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Pathfinders Distribute 100,000 Missionary Books

by Willie Oliver | Family Ministries Director, General Conference

Why did the General Conference director of Family Ministries attend the South American Division’s (SAD) Pathfinder Camporee? I'm glad you asked. During the camporee, on Thursday, January 10, pathfinders distributed copies of our recent book, Hope for Today’s Families, which is the 2019 World Missionary Book of the Year.

The book they distributed was a special issue with a specific cover created just for the camporee. Pathfinders distributed 100,000 books, a fraction of the 22 million copies the SAD plans to distribute in the eight countries that make up their territory by May 19, 2019, their division-wide distribution day. Already plans are in place to distribute 40 to 50 million copies of this book in 30 to 40 languages around the world. Please keep this initiative in prayer and join the movement by planning to share this book with people within your sphere of influence.

Pictured above with pathfinders in Brazil are Family Ministries directors from the General Conference, Willie Oliver (white shirt), and Alacy Barbosa (black shirt), from the South American Division. Together the pathfinders distributed 100,000 copies of the missionary book. 

East Central Africa Division Holds LE Congress  

by Stephen Apola | Publishing Ministries Associate Director, General Conference

More than 600 literature evangelists (LEs) and retirees from eight countries came together at the University of Eastern Africa Baraton (UEAB), in Kenya, for a division-wide East-Central Africa Division (ECD) LE congress. 
The congress, which took place December 18-23, 2018, celebrated the achievements of LEs from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Burundi. The ECD and world Publishing Ministries leaders celebrated and commended the literature evangelists’ soul winning and professional achievements, as well as their excellent performance and years of service. LEs shared encouraging and moving testimonies of God’s calling and provision in the ministry. 

The theme of the congress, “The Role of Publishing Ministries in the Context of the End Time Messages,” focused on issues, challenges, and ways to minister to those who live in the twenty-first century. Keynote speaker, Mario Martinelli, Safeliz Publishing House president, presented humorous, inspiring, and encouraging messages from the book of Joshua, encouraging everyone to be strong and courageous. He encouraged LEs to work hard and tirelessly, even in difficult circumstances, because the Lord has already provided for them.
Other presenters included Vivencio Bermudez, Publishing Ministries director from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and General Conference Publishing Ministries leaders Almir Marroni, director, and Stephen Apola, associate director. Other guests included publishing house leaders from the Africa Herald, Ufunuo, Stanborough, and Safeliz publishing houses, as well as representatives from the ECD, its union and conference leaders, and department directors. 
UEAB's vice chancellor, Philip Maiyo, welcomed LEs and encouraged them to make UEAB their home and university of choice.
The ECD territory covers 11 countries with a church membership of more than 4 million, and has approximately 6,000 full-time, part-time and student literature evangelists. In 2018 they visited more than 2 million homes, resulting in more than 25,000 baptisms.

Literature evangelists who attended the East-Central Africa Division LE congress sing in Swahili: "Look, look, look, the Lord's work is advancing forward!"

Bermudez Retires from Publishing Ministries  

by Stephen Apola | Publishing Ministries Associate Director, General Conference

The Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) honored Vivencio Bermudez in appreciation and recognition of his 47 years of dedicated service to God and the gospel work in the division as Publishing Ministries director and Spirit of Prophecy coordinator. The award was presented to Bermudez during the division’s year-end committee in November 2018.  
Bermudez was born into a Catholic family. As an altar boy in 1969, he was converted to Adventism after reading a copy of the New Testament Bible shared by a Baptist friend. Three years later, he became a literature evangelist (LE), then worked as a credentialed LE for two years in the former Southern Philippine Union Mission.  
Starting in 1974, he served in various capacities in the local field and union, including as an assistant leader for student LEs, assistant Publishing Ministries director of the local mission, mission Publishing Ministries and Communication director, and as dean and instructor of the union's Literature Ministry Seminary.
From 2000-2005 he served as an associate Publishing Ministries director of the SSD and later as director and Spirit of Prophecy coordinator. He served in this capacity for 12 years, from 2006 until 2018.
An ordained minister, Bermudez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management and marketing, and a master's degree in pastoral theology from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (Cavite, Philippines). He is married to Elva Ramos Bermudez and they are blessed with three adult children.

Change of SSD Publishing Leadership 

by Stephen Apola | Publishing Ministries Associate Director, General Conference

Publishing Ministries in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) is under new leadership effective January 2019. Rey Dabalos Cabañero has taken over leadership at the division from Vivencio Bermudez, who retired in December 2018.
Rey (53), an ordained minister, was born in Davao City, Philippines, into a Catholic family. He became a Seventh-day Adventist at the age of 17 and immediately started working as a literature evangelist. While pursuing his studies he became a student leader, then was hired as an assistant Publishing Ministries director, and then served as an associate director for 15 years. He has also served as a Literature Ministry Seminary dean and instructor for four years. Before he was called to the division, he served as the South Philippine Union Conference associate Publishing Ministries director and then as director from 2010 until last year. He brings a wealth of experience into the department.
In the above photo, taken in 2017, Rey is pictured with his wife and partner in ministry of 28 years, Jiomema Maestral Cabañero, and their three children.  

New Year Reflection 

by Almir Marroni | Publishing Ministries Director, General Conference

A new year is a time for dreams and resolutions. It’s also a time to reflect. Looking back at 2018 we praise the Lord for His guidance in the task of promoting literature production and distribution around the globe.
Last year at the Tri-Division Publishing Workshops held in four world regions, we spent time talking about the challenges and opportunities to grow our army of LEs and our sales. We also discussed the importance of inspiring the church to use literature as part of its weekly missionary activities.
Although many might think that literature evangelism is out of date, we can confidently state that more than 30 million people were touched by LEs last year. And let’s not forget that this is a "personal contact" missionary work. As far as its potential for reaching people, literature evangelism is still powerful! In some parts of the world it continues to grow. In other places, such as large cities, our challenges regarding the appropriate approaches and methods continue.
As Publishing Ministries leaders, we are not called to rationalize the difficulty in selling books. God calls us to prayerfully search for methods that will work. I’m absolutely confident that He has many potential regular and student LEs in our churches just waiting to be called, trained, encouraged, and assisted in the work. Our duty is to present the call and provide the basic structure to run the ministry.
Our challenge is to keep encouraging church members to share literature as part of their mission involvement. Last year church members distributed approximately 40 million missionary books. We aim to grow this number in 2019.
Finally, thank you all for your leadership and passion. Our church needs passionate Publishing leaders! If we don’t persist by talking, preaching, and encouraging people to share literature, who will?
May the Lord enrich your ministry with abundant blessings.
Happy 2019!

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Publishing Digest aims to communicate literature evangelism news with Adventists around the world.
Its target audience is church administrators, publishing leaders, literature evangelists, and other readers. 

Almir Marroni

Associate Directors
Stephen Apola
Wilmar Hirle

Editor and Graphic Designer
Viviene Martinelli

Publishing Ministries  |  General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists  
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