I have prayed that God would open doors to publish in other nations.
About the time soviet communism fell in the early 1990s, I went to Kiev, Ukraine, twice and visited several churches. I saw with my own eyes how difficult the situation was spiritually, so I have a personal appreciation for the enormous church Sunday Adelaja has built there. To me, his story—that of a Nigerian who built a huge church in the former Soviet Union—is one of the most encouraging we’ve ever published in Charisma.
I traveled to the former Soviet Union a total of five times in the ’90s with the goal of publishing a version of Charisma in that part of the world. With the help of our readers, we successfully produced three issues.
But after some difficult problems we felt as if the Lord closed the door. Instead we focused on publishing Vida Cristiana, our Spanish magazine, which has just celebrated its 15th anniversary.
But the vision to publish around the world did not die. In fact, a large sign in our offices reminds my staff and me every day of our vision: proclaiming Jesus to the world. We do that through the books and magazines we currently publish. But I have prayed that God would open doors to publish in other nations.
Two years ago we were approached by Christians in the world’s largest Muslim country—Indonesia—about publishing Charisma Indonesia. We agreed they could use our name and content and helped train their staff. The Indonesian Christians who own the magazine just completed a successful first year.
Now the Lord is opening doors for Christians in other countries to follow the Indonesian model. They use our name, which is respected in Christian circles around the world, and publish content from our magazine, adding material specific to their nations. The foreign versions will reach people we could otherwise never reach, and they will build bridges as well as teaching and inspiring the larger body of Christ.
That is what I hope Charisma Africa will do beginning early in 2008. We have connections to help us publish in Africa, and large ministries have said they would stand with us. One ministry said that Nigeria alone would start with 100,000 copies.
We can only undertake the venture if partners like you will help. Much of the funding will come from churches in Africa, but we must make up the difference and pay for the first printing.
We can print and deliver one copy for 50 cents. That means a gift of $30 would pay for 60 copies. The first issue will include this month’s article on Sunday Adelaja.
Remember, this isn’t about publishing a magazine. It’s about impacting the church through the vehicle God has given us—a magazine that goes places other media don’t go. Few Africans have access to satellite TV, but many can get a copy of a magazine, which is inexpensive compared to other forms of media.
The church is booming in many parts of Africa, and quality Christian magazines are scarce. Now we can publish a magazine with articles from Charisma that are of interest to Africans along with original articles from African leaders and news pertinent to that area. Think of the lives directly affected by your gift!
God has opened a wonderful door to us. And the model we use in Africa may become the prototype for magazines in Russia, the Caribbean, China and the Arabic world, where discussions with leaders have already begun. But we need partners who believe in spreading the gospel through the printed page to stand with us. We can grow only as fast as donations come in.
Won’t you help us fill this need? I believe it will bring a wonderful harvest not only in your own life but also on the continent of Africa, where believers must often defend their faith from onslaughts of Islam and native religions. Every dollar you give will go to the Africa project and others to follow.
Send your tax-deductible gift to Charisma Africa Project, Christian Life Missions, P.O. Box 952248, Lake Mary, FL 32795-2248. Or, you can give online with a credit card at christianlife missions.org/charismaafricaproject. A gift of any size will help. May God bless you for your generosity.
Stephen Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. To read past columns in Charisma by Stephen Strang, log on at charismamag.com/strang.