But what if you lived in a place where Christian writers were few and far between? What if you’d never attended a writer workshop, never had a meaningful conversation with another published author, never received any real encouragement in your writing from friends, church or family?
This pretty much describes the lonely situation facing many Christian writers in hard countries of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and east/central Europe. So, for them to attend a global training conference like LittWorld, organized by Media Associates International (MAI), can be a watershed experience.
Yahya Djuanda of Indonesia met four people at LittWorld 2012 in Kenya who “really, really reignited” his writing passion. “Their countries were similar to mine, where Christianity is a minority religion,” he said. “Their writing made them a light sparkling in the darkness. They wrote a lot and helped people without using Christian jargon.”
Yayha came away thinking, “I must be a light for my country through my writing.” Within months he wrote a book sharing Christian principles on marriage and fatherhood with a general audience. His Are You a Cool Husband? was published by one of best-known trade publishers in Indonesia.
In a similar example, Maggie Gathuku of Kenya told us recently, “At LittWorld 2012, I got the inspiration and the challenge to publish my book—a discipleship manual that is being used in six universities so far.”
At LittWorld, the encouragement is just as important as the skills training. I know of past participants who arrived feeling burned out and ready to quit, but who left with a fresh vision and commitment to carry on in their writing and publishing. They knew they were no longer alone.
Presently we are in “countdown mode” for the LittWorld 2015 conference, 1-6 November, in Singapore. About 200 Christian publishing staff and writers from 50 countries are expected, and many of these will need some form of scholarship assistance to attend.
So, I want to thank to ACW for your generous partnership with us for LittWorld. Your scholarship gifts this year will enable the participation of an emerging writer from Laos and pioneering author from Turkey. You are not only investing in their training, but in the readers and nations they serve. Thank you!
Have you considered attending LittWorld yourself? “If you could attend the Singapore event, it would be fruitful beyond measure,” a friend wrote a publishing colleague. “They hold them only every three years, and our days are numbered.” (Talk about “countdown mode”!)
Above all, I invite you to pray. Please pray that LittWorld participants will receive fresh vision and skills, which result in an explosion of quality Christian books and articles around the world.
John Maust is president of Media Associates International, a training agency based near Chicago in the USA, and which has an MAI-Europe Board chaired by Rodney Shepherd. MAI has conducted trainings in 79 countries for 8,300 participants since its founding in 1985.