The Power of Presence

John Maust reflects on the challenges facing Christian publishers

Göklan Talas and John MaustI’ve been thinking about Gökhan Talas’s tattoo.  “Here I am” reads the Hebrew text on his arm, quoting Moses’ response to God in Exodus 3:4.

As publisher of the only Christian magazine in volatile Turkey,  Gökhan perseveres in his work with the attitude toward God, “Here I am, and I'm not going anywhere.”  

Other MAI colleagues in hard places may not sport the tattoo.  But they demonstrate Gökhan’s same availability to God and steadfast service in the place where He has called them.

These behind-the-scenes heroes include men and women like Peter in Pakistan, Joanna in Burkina Faso, Haruo in Japan, Etienne in DR Congo, and Joseph in South Sudan. 

Somehow they keep publishing Good News for people who don't see much of it on a daily basis.  They show up for work each morning, despite  the dangers and drudgery, maybe remembering the Apostle Paul’s command to stand firm and let nothing move you.  MAI tries to help them persist and succeed through training and encouragement.

The weeks, months and years go by, and maybe they don't see many exciting results to lighten the burden.  But then one day they step back long enough to reflect on a life’s work, and remember a reader who found some light in the darkness, a bit of hope to carry on, or an open door to a personal relationship with Jesus.   And they know their labour in the Lord was not in vain.

Being available and being present make a powerful combination for longevity and impact in ministry of the published word.

Published with permission of Media Associates International (MAI).

Last modified: Friday, 19 July 2019, 10:31 AM