This picture, although out of focus, captures the joy of a young Hispanic girl receiving her very own copy of Resplandece, a Spanish language children’s story Bible.
This beautiful, full color book was developed by MennoMedia partnering with Brethren Press for use with the new Anabaptist Sunday school curriculum Shine. The children’s Bible storybook is also useful as a standalone piece for parents and grandparents who want to read Bible stories to their elementary aged children and grandchildren.
However, the Shine Sunday school materials, from which Resplandece was derived, would not have been possible without the financial support we received from many churches and individuals. Once Shine On, the English version of the children’s Bible storybook, was available, a grant from the Schowalter Foundation of Kansas paid for its translation from English into Spanish. Shine On in English became Resplandece in Spanish. Yet, even that may not have been enough for this young girl, who is a part of the Iglesia de Evangelico Completo Alpha y Omega congregation in Gaithersburg, MD to receive her personal copy.
Thanks to a $2,000 grant from of the Mission Endowment Fund of Virginia, we were able to purchase 100 copies of Resplandece for distribution to the Spanish speaking Mennonite churches of Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC). I went through VMC’s District Ministers to distribute these books to congregations within their area of responsibility. Alpha Y Omega, a congregation in Gaithersburg, received 24 copies of Resplandece, enough for one for each family with elementary-aged children.
Luke Schrock Hurst, District Minister for Potomac District, delivered the children’s story Bibles and was present on a Sunday morning when they were given to the children. Luke, who speaks Spanish fluently, served with MCC in Central America and the Philippines. Potomac District is the most diverse cluster of churches in VMC with messages preached in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean every week.
The other VMC churches which received copies of Resplandece purchased with money granted by the Mission Endowment Fund grant are all located in Harrisonburg. They are: Harrisonburg Mennonite Church who will deliver the 30 books they received to a sister church in Nicaragua, Iglesia Discipular Anabaptista, Iglesia Enciende una Luz, Manantial de Vida, and Immanuel Mennonite Church.
Another individual MennoMedia donor and a family foundation will make it possible for MennoMedia to give away some more copies of Resplandece to native Spanish speakers who attend Mennonite World Conference, July 21-26, in Harrisburg, PA this summer.
The distribution of free copies of Resplandece is but one example of how MennoMedia is using financial gifts entrusted to our care.
The world needs the fresh, alternative perspective offered by Mennonites and Anabaptists. Primarily through books and Christian formation series like Shine and VBS, but also through DVDs and on the web, MennoMedia’s products not only shape the Mennonite Church in the US and Canada, they influence those seeking a deeper, more holistic faith. MennoMedia faitfully projects Anabaptist thought into the marketplace of ideas.
However, that marketplace is crowded, highly competitive and rapidly changing. MennoMedia needs your support to accomplish its mission. Many of the products we produce, although crucial, are not profitable. We strive to generate 90% of our operating income through sales of our products. We rely on individuals, churches and foundations to make up the difference by supporting this ministry financially.
A gift to MennoMedia helps ensure the church receives the resources it needs from a distinctly Anabaptist perspective at an affordable price. It also helps extend Anabaptist thought into the broader culture, thus drawing disciples to Jesus and his way of peace.
Your gift helps sustain our ministry of publishing and proclaiming words which are sorely needed, not only by the church but, by the world.
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If you can’t contribute now, you can share in other ways–such as sharing this “good news” blog post with your friends online so more will see it and share it. Thank you for the many ways you help carry out this mission!
Blessings in your work, worship and witness,