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Southern Ghana Union Holds LE Convention 

by Michael Kwabena Lowas | Publishing Ministries Associate Director, Southern Ghana Union

The Southern Ghana Union held a Literature Evangelist (LE) Convention from November 19-23. The convention took place at Valley View University in metropolitan Accra, Ghana. This event was part of the West-Central Africa Division (WAD) strategy to hold zonal LE conventions to recruit more literature evangelists from all the unions in its territory. Abraham Obaya, WAD Publishing Ministries director, organized the vibrant and inspiring program that spiritually nurtured and equipped more than 150 colporteurs.

Literature evangelists, Publishing Ministries directors, and other church leaders attended from all 12 conferences of the Southern Ghana Union field. Also in attendance were representatives from Valley View University and two publishing houses, Safeliz and Stanborough Press. Almir Marroni, Publishing Ministries director of the General Conference, also attended.

A series of presentations, testimonies, and reports were shared with LEs to lift their spirits. Some of the areas covered include spirituality, current trends in sales, personal investment, LEs and health, and policy and retirement issues.

On Sabbath, Marroni presented a practical sermon about the feeding of the 5,000 to lift us up to burn the fire for the calling we have received. The closing exercises brought the curtain down on Sabbath evening. 

During this trip, Marroni had the opportunity to visit Advent Press, the publishing house of the West-Central Africa Division. This institution has been producing books in English and French for more than 80 years. Advent Press also prints books in three Ghanaian languages. 

We are grateful to God for His leading. We are also grateful to Publishing directors from the GC and WAD for their keen interest and leadership in Publishing Ministries. We are grateful to Advent Press and the other two publishing houses for their marvelous support of this event. We also thank the officers and leaders of the Southern Ghana Union and its fields for reviving Publishing Ministries in Ghana. Finally, thanks to the noble LEs and everyone else who supported this convention. To God be the glory for this wonderful meeting that took place.

Romanian Publishing House Celebrates 25 Years 

by Almir Marroni  | Publishing Ministries Director, General Conference
The Romanian Publishing House Viata Si Sanatate (Life and Health) celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary on November 16. The ceremony took place at the publishing house complex and was attended by more than 200 guests from Romania and other countries, including Moldava, Russia, Spain, and the United States.
Adventist publications started to be printed in Romanian in 1884 by the German Publishing House located in Hamburg, Germany. The first Adventist publishing house in Romania was established in 1920, after the organization of the Romanian Union. The printing house began to work in 1923.

During the communist regime, the Publishing program suffered restrictions and limitations. After the revolution, in 1989, the program was revived.
Today there are almost 67,000 church members in Romania. Viata Si Sanatate produces literature in Romanian and Hungarian, and the publications are distributed through 62 literature evangelists and 47 bookstores located in cities throughout the country.
Every year the publishing house produces 40 to 60 new titles. The most exciting projects developed for this coming year are the Adolescent Bible, a book about eye health, and a two-volume book about vegetarian nutrition, with more than 1,000 pages.

MENA Prints and Distributes Set of EGW Books  

by Almir Marroni  | Publishing Ministries Director, General Conference 

The entire set of Growing Together Project in Arabic was presented at the year-end meetings held on November 19 at the Middle East and North Africa Union (MENA) headquarters. The set consists of 12 Ellen G. White books that have been promoted with a special emphasis by the Ellen G. White Estate this quinquennium. Having these books translated and printed in Arabic is a very significant achievement reached by the MENA Literature Ministry Department. Praise God!

North Philippine Union Holds LE Convention

by Almir Marroni | Publishing Ministries Director, General Conference

The North Philippine Union held a Literature Evangelist Convention from October 24-26 at the Naga View Adventist College in Naga City, in northern Philippines. More than 300 literature evangelists and Publishing Ministries leaders attended the meetings coordinated by Mario Pallaya, North Philippine Union Publishing director, and Rey Cabañero, Southern Asia-Pacific Division Publishing director.

The Impossible Became Possible for Armenia and Georgia

by Ovik Mkhitaryan and Irina Dumbadze | Yerevan and Tbilisi Cities

Earlier this year Adventists in Armenia and Georgia went to the streets to distribute 120,000 copies of Steps to Christ. On Sabbath, September 14, a large crowd gathered at the Adventist Church in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, for a special service. Another event took place on September 15 at the Adventist Church in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. After receiving instruction, all people, both young and old, received a package containing several dozen books. Organized in groups, they went to different places in the city—parks, subway stations, squares, markets, and streets—to distribute the book. In general, people responded positively and readily accepted the gift. Some asked for books for their children and relatives.

Prior to going to the streets, church members and guests from Russia and Spain gathered in Yerevan to talk about this powerful book and historic project. Pavel Liberanskiy, Publishing Ministries director of the Euro-Asia Division, spoke about the history of Steps to Christ and the spiritual truths contained in the book. Thanks to this book, he said, thousands of people have turned to God. Mario Martinelli, Safeliz Publishing House president, urged members during his sermon to ask God for faith and courage, as Joshua did during his ministry. Sergio Mato, Safeliz business manager, presented convincing evidence of recent times that indicate the need for church members to continue preaching the gospel.  

Adventists in Armenia and Georgia had waited for this day for about a year. Until recently, this long-awaited dream seemed impossible, but it came to pass thanks to God's providence and the help of church organizations and donors from around the world.

Safeliz, in Spain, organized the project and had initially intended to print only 10,000 books in Armenian, but through faith, conviction, and inspiration, it sought and found sponsors who donated funds to print 120,000 books! Safeliz published 100,000 books in Armenian, and the South American Spanish Publishing House in Argentina printed 20,000 copies in Georgian. The books in both languages feature full-color illustrations.

We are grateful to leaders of the South American Division who made monetary donations, and to the publishing houses in Mexico and Inter-American Division that supported this project financially. Much work had to be done in preparing the book and obtaining special permits to import books into Georgia and Armenia. The work of clearing the goods was done by Ivan Chorney, Publishing Ministries director of the Trans-Caucasus Union of Churches, along with other local leaders. We are also grateful to Safeliz Publishing House and everyone who participated in this missionary project!

It is a great challenge to distribute so many books in conservative Orthodox countries, but we praise God for this opportunity. Time is running out, but where people cannot go, books will do the job. May Steps to Christ still reach thousands of people for God's kingdom!

Books on Beaches Lead to Baptisms  

by Saša Todoran  | Herceg Novi, Montenegro 

What can be more relaxing that sitting on a beach in a beautiful location with a good book? This is the reality for the many thousands who visit the Adriatic coast in Montenegro during the summer. Adventist Literature Evangelists (LEs) are providing that book.

Between June and August LEs sold more than 11,000 books to people on holiday who come from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and other former Yugoslav republics to enjoy the 73 kilometers of beaches along with plenty of historic towns and stunning countryside. 

The sales program is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing House in Belgrade, Serbia, as part of its outreach program to people across the South-East European Union Conference (SEEUC). LEs have achieved considerable success, particularly since books in Serbian are read and understood all across this region.

This is a positive achievement where the sale of religious books across Serbia and the SEEUC is generally in decline. However, drawing on eleven years of experience, the opportunities in summer holiday resorts are skyrocketing. Between
2008-2019 LEs have experienced a rise in sales on the beaches of Montenegro. The relaxed holiday conditions appear to make people much more open to buy and read books. An average of 15 LEs per day supply that need. 

While some of the books deal with health and psychology, most of the sales are religious books and those of life stories related to religion. Once the holiday makers return home, we hear from some pastors and local churches that as the books travel home with them, so does the desire to find out more about God. Some have started attending church events, begun studying the Bible, or even been baptized. We are grateful to God for each colporteur, and for every book that came into the hands of tourists. A seed planted on holiday can bear fruit at home. Plans are already in place for the 2020 holiday season.

This story was first published on the Trans-European Division news site.
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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 Director
Stephen Apola

Editor and Graphic Designer
Viviene Martinelli

Publishing Ministries  |  General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists  
12501 Old Columbia Pike  |  Silver Spring, MD 20904

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