I thought I would share with you the “behind the scene” story of how our most recent literature project was birthed.
On April 2nd, our National WM President, Sister Wati, was sharing with me her burden for the women she visits in her travels. She has such a heart to help other women grow in faith. After several cancelled attempts, the very first National WM Conference of the Assemblies of God was going to be held in Port Vila in May. She had heard that the women from many surrounding islands and provinces were excited and arranging boat travel to the conference. Reports were coming in of groups of 30, 50 and even 80 women being organized from islands and churches around the country to attend the conference.
The next morning was a Sunday and I awoke with a very firm conviction that I should prepare a book in Bislama dealing with some of the issues Sister Wati had shared with me and that it should be handed out at the 1st National WM conference starting on May 15. Now if you know me, you know that I am not a morning person and I do not wake up quite so focused!
As I was getting ready for church that morning, I kept wondering how I would ever find the time to translate or write such a book in a month! I teach at the Bible school, homeschool my kids, oversee campus renovation projects and was already feeling tired and overcommitted. After Sunday school that morning, Jasmine was sick and running a high fever so she came home and I stayed with her while Gary and Jeremy went back to church. I realized that “time” had just been handed to me so I hit my files and started looking at articles for book ideas. Next I started unpacking boxes of books on women’s issues looking for something to get me started. Within an hour I had a book in hand, “A Wife After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George and started working. I ended up working at the computer for 15 hours that day and whenever I could during the next three weeks. 108 hours of computer work and a few headaches later, I had a 48 page booklet ready for the printer.
Of course, you cannot use someone else’s words without permission so I also began the process of requesting permission from Harvest House Publishers to excerpt and translate into Bislama parts of the first 5 chapters of Elizabeth George’s book. For a reasonable fee, they gave me permission for one print run with a maximum of 3,000 copies. I was quite relieved when the print contract was signed and mailed back to the publisher as I had already spent many hours working on the Bislama text.
I was working on such a tight deadline, that I finished the book and started proof reading it the weekend before the Monday the printer was expecting to receive it. As you know, the person who writes or translates such a long document needs to have at least one other set of eyes to correct it. Renee Webb, our missionary colleague up north, willingly proofed the whole booklet the night before I gave it to the printer and this gave me great peace of mind.
Now none of this would have been possible if I hadn’t had US$4000.00 of Light For The Lost (LFTL) funds already on hand. The local printer crunched the numbers trying to get me as many copies of the booklet as he could within my budget (and the dropping value of the US dollar didn’t help). The paper for the cover kept pushing me over my budget, until he finally said, “I think I have some paper on hand for the cover which you can have for free if you like it.” The paper had been sent to him by mistake for another job and was sitting on a shelf. So we went back into the print shop and he showed me a bright glossy lemon yellow card stock, not quite what I had envisioned but very good quality paper, free of charge and just the quantity needed! With the cover paper donated I was able to order 2000 copies of the book! The printer had 14 days to produce the books for us in time to hand them out during the conference! When I gave an afternoon lecture on marriage at the conference on Tuesday, May 17th almost 1000 books were handed out to the ladies but that is another story!!
I want to thank my family for putting up with all my extra computer hours during the month of April and much thanks also to Harvest House Publishers for allowing me to excerpt and translate the book, Renee Webb for proofreading, Mr. Michel Pioger, the owner of the Imprimerie de Port Vila (IPV) printers for the free cover page and great print job and all the wonderful LFTL partners who gave in 2010 so we could print one of the first Christian living books just for women in the Bislama language!