By John Maust, MAI President
Something special is happening at MAI. We’re about to hold not just one but three regional training events for Christian publishers and writers in Europe, Africa and Asia:
The Balkan+ Forum, September 14-16, in Bulgaria. This conference for Christian writers, content and media creators in the Balkans and nearby European nations will focus on how to reach and engage people across all possible media platforms, adapting the traditional techniques to new realities.
LittAfrica 2023, November 5-9, in Botswana. This event is a kind of “mini-LittWorld” in style and format, featuring vision-building plenaries and “how-to” workshops. It seeks to build on the success of the previous LittAfrica 2019 conference in Ghana.
Words of Hope Asia-Pacific Publishing Conference, April 7-11, in Thailand. This training will be largely discussion-based, focusing on topics of greatest interest and concern to Asian Christian publishers and writers.
Scores of Christian communicators from dozens of countries will be equipped and encouraged at these regional events led by our MAI Boards of Trustees in Europe, Africa and Asia, respectively.
Our regional conferences will lead up to MAI’s one big global event, LittWorld 2024 in Mexico, which we will be formally announcing shortly.
“We look forward to a beautiful conference, where new friendships will start, new book ideas will be formed and where a watering of the Christian publishing industry in Africa will happen so that the fruit is enjoyed by tomorrow’s generations.” Rose Birenge, MAI-Africa Chair
So, why regional conferences?
An opportunity to discuss shared needs and opportunities
We’ve observed that Christian publishing staff and writers serving in the same regions face similar needs and opportunities that are often unique to their regions. Yet they rarely have an opportunity to meet and discuss their shared needs and opportunities and explore ways to better serve their readers.
A chance to discover each other and find solutions together
It’s also the case that Christian communicators working in the same region (or even the same country) often do not know what the others are doing, or even that nearby colleagues exist. These publishers and writers may be looking to the West for solutions to their challenges when the answer might be found from a colleague literally next door.
Foster the building of partnerships and growth in excellence
Consequently, we are holding the regional conferences to provide a platform where key Christian communicators from the same region can build relationships and strengthen one another in publishing ministry.
For encouragement and strength in an often lonely ministry
Strengthened by a new sense of partnership in ministry, these publishers and writers will be encouraged to pursue excellence and to persevere in the often lonely task of Christian writing and publishing.
MAI-Africa Chair Rose Birenge captures our hope for the regional conferences when, describing LittAfrica 2023, she says, “We look forward to a beautiful conference, where new friendships will start, new book ideas will be formed and where a watering of the Christian publishing industry in Africa will happen so that the fruit is enjoyed by tomorrow’s generations.”
“We pray that participants will leave encouraged and on fire – not to keep their lamps hidden under bushels but to light them up wherever they go, as they encourage others in their local contexts. We pray that Africa will give back to the global literary world just as it has received in years gone by.”
Please pray for God’s guidance and provision for these training events. And, if you are a Christian publisher or writer in Europe, Africa or Asia, I invite you to participate at the corresponding training in your region. Contact us for more details.