What is your dream for Christian publishing in your country?

Utibe-Abasi Inyang Ekpe of Nigeria responded to the writing prompt, “What is your dream for Christian publishing in your country?” with this submission to the LittWorld 2012 writing contest:

In my country, there are many beautiful Christian materials but I can’t say if they are actually “published” in the actual sense of the word since they are hardly ever distributed. I belief the sole aim of publishing is to get the material out to the public. It is easy though, to get ones hands on the books written by general overseers of renowned ministries in Nigeria; but apart from theirs, you will come across beautiful works of Nigerian Christian authors mostly by accident.

But I dream of a better publishing future… I see Nigeria having Christian publishing houses of the highest standards, controlled by Holy Spirit filled personnel, and they will publish only works that are rightly founded on the Word, filled with Holy Spirit inspired messages targeted at addressing the issues and needs of the Nigerian Church. I want to be able to pick up a book by a Nigerian author, look at the spine for the name and logo of the publishers and say to myself, this will be a great book to read…these guys publish the very best.

Publishers with a standard of holiness will encourage authors of the same standard and the Christian books released into the Nigerian system will encourage a deeper and more rewarding relationship with God rather than focusing on achieving success that is measured by the world standard. I see a country where everyone will have or be encouraged to have a clearly defined stand; “for Christ” or “not for Christ” and no more will it be that what is wrong on Sunday in the Church, isn’t all that bad on Monday in the office. But every book or article that is worth reading, every message that is worth listening to will be that which will encourage righteousness and holiness.

Learn how you can submit articles and win cash in the LittWorld 2012 writing contest, “Blogging for Global Impact.”

Listening and reading the written word is all it takes

“Tell how someone you know in your country was spiritually transformed by the written word.” Margaret Siri Ngwa of Cameroon responded with this submission to the LittWorld 2012 writing contest:

When Siri saw the writing prompt, she repeated it slowly, “Someone I know in my country who was spiritually transformed by the written word,” then she dashed into her room, grabbed a notebook and a pen but wrote nothing. Instead she sat at the foot of the bed with both hands supporting her head; she took a long walk down the once spooky, sad and lonely memory runway.

After a laborious soul search, she saw Siri back in the days curled up in a foetal position, shattered and sobbing with uncontrollable grief, her little girl had died of malaria. She had refused to forget. Then she became sad, frightened and withdrawn.  The written word became an escape. She listened to and searched the word in the Bible.

Suddenly she stumbled onto 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Isaiah 41:10. Romans 8:28. Her mind became clearer and it dawned on her that the son of the almighty God -Jesus Christ also died. She learnt how to pray.

Reading the word was the beginning of inner healing and inspiration. It is so powerful in the way it changes old into new.

The new and better Siri has captured the written word wherever it is lodged -MAI online literature, songs, tracks, Christian and inspirational books.

It has humbled the once withdrawn and depressed young housewife into an empowered right thinking person with an insatiable desire for the written word.

When Siri travels, she always has an excess luggage of Christian literature. Currently, she is a debut Christian writer with a dream to use her writing and the right words to empower and heal people like her from hurt and distress.

Learn how you can submit articles and win cash in the LittWorld 2012 writing contest, “Blogging for Global Impact.”

We are family

We are more than editors, writers, publishers or designers. We are part of His family and, as such, we have brothers and sisters everywhere. It’s not about competition, but about collaboration. It’s not about who sells more, but who becomes more Christ-like. And the more we are like Him, the more we want others to be like Him.

This is what LittWorld stands for: family. In this event held every three years, men and women in Christian publishing from around the world get together. We forget about who sells more or writes better. We are family. We encourage each other. We share secrets and recipes of success. We cry and laugh together. We remember why we publish in the first place.

It’s not a competition but a family reunion. It’s a moment to fulfill His wish and be one. It’s an opportunity to be a family. Will you join us and share your heart? Will you come and help others who would benefit from your experience? Will you enjoy a little piece of heaven by being around your international family during one week?

We will be waiting for you with arms open wide.

–Keila Ochoa Harris is a Mexican blogger, author, MAI trainer and board member.

Job vacancies: more publishing Christian authors needed in Nigeria urgently!

Why is it important that more Christian authors in your country write and get published? Babatomiwa Moses Owojaiye of Nigeria responded in this article for the LittWorld 2012 Writing Contest:

In his 2011 convocation address, the President of Asbury Theological Seminary, Professor Timothy Tennent, said to his largely American audience that, “in the 19th century, God commanded us to Christianize Africa. In the 21st century, He may well be calling us to Africanize Christianity.” In a similar vein, Professor Andrew Walls predicted that “it is inevitable that the religio-cultural transformation of the 20th century will place Africans and Asians more and more in positions of leadership in world Christianity.”

If Nigeria as widely recognized by observers of African Christianity, is a major block in world Christianity; the question then arises: what will the church in Nigeria contribute to the growth of the wider church?  I believe God’s decision to shift the center of numeric gravity of the contemporary world Christianity to the global south is not a call to competition, rather it’s a call to a higher ministry. According to Walls, “that Africa will bring gifts to the church is widely recognized, and many see those gifts as including a zeal for Christ, unembarrassed witness to him, energy and delight in worship, and fervency in prayer, all of which will bless the wider church.”  Walls however adds that Africa must bring intellectual and theological leadership to the wider church too.

One significant way to contribute is to be intentional in writing and publishing. According to Tennent, the new development in world Christianity “cannot be approached by a “business-as-usual approach”; it cannot be approached by a “pastor-as-comfortable-career-option approach; it also cannot be approached by a, “I’m going to spend my time preoccupied with my salary, my pension plan and parsonage” mentality; neither can it be approached by a “climb the denominational ladder” strategy.”  It is a call to the ministry of quality writing and publishing by all stakeholders within our faith community!

Learn how you can submit articles and win cash in the LittWorld 2012 writing contest, “Blogging for Global Impact.”

Image above courtesy of Salvatore Vuono, freedigitalphotos.net