Well, actually it was Asian Center for Missions who published it–I just coordinated the efforts and designed it. It was a great but sometimes arduous ride. Publishing a book is really not for the faint of heart. But once you see it, smell it and feel it. You will find it all worthwhile. At least, that was what I felt.
This book, Voices in the Wilderness, is actually a labor of love for many people. It is a compilation of five stories culled from the life of six missionaries and their families. This tome was written for the Asian Center for Missions by Ms. Nena C. Benigno. She is the daughter of the late Teddy Benigno. The stories in it and how it was written was really an adventure, a 5-year adventure.
The concept for the book started as an off-shoot of ACM’s 10th year anniversary. Back then, the idea came to write a book based on the loves of ACM’s missionary training program graduates who were now living their calling in foreign lands.
Nena went to Thailand, China, Vietnam and as far as Africa to see first-hand the experiences of ACM’s graduates and how their lives are making an eternal impact in the lives of the people they work with.
I actually began designing and laying out the inside of the book less than three months ago. The book cover was designed by freelance graphic Dodie Garcia. I already had an idea how the book would look like, what it would be composed of. Nena emailed me manuscripts one-by-one. I then started proofreading it. I started with the Africa piece. Its a whirlwind. Nena told the story like a veteran novelist would. This was her first book by the way.
I was convinced that I was holding something special. I was holding a manuscript that could one day be read by someone who will be initiated to his calling for mission work. I could not keep my self from finishing that first story. It probably took me around two hours to finish it, well into the night. I knew that the efforts I would be putting into this book would be well worth it.
Then came the second. This was story of a graduate who is ministering in China. I could not put it down. I was captivated by how it was written. The third story I read was different. I was crying reading the story of two ladies who went to minister to the Karens in the Thai-Myanamr border. I am amazed at how God used them, especially with the kids. I’ve probably read their story three times already and each time, I was moved to tears–even commuting to the office. I had to keep myself from weeping. If there would be ant cause for you to part with your hard-earned money, it should be to support a missionary in the harvest field.
The next two, the stories from a graduate in Thailand and Vietnam, were not that as dramatic but they were equally amazing–how God used them whatever the circumstance may be. You will clearly see the hand of God in their lives.
After reading this book, I could not help but have a greater admiration for missionaries. They have really sacrificed life, limb and comfort just to tell others about Jesus. Even to some (or many) that have not even heard of Him!
I learned also from the CEO of Church Strengthening Ministries, they printed this book, that this is the first book that have featured Filipino missionaries this way. I’m glad I had a part it in. It was truly an honor.
I have that for those of you that will read this, that you may take the effort to buy the book, read it in its entirety and become part of special army that will pray for missionaries and the Great Commission and to support it in any way you can–by giving, or by going on special trips to visit and encourage missionaries in the field.
For more information, you can contact Asian Center for Missions at +632 840-0975 and 810-5381 or visit www.acmnet.org.