Poised for Progress
This year has been filled with many challenges and blessings as we reestablished the Publishing work in the Middle East and North Africa Union (MENAU). MENAU is a newly formed union that serves almost 500 million people in 20 countries, almost all of whom are Muslim. At this point we have a functioning Publishing Department building its team and support structure. Once complete, we will have typists, translators, and designers.
God has been gracious and has given us the strength to accomplish many things for His honor and glory. One of our biggest steps was the formation of a Literature Ministries Oversight Committee. We met for the first time in 2012, which was a real blessing. This committee was established for general oversight of the Publishing Department’s activities and focus each year. We were thankful for the attendance of leaders from the General Conference, Review and Herald Publishing Association, each field in our union, and the Publishing director from the Euro-Asia Division, who was our special invitee. I look forward to this committee’s contribution as we move forward by the grace of God.
First Project of the Year
God has blessed the East and North Africa Union (MENAU) by allowing several things to come together to make our first publishing project a reality. We have taken to heart Ellen G. White’s counsel about the need and education of apprentices in the field of literature ministries: “Apprentices should be trained that, after the necessary time spent in the institution, they can go forth prepared to take up intelligently the different lines of printing work, giving momentum o the cause of God by the best use of their energies and capable of imparting to others the knowledge they have received” (Publishing Ministry, p. 52).
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From 22 to 6,200 Krones
It was a normal day full of challenges and uninterested people. At one home I finally sold a copy of Healthy Foods. Then I realized I didn’t have enough change, so I promised to return with 22 Norwegian Krones (about US$4) before 9:00 that evening.
The woman reluctantly agreed, probably not expecting me to return. But I honored my promise and returned with her change.
The following Sunday afternoon family after family admitted that we have a fascinating student literature evangelism program. Still, no one seemed interested enough to purchase anything.
At one home, just as I was beginning my canvass, the woman said, “Your name is Jeremiah, from Kenya. Please come in. I am Marit.”
I was surprised. Where did she know me from? I did not recall meeting her. But literature evangelists talk to many people; maybe she was a member of the church, or knew someone from the office who told her about a Kenyan named Jeremiah. I was curious but glad to find a friendly face. “I might at least sell a copy of Healthy Foods,” I thought.
The woman’s husband and children welcomed me. We talked and laughed, but I began wondering, “When will they ask me to show them my books?”
Then Marit said, “My sister, Sylvi, informed me about the 22 NOK you brought back to her last Tuesday. She thought you would assume the amount was so small you would never return. But this shows you can be trusted with greater responsibilities when you go back to Kenya. I know the Norwegian Publishing House is a good company, and I always reserve some money every summer for the student who comes to my door.”
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