Even a pandemic can’t hinder a heart that is willing to serve. Brenda Coffman has served others as a volunteer for more than 45 years. When COVID-19 made it impossible for her to physically volunteer as a tutor and serve at a food bank, she decided to write encouraging notes instead.
“I have been blessed with incredible opportunities to mentor folks needing education, to help feed hungry families, find shelter for the homeless, and assist with other needs,” Brenda says. “And I can guarantee that helping others is a genuine blessing to me.”
Her faithfulness over the years has been a blessing to many, including Magazine Training International (MTI).
Brenda and her husband, Roy Coffman, volunteered with MTI for the first time in Poland in 1994. At that point in his publishing career, Roy was instrumental in growing Christianity Today from a small publication to a thriving organization with scores of employees publishing multiple magazines. As a Christian publishing professional he was thrilled to be able to help Christians in newly-opened Eastern European countries learn the business side of publishing magazines. Brenda was busy, as well, helping MTI’s small staff handle conference logistics.
“It was a wonderful blessing to meet all the attendees and to help with registration and opening worship times,” says Brenda.
Throughout Roy’s publishing career, Brenda served as both an employee and as a volunteer–proofreading and selling ads. She often traveled with Roy, which gave her the opportunity to meet other Christian publishing professionals.
“Publishing Christian magazines is a worthy challenge,” Brenda says, “but, even more important, is the opportunity to show friends that God loves them and so do we. I know many of the folks involved, their sincerity and love for God and his children, their love for magazines as a way of reaching others, and their desire for serving Christ in this way.”
In 2011–after Roy unexpectedly passed away and 17 years after her first MTI conference–Brenda heard MTI was going to India to train publishers. Brenda and Roy had traveled to many places around the world, but they had never been to India.
“Once you’ve been involved with a ministry like this,” says Brenda, “it is hard to pull away from it. It is easy to see the face of Christ in every person we meet.”
Brenda again volunteered to serve with MTI coordinating event logistics. “It was a wonderful, fulfilling time meeting new friends from Asia, Africa, and wherever.”
Brenda’s faithfulness to God is evident in her continued service to others.
“I continue to pray for MTI–knowing how it was started and the expertise, prayer, and wisdom that supports it,” says Brenda. “I will continue to share what I know of MTI’s ministry and encourage others to get involved.”
By Jolene Robinson, Magazine Training International