Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Taking a Risk

What If … God seems to be prompting you to do something that is way beyond your current ‘pay grade’! Can you step out in faith without ending up in a horrible mess? My friends Daniella and Svetlana would say ‘Yes! Absolutely!’

There were all sorts of reasons why, humanly speaking , it was not a good idea to start a woman’s magazine in a post communist country, in the late 1990’s. At that time Christians in Bulgaria, were often poor and there were virtually no book shops in which to sell a magazine. Everything would have to be done by subscription through the churches, but this was a risky strategy, because culturally people weren’t used to subscribing. The communist years had left a legacy of distrust in authorities; why would you give money for something you might never receive? Would women take that step of trust, with the little money they had? And who would write the articles? Apart from Daniella, who could do the editing, they knew of no Bulgarian Christian writers. So they would have to find suitable articles from Christian magazines in the West, and get permission to translate them.

Despite all these difficulties these two brave women inched their way forward as God opened one door after another. Other editors did give them permission to use their articles initially. They were both able to attend Media Associates Littworld conference [ ] in England, where editors, writers and publishers from all over the world came together to learn how to produce literature for their own cultures.

In the bookshop at the conference centre, they discovered a book by Joyce Chaplin, a former ‘literature missionary’ who had created a Christian publishing house in Ghana , and trained local writers to write for it. Daniella and Svetlana took her ‘Christian Writers Club’ home with them, translated it into Bulgarian, and set about training a group of a dozen women who loved the idea of writing for Leah, but had no idea how to do it. Little by little these fledgling writers gained skills and confidence, others went through the training process, and now, after ten years, the quarterly magazine is entirely written by local contributors.

What was their secret? They believed that they had heard God speak, they took one step at a time, and in spite of Daniella’s serious illness, the challenge of getting women to commit their money, and a steep learning curve for all involved, Leah has changed the lives of many many women. And the next challenge? A Leah Library of Bulgarian authored books for women so that they can grow and flourish as Christians.

What are you hesitating over today? I love the quote about commitment that urges us to just take that step and see what happens.

‘Until one is COMMITTED there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth – that the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise not have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, BEGIN IT.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.


  1. Marion, you are right. The need for Christian magazine for women was there and the Lord used a few brave people to meet it. Thank you for being one of them. Leah, the magazine for Christian women, is a precious gift to us. Our lives have been changed by it.
    Nadia Ianakieva (the "cover girl" for the first issue)

    1. Nadia, Leah is my extra grandchild. What a privilege to be able to touch even one life for God - investing in something that will last for ever.

  2. This is very inspiring and shows what can be done if we hear from God and act on what he says. Thanks for sharing this, Marion.

    1. Thank you. The real challenge is 'In what way would the world be different if we obeyed those little promptings more often?' Someone has said that if 10% of people in a town or city is changed, the whole atmosphere is impacted. Do you have a story to share?