No Lone Rangers! A remarkable family of writers and publishers

BY ccrossley | 12 December 2012 |

by Isobel Stevenson, Langham Literature

The Zorro or Lone Ranger model makes great TV but works less well in real life. That’s why Christ called us together into his church. But even within the church, we can sometimes end up working in what feels like an isolated situation. That was why it was so wonderful to attend LITTWORLD, a gathering of 194 Christian writers and publishers from countries as diverse Argentina, Mongolia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

Three Spanish Speakers attending LittWorld 2012 from Mexico, Russia & Kenya. photo by Ian Darke
Three Spanish Speakers attending LittWorld 2012 from Mexico, Russia & Kenya.
photo by Ian Darke

I was there to represent Langham Literature, and to learn about what God was doing in literature ministry around the world. One of the first things that struck me was how many of the people there I knew, even though I had never met them in person. There was Yna Reyes from OMF Literature in the Philippines, who has published several books by authors to whom Langham gave writer’s grants. She told me that some of them are in their second printing and are being translated into indigenous languages in the Philippines. She is getting requests for translation rights from other countries in the region. All this is proof that God has used the ‘seed money’ of the writer’s grants to provide books that are being read and are blessing the church.

I had lunch with Kurt Michler and Zenebe Gebrehana Devissa from SIM Ethiopia. They are working on the Amharic translation of the Africa Bible Commentary. The work has progressed so far that we could begin talking about production details and the launch. Langham has not given them any funding – but the money Langham invested in producing the first version of the commentary has borne abundant fruit. The commentary is now available in four languages, and the Ethiopian and Malagasy translations are almost ready to go to print.

Those are just two stories. I met many others who were grateful for the behind-the-scenes help Langham has given to help majority world writers, publishers and pastors. Christian publishing is taking off all around the globe. Majority world writers are beginning to take their place alongside Western authors in Christian bookshops around the world. What a privilege to be part of God’s work, providing writer’s grants and publisher’s grants, and assisting these publishers to undertake large projects that they could never manage on their own – but which they can now make their own and, through partnership with others, can use to bless the church in their regions. No Lone Rangers in Christian publishing!

Jules Ouoba from CPE with a french colleague discussing the new network of Francophone Africa publishers at LittWorld 2012. photo by Ian Darke
Jules Ouoba from CPE with a french colleague discussing the new network of Francophone Africa publishers at LittWorld 2012.
photo by Ian Darke