MAI Celebrates 30 Years of Equipping Global Christian Publishers
(Carol Stream, Illinois, USA) As a high school student, award-winning author Robin Jones Gunn believed God was calling her to serve as a missionary in Africa and wash clothes there. Keynote speaker at MAI’s 30thanniversary celebration in Wheaton, IL, on September 17, Gunn relayed the words of a Kenyan friend: “You did not need to come to Africa to wash our laundry, you sent our stories and they washed our hearts.”
Presentations at MAI’s 30th anniversary event celebrated the power of the written word to transform lives and hearts. Since its founding in 1985, MAI has conducted training for 8,300 Christian publishing staff and writers in 79 countries.
“We see increased opportunities for helping global publishers and writers create excellent content that enriches the church and influences society,” MAI President John Maust said. “We envision a world in which readers everywhere have access to quality, life-transforming books and articles written in their heart language.”
This November 1 to 6, MAI will convene LittWorld 2015, a unique triennial world Christian publishing conference. More than 260 publishing staff and writers from 59 countries are registered. Many participants will come from Asian nations, including several closed countries. MAI strategically moved the conference to Singapore this year to make the training more accessible to colleagues in Asia where MAI training has grown significantly in recent years. Asia is home to about 80 percent of the world’s 4.4 billion people who are not Christians.
“I met four people at LittWorld 2012 who really, really reignited my writing passion,” said Indonesian editor and writer Yayha Djuanda. Within months he wrote a book sharing Christian principles on marriage and fatherhood with a general audience. Are You a Cool Husband? was published by one of the best-known trade publishers in Indonesia.
Men and women from 95 countries have participated in the conference since it began in 1986. Through LittWorld, MAI has seen publishing houses born, new books conceived, and skills refined for more effective publishing. Inevitably, participants take away a new or reinforced commitment to publish books and articles by local authors in the heart language and culture of readers.