“What sustains me first and foremost is my desire to serve, my passion for writing, and the motivation to serve God by sharing the Gospel in any way possible,” says Kasereka Sindani Gédéon with BALAFON magazine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Gédéon’s vision for BALAFON magazine is to make the Gospel heard.
One of the difficulties the BALAFON staff face is insufficient funding. They are all volunteers, so they must go out in the field, collect stories, and find an Internet connection on their own.
Despite the challenges, Gédéon presses forward. He discovered Magazine Training International (MTI) in 2022, when he attended the “Write Powerful Stories” online course. Since then, he attended other MTI training opportunities including live workshops and additional online courses in 2023.
“As a person passionate about literature,” he says, “the opportunity to join the online course interested me. While I was registering, I realized that the course required payment. I couldn’t pay it. I was discouraged and had no choice but to forget the offer.
“The next day, I received a message that there was someone willing to pay my costs. An unparalleled joy took hold of me and the enthusiasm to be able to start the course.”
“For me it was a pleasure to complete this learning journey all the way through because I needed it so much,” he says. “These trainings gave me a different insight into how to collect stories, edit, and publish them. I also understand that publication is a job that must be done delicately to give readers a taste and thus make them glued to the magazine.”
BALAFON magazine is affiliated with GBUAF (a Biblical university for French-speaking Africa). The magazine staff members are spread throughout different cities but share the same values and motivation.
“We encourage each other to move forward in this work,” says Gédéon. “And every time there’s a new issue, you can see the joy on everyone’s faces.”
“In the DRC, we have almost no Christian magazines,” he says. “But, I hope one day we will have more. Young Africans are not good readers, but with the methods learned from MTI we dare to believe that the taste will be inspired among Christians to read our magazines.”
“The publication of Christian magazines is very important given the need on the ground,” says Gédéon. “I hope that if we train more writers, we will be able to influence Africa through their publications. Many people have things to give, but the majority do not know that writing is an effective way to convey a message, which is why we must increase awareness at all levels while mobilizing writers.”
by Jennifer Howard, Magazine Training International