'll want to start practicing your Swahili in time for LittWorld 2012. Don't forget to mark your calendar! 
-Dawn Herzog Jewell, Editor

New Day for French-speaking Africa
By John Maust
"Being an evangelical publisher for the French-speaking world is the worst of two worlds," quipped Greg Burgess of Editions Clé in France. "In Europe, the population has means, but there are very few Christians; in Africa, there are millions of Christians but very limited resources."

Christian publishing in Francophone Africa remains fragile at best. Publishers lack training and they struggle to survive amidst political instability and poverty. They have benefited from far less support than their English-language colleagues. Why?

"French-speaking Africa was often regarded as the poor man of the evangelical world, because of its colonial past characterized by a low vitality of Protestantism in France and Belgium," wrote Daniel Bourdanné, a native of Chad and general secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES).

In Africa some 20 countries call French an official language. MAI hopes to spur the creation of the written word in these nations. So does director Jules Ouoba of the largest French-language Christian publisher, Centre de Publications Evangéliques in Côte d’Ivoire, a country beset by political violence and instability. This September, men and women from eight nations will gather in Brazzaville, Congo, for a marketing and writing workshop organized by Jules and led by MAI trainers.
Key participants from the Congo workshop will be invited to MAI’s LittWorld 2012 international publishing conference in Kenya, October 28 to November 2, 2012. A week-end pre-conference will cater exclusively to Africa’s French-speaking Christian publishing staff and writers. Both Daniel Bourdanné and Jules Ouoba will be speakers.
"There is a great hunger and thirst for reading Christian literature in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Pastor J. Pasteur Katavo told MAI. "Unfortunately, the people cannot read without books. And books will not be there unless someone produces them. And nobody—writer, editor or publisher—can produce them unless he is empowered. I would be grateful if MAI could help the Church in Congo motivate her writers, raise competent editors and publishers, and thus contribute to the preparation of post-war revival."

MAI envisions a day when Francophone Africa’s libraries, churches, bookstores, family bookshelves, computers—and even e-readers and mobile phones—are filled with books written by its own authors.
Photo above by Greg Burgess: Lavenir Akplogan of PBA publishing house in Benin.

Soul Food for Pastors and Churches in Latin America
Scheduled for release in 2012, the Latin America Bible Commentary (LABC) will provide spiritual food for Christian pastors and leaders and help alleviate a famine of Biblical resources on the continent. 
The one-volume commentary, which will be published in Spanish, Portuguese and English, targets Latin America’s burgeoning evangelical community. At present, Evangelicals comprise more than 15 percent of the Latin American population. Since few original texts have been published by and for this relatively young group, the LABC symbolizes a next step in equipping Latin American evangelical leaders.
<<Watch a short video clip of Ian Darke, project coordinator and MAI Latin America regional trainer
map of Africa by Didier Millotte

LittWorld 2012: Save the dates!

MAI’s unique international publishing conference, LittWorld 2012, will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, October 28 to November 2, 2012.
Barine Kirimi, chair of the local host committee, welcomes Christian publishing colleagues worldwide. "Jambo! You will find empowerment and encouragement as you fellowship with a global community, united with one purpose. You can't afford to miss LittWorld 2012 in Kenya. Mark the date now. Karibu!" 

Africa map courtesy Didier Millotte


European Christian Publishers Launch Online Catalog  
‎MAI is pleased to announce the launch of BRIEF, a shared online book catalogue that showcases best new titles by European authors. This strategic marketing tool will enable European Christian publishers to expand their audience across Europe and beyond.
"BRIEF stems from the desire to give wider voice to many European authors who, until now, were unknown outside their own countries and language group," says Bruna Terešak of StePress, Croatia’s only independent Christian publisher. "'Small' cultures can make a significant contribution and also enrich the Western Christian book market."
Discover new reads which you couldn’t otherwise access. Visit BRIEF

Pray: Upcoming MAI training  
‎Asia: Editors in a closed country of Asia have requested editor and design training April 5 to 8. MAI Trainers Bernice Lee of Singapore and Dawn Jewell of MAI’s headquarters will lead editorial training, while Eric Mak of Singapore teaches graphic design.  
Bulgaria: MAI is partnering with Mission Possible Bulgaria to hold a fiction-writing workshop in Sofia, April 7 to 10. The workshop will focus on developing writing techniques, emphasizing the power of storytelling to express profound truths about God and the Christian life. Trainers include MAI Board member Robin Gunn of the U.S., MAI Trustee Marion Stroud of the U.K. and Pastor Daniel Nalbantski of Bulgaria.

The $10,000 Match
Every dollar you give toward helping MAI end the famine of global Christian literature may be doubled, thanks to a generous foundation pledge of $10,000.
Help us reach our goal of March 31. We only have $3,000 left to raise, thanks to generous friends like you!
>>Give online. It's easy.