Ochoa Reflects on Latin American Interest in Christian Publishing

Mexican author and MAI board member, Keila Ochoa, led two workshop sessions on writing at the Congreso Latinoamericano de Evangelización (CLADE V) last July in Costa Rica. The Christian leader congress, attended by some 700 participants, included a book fair with  book launches, workshops and autograph sessions coordinated by Ian Darke, MAI’s Latin America regional trainer. Keila shares her impressions about writing and publishing in Latin America from the CLADE V experience here:

Did you sense an interest in Christian publishing and writing among the church leaders at CLADE?
There is interest especially among seminar professors and students who are willing to contribute to the Church through the written word.

Which topics did participants walk away desiring to write about?
Mostly theology, as this was a theological conference, but a couple of young men were interested in fiction.

Was there a sense of need for further training for writers?
Oh, yes! They asked when future trainings would take place in their countries. They want to be prepared!

What can be done to help people wanting to learn how to become published writers?
Giving training and promoting writing competitions.


How do you see MAI most effectively working in Latin America in the future?
I think training is essential, as well as helping small publishing houses to thrive and serve their local authors. Publishing houses from Latin America are willing to publish local authors but lack funds, good marketing strategies and distribution.

By Katie Skero, former MAI intern



The Artist’s Brush

LittWorld provides a unique opportunity for people to think outside the busyness of their day-to-day challenges and tasks. Here’s how God answered one woman’s prayers for new creative blessings at the last LittWorld:

Lisa Haskin has dabbed paints on canvas for decades. “I’m really detailed, precise, and my work looks like I’m anal-retentive, which I kind of am,” she laughs. (See orchid painting at right.)

A few days before Lisa boarded a plane for Nairobi to attend LittWorld 2009, friends gathered to pray for her journey. One woman prayed that the Lord would bless her artwork in a new way.

In Lisa’s free moments at the conference, she relaxed in the gazebo overlooking lush foliage and tea plantations. She started sketching with the few art supplies she’d packed. With limited time, she quickly scribbled with color pencils, then took dozens of photos of the surrounding flowers and cottages.

Brackenhurst sketch, LittWorld 2009 by Lisa Haskin

After returning to Chicagoland, Lisa started a worship notebook in which she drew pictures she felt the Lord was giving her. “I started working with the scribbly style of colored pencils and black pen over it,” she recalls. But Lisa still didn’t know if she should pursue the new style.

Last summer at a barbecue, her pastor’s wife asked if God was leading anyone in a new direction. Lisa shared about the style she’d experimented with and her uncertainty. Immediately, someone affirmed Lisa should pursue what God had given her.

That week-end Lisa sat down with her photos from LittWorld and completed 6 to 8 paintings in an hour each, using the loose, scribbly style she’d started in Nairobi. “It’s like they came gushing out of me. That’s the only way I can explain it,” she said. Her other paintings each normally took a week-end or all week to complete.

“It’s very freeing and less about being precise and worrying about the end product. I don’t know how the drawing will turn out, I just continue until I feel it’s down. That way, it’s not planning, but letting God use me as the brush, the tool.”

Please join us in praying that this unique gathering, LittWorld 2012, would spark more new ideas to satisfy global hunger for the written word via books, articles, magazines and graphics/illustrations.

>>Download our prayer guide for LittWorld 2012.

MAI Welcomes Dr. Florence Muindi to LittWorld 2012

Kenyan public health specialist, author, and founder of Life in Abundance International (LIA) Dr. Florence Muindi will be the opening-night speaker for Littworld 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. Considered an industry leader in community development, her work has mobilized local churches to help provide health care for the poorest of the poor.

Muindi has served as a medical missionary throughout Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan since 1989. She received training in Switzerland and Belgium in specialized health interventions, holds a diploma in Urban Poor Theology and is also an ordained minister. She holds an M.D. as well as an M.P.H.  degree.

Through her work among the urban poor, Muindi knows firsthand the challenges that African publishers/writers and their readers face. In her opening talk, she will challenge LittWorld participants to look afresh at the needs of the world and to create relevant material for readers with minimal resources.

Muindi shares her Spirit-led journey into public health in her autobiography, The Pursuit of His Calling: Following in Purpose.The book details Muindi’s childhood in Kenya, studies and graduation from the University of Nairobi Medical School, starting a family, and founding LIA.  Her non-profit holistic ministry is committed to bringing health to the poor through the local church, the first ministry of its kind in East Africa.

As the international director and president of LIA, Muindi facilitates the mission of the organization in implementation and development, overseeing support raising, advocacy, strategic plans and budgeting. Since its beginning, LIA has catalyzed about 100 church-based projects working with with local churches in 62 communities across 7 countries (representing approximately 620,000 people). As a result, nearly 3,000 people have been trained in community development approaches.

Muindi looks forward to communing with fellow believers at Littworld 2012, sharing her story, and inspiring attendees “to continue writing as God instructs and speaks,” she said.

>>Only a Few Spots Remain! Register online now. Deadline: September 24.
>>Download a brochure pdf for LittWorld 2012
>>More about LittWorld 2012, MAI’s unique international publishing conference

By Katie Skero, former MAI intern

Photos above courtesy Dr. Florence Muindi