Sometimes God Surprises Us

By John D. Maust, MAI PresidentJohn 2015 headshot

Sometimes God surprises us by doing something we did not imagine.  Has such a thing happened recently in MAI’s work? A friend wanted to know.

One country came immediately to mind. Several years ago, we began doing some behind-the-scenes writer training in a closed nation of Southeast Asia.  Some gifted and committed writers began to emerge, and we thought it would be helpful for several to attend LittWorld in 2015 in nearby Singapore.  We hoped to provide scholarships for two or three.  But, generous donors seemed to emerge out of nowhere, and we were able to provide full conference scholarships for eight.

During LittWorld these eight emerging writers bonded in their friendship and shared passion for the ministry of the written word.  One said afterwards, “We now see that writing is a way to serve the Lord.  Before it had been a task we were assigned to do. Now it is a vision we are excited about. We are now so inspired to serve the Lord through writing!

“We’d never really seen the potential that writing has for reaching so many people in places where we ourselves cannot physically go due to time and other restrictions. The written word is powerful. And what a humbling privilege that we might become the authors of these written words.”

Following LittWorld, the writers organized a “writing for children” workshop, led by two MAI facilitators they met at the conference.  They also received graphic design training from a speaker they met at LittWorld 2015.  Today they are forming a fledgling publishing ministry called “Firefly.”  MAI will accompany them on their publishing journey, and we are eager to see what other surprises the Lord has in store for the writers group and Christian publishing in their country.

The Best Kind of Good News

By John D. Maust, MAI President John 2015 headshot

What is the best good news that you have ever received?

I recently asked some friends to describe a time when they received some really good news.

Some, with great emotion, shared dramatic news:
*A scary medical test that came back negative
*A family member had survived a serious accident or catastrophe
*An unexpected financial gift in a time of hardship
*The offer of a new job

Strikingly, each case involved a hard situation that was entirely beyond the person’s power to control or change.  A happy resolution depended on someone, or something else—regardless of the person’s skills, contacts or maneuvering.  That’s what made the news so good.

We Christians know about another kind of Good News. But the phrase can become a kind of spiritual cliché. Maybe it’s time we reflect on what makes this news so good.

People try in vain to earn God’s forgiveness or approval through good works. But the Good News is that our salvation is entirely a gift through faith in Jesus Christ. What a relief. What amazing grace. What good news!

MAI is privileged to equip Christian publishers and writers who are sharing Good News around the world, often at personal risk or sacrifice.

Kornel (left) with ChinKar Tan of Singapore, LittWorld 2015. Photo by Karen Crespo.

Kornel (left) with ChinKar Tan of Singapore, LittWorld 2015. Photo by Karen Crespo.

“Publishing is not about making books and selling them, but about fulfilling a larger calling: to spread the Good News to our hopeless world with the help of the Holy Spirit,” said Hungarian publisher Kornel Herjecki.
Each book and article published as a result of MAI training has the potential to transform a reader’s life, to strengthen the Church and to influence society with Christian values.

Thank you for helping global publishers and writers share the Good News through your prayers and gifts.  And, take a moment to reflect on just how good this news really is.