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Trainer Network

Develop Your Training Skills

- 06/04/08  

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Trainer Network | MAI


June/July 2008

In This Issue:
Book Emerges from Writer Course in Guatemala
Develop Your Training Skills
Spread the Word: African Christian Comics Project
Win-Win Internships at MAI
Asian Writers Meet in Thailand
Writer to Writer: Online answers
Myanmar: Help Provide Relief and Literature

Hi, !

Training takes time, but God’s timing is everything. In this issue, you’ll enjoy reading about a book that sprouted unintentionally out of a class in Guatemala. And, you’ll glean some tips on developing your own skills for training others.

- Dawn Herzog Jewell, editor

Book Emerges from
Writer Course in Guatemala

Writer training is vital for the long-term growth of writers and the production of Christian literature, but God’s timing can be surprisingly different than ours. Such was the case with the book that emerged from a writing course in Guatemala taught by Miriam Adeney, MAI Board member and professor at Seattle Pacific University. Twelve men from nine Spanish-speaking countries enrolled in “How to Write for Publication” in July 2006 in Guatemala City. Before the end of the first day, the class already had a publishing offer!

Miriam began the first class with a brief biblical reflection, followed by several exercises. Then she sent the students away to write about “The Scripture That Changed My Life.” When the students reconvened a few hours later to read aloud their work, Dallas Seminary administrator Ron Blue happened to be in the room. “This is a book!” he said.  Ron promised Miriam and her assistant, Martha Berberian, “If you will edit these essays, I will find the publisher and the funds to publish it.”

Martha and Miriam critiqued the essays, helping the writers to revise them. The topic broadened to focus on Christian virtues and evolved into a 93-page book: Una Vida Transformada: Doce cualidades que te ayudarán a cambiar tu estilo de vida (A Transformed Life: Twelve qualities that will help change your lifestyle, Ediciones Las Americas).

One student in the course, Guatemalan pastor Josué López, had authored seven books on Christian discipleship for his church, but even he doubted whether a book could take develop from the articles. “It's hard to get publishing houses to take Latin writers seriously, and we don't know how to overcome this. But the teachers have their contacts, so the idea for the book took shape,” he said. “It was something beautiful to participate with other brothers toward a common objective.”

Since the class ended, Luis Gomez, a U.S. pastor who originates from El Salvador, has penned six articles for (a ministry of CAM International), and World Vision has asked him to write an article for international publication. Luis has dreamed of serving others by using his God-given gifts since age 13. “The class was the key that gave life to what God had already placed in my heart,” he said.

A third student, Fernando Abella, was published for the first time in the book. “I think I revised my manuscript 150 times in order to apply each of the techniques we learned. To my surprise, I got an A in the class,” he said. “Not only was a book born in this class, but a new writer for the glory of God.”

Sasha Brady, MAI Intern

Develop Your Training Skills

1. Give Time to Develop: Personal development takes time. It can’t be squeezed into a  spare moment here or there. If I am going to develop, then I need to set aside some time. That may take some negotiation with colleagues and supervisors but it will really take your commitment.

2. Make Time to Develop: Even if you get your boss to let you set aside some time for your own development, you also need to schedule the time in your own agenda. Plan ahead based on your own goals and the priorities you see coming in your organization. Then stick to it.

3. Take Time to Develop: Planning may well help you to identify specific training activities you can sign up for. Or it may be a long term program you see will need to be followed. But having set aside time, be sure to actually take it. The tyranny of the urgent can easily help us fail to do what is really important.

4. Record your development: A notebook, a computer file, a folder, an online “Continuing Professional Development” portfolio or a card index have all been used by different people I know to capture their own development and, more importantly, the critical incidents that arise along the way. It might be little more than a curriculum vitae or resume plus an action list, or it could include more substantial written reflections or even writing for publication that arises. Recording your development provides a concrete record of what you commit to yourself (and to your colleagues). It also gives you the evidence you’ll need when, eventually, your organization decides that a formal process is needed.

Used by permission from Andrew Steele. This excerpt first appeared in an article on his blog, Training on the Move, which can be viewed via the ICTI website.

Spread the Word: African Christian Comics Project

COMIX35 is launching a new pan-African Christian Comics Project, to be written and drawn by Christians from all over Africa for an audience of unbelieving African readers. Read more.

Win-Win Internships at MAI

MAI benefitted this last year from the vitality and help of four interns, all students at Wheaton College. Elizabeth Wanee and Catherine Benton worked with MAI weekly during their spring semester to research and create articles for our publications. In turn, MAI increased their awareness of the global impact of Christian publishing.

“Christian publishing in other areas of the world was a foreign concept to me, and reading about people who have dedicated their lives to publishing around the world has been inspirational. The power of books to change lives and influence people has been shown to me...”
–Catherine Benton (pictured above)

“I admire the fact that MAI is not simply a "hit and run" organization, but strives to get involved with the people they come into contact with at conferences and stay in touch.”
– Elizabeth Wanee (pictured below)

Asian Writers
Meet in Thailand

MAI’s Asia Christian Writer Conference will convene writers from across Asia for four days of  intensive training on strategic writing-related topics. The October 16-19 (2008) conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand, will help each writer develop an idea for a publishable book or article, and begin writing with a specific publisher in mind. Ultimately, the conference will result in new locally-authored literature that impacts Asian readers’ lives with a message of Christian truth.
Learn more.

Writer to Writer: Online answers

Seeking an answer for your writing question? Author Tricia Goyer is glad to answer your question about fiction or non-fiction...or she'll find someone who can answer it.

To submit a question, check out her
blog. See the right-hand column under "How My Writing Mentor".

Myanmar: Help Provide Relief and Literature

MAI's publisher friend, Pastor James (not his real name), has been  helping struggling families in Yangon. 

Will you help James continue to provide relief and literature? Read more.

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