“Our magazine goes where we cannot.” Maggie Gathuku has a vision to reach students in Kenya with the good news of Jesus. A decade ago as she and her husband, John, puzzled over how best to reach students, they landed on the idea of publishing a magazine. Neither had publishing experience, but they knew students and they knew the issues with which they dealt on a daily basis. And they had vision and determination.
The result was Timazi magazine, which is now distributed in schools throughout Kenya. “God has used the magazine to reach people we could never reach in person,” says Maggie. “There is power in the written word. There are timeless stories that point people to Jesus, preserved in written form.”
As they were preparing to launch the magazine, Maggie and John realized they needed specialized training. God led them to Magazine Training International and John attended an MTI training event in India in 2011. Afterwards, Maggie was able to access MTI’s online resources and seven years later when MTI offered training in Kenya, Maggie attended the intensive editing course.
“Through the training provided by Magazine Training International, I learned the art of editing, writing, and managing the editorial department,” says Maggie. “The in-person and online courses have been amazing. The connection to other publishers was also a gem. Please continue to train as many people as possible!”
“Magazines are hard work because of the periodical nature,” she says. “Consistency and predictability is everything to success. I’ve learned to always be at least two issues ahead and to find a pool of writers I can fall back on. God has provided what we need to publish.”
As a result of Maggie and John’s vision, young people in Kenya are running with the power of the good news of Jesus because of the relevant topics covered in Timazi magazine.
“Timazi has proven to have the right mix between being very faithful to Scripture and relevant to the context and culture of students in Kenyan schools,” says Reverend Daniel Odhiambo, a youth pastor in Kenya. “They boldly, attractively, and compellingly engage with contemporary issues affecting students.”
Timazi has been in publication for more than a decade, an impressive span, given how hard it is to sustain publishing over time. Maggie attributes their ability to keep going to God and his faithfulness.
“Every day is a faith story, truly,” says Maggie. “We are grateful because in addition to reaching students through schools, the magazine is used in churches and by parents at home, widening its audience. We also have other programs around the magazine that keep it alive and interactive. We are sustained by the grace of God, the love of friends, and the desire to see Jesus known by young people.”
by Carla Foote, Fine Print Editorial