What a joy to celebrate! The magazine is complete!
Late in August, the South Africa office in Cape Town asked our regional office in Johannesburg to oversee creating the next issue of their magazine. The colleague who has been doing it for years was departing, and they still haven’t filled my old role there. Moreover, they wanted the design to be updated, and this seemed an ideal time. Would we be willing, and would it be possible to complete it in time to send out by November 15? Printing, stuffing and mailing preparation would require a few weeks, so I would need to be done by Oct. 24.
Learn the computer program. Arrange, obtain, write and edit the content and all images. Design the pages and ensure it’s all error-free. Do most of that by myself. For the first time. In two months. “Yes!” but also “Yowza!”
So for the past five and a half weeks, I’ve been living at my computer. Workday? Do the magazine. Meetings? On the magazine. Insomnia? Might as well go down and do the magazine. Helping my elderly parents for the weekend? Take the laptop, and work on the magazine while they’re napping. With a deadline so ambitious, I’ve spent every moment I could muster on this. I’ve pushed late into almost every night to ensure that when my Cape Town colleagues arrived at the office by 9 a.m. (3 a.m. for me), they would have the absolute most they could to work with, consider, and redirect, as they leave the office around 11 a.m. for me.
I’ve been so busy that despite having many joyful things to tell our supporters, I haven’t been able to make time to share more than a few scattered Facebook updates to keep the prayers coming.
It’s been a joy and a very satisfying opportunity to make some long overdue changes and updates, but it has also been an enormous challenge. Earlier this morning, I finally completed the magazine and held a printed, cut-to-size facsimile in my hand. Three years of ideas and dreaming and hoping and a little over a month of fervent effort finally real and tangible and present. It’s not really finished (it’s complete (all there) but still has to be finessed and approved and adjusted) and my printer doesn’t reach the same quality that the real copies will have (the colors are duller, the paper rougher, the text and images aren’t as crisp), but I’ve never held a product I was more pleased by or prouder of making.
God blesses each of us with different talents, skills, knowledge, and abilities, but there’s nothing that can’t be offered up to Him as a gift of service. The ministry I am able to perform from here contributes vitally to the work happening around the world by sharing the good news of what God is doing in and through lives and ministries. The Lord deserves our very best work, and I’m pleased to say that this magazine represents that. It looks professional, even beautiful, and it tells of beautiful things being done around the world in His name.