LittWorld 2015 and Wesleyan Resources for Romania
By Cristian Istrate
In 2013, the publishing teams of Bulgaria and Romania decided it was necessary to start a Wesleyan publishing operation. We currently do not have any books about the Methodism in Romanian, except for a short one we printed for our church in 2012. We don't even have a complete biography of John Wesley.
Here in Sibiu, Romania, we felt that alongside church planting, God has also given us the vision to open a publishing operation that will:
- inform Romanian people about our values,
- present John Wesley, the man and his mission,
- contribute a Wesleyan perspective to our understanding of Christian doctrine,
- translate and publish the premier resource of John Wesley’s sermons.
To help this dream come to life Discipleship Resources International (DRI) came along to help. The mission of DRI (a ministry of Discipleship Ministries) is to launch, build, & sustain teams dedicated to making discipleship resources available, affordable and appropriate for ministry in local contexts.
I first met the Rev. Stephen Bryant, the director of DRI, in 2013 and we discussed about our desire to start publishing Wesleyan resources in Romania.
At the invitation of DRI, I was able to attend LittWorld (a training offered by Media Associates International) this past week in Singapore. The theme of the international training conference was “Reaching Your Reader.” Nearly 300 participants gathered from 51 nations to receive intensive training in strategic, publishing-related topics from the world’s leading Christian publishers and communicators. Each workshop allowed persons to hone their skills through hands-on training and critique from professionals and to glean new ideas for improving your writing, designing and publishing.
20 members of the DRI team also discussed what it mans to produce Wesleyan resources in our home countries in a sustainable way. There where representative from African countries and the Philippines. I was the only representative from ex-communist bloc (East Europe).
The good news for Romania is that we decided to publish the first biography of John Wesley next year. We will plan a national event to launch the book in the bookstores of Romania. In this way the fresh United Methodist Church of Romania will gain more visibility. Right now we are in a shadow; we are a small church between the giants of the Orthodox faith (98%), Greek Catholics and small (1%) evangelical church.
In the end I want to offer special thanks to DRI leaders. Thank you for listening to my cry to have "something" about our Methodist faith in Romania. May God bless you and I am sure this initiative will bear much fruit.