Q. Newspapers have been around for a while, what's different about Challenge?
A. Our vision statement: "Communicating Christ through the printed page."
Challenge Literature Fellowship is a non-profit, mission organisation. We publish an evangelistic newspaper to encourage and help Christians to share their faith regularly and to give readers the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ. The paper is specifically written for the non-Christian with the view of making Jesus Christ their Saviour known through people's person testimonies of their journey to finding Christ and how their lives have been transformed.
Q. How international is Challenge?
A. Challenge is distributed in Australia, South Africa, Special prison edition for South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, USA English, USA Hispanic, Argentina, Bermuda, Bahamas, Nasau and the Dominican Republic.
Some editions are monthly, some are bi-monthly and some are quarterly. We would love to see every edition being able to be produced monthly.
Q. How did it all start?
A. Challenge Literature Fellowship was founded by Eric Evans in the late 1970s. Eric became a lay-preacher, always on the lookout for suitable material to take on door-to-door visitation. Eric was inspired by a verse from Habakkuk 2:2,3 "And the LORD answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end - it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." It commenced in a garage in Perth Western Australia and the Lord has seen fit to bless this work over many years and to see it become an international paper.
Q. Give some examples of feedback and response to the paper
A. I received the following e-mail last week from the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Malawi. I showed him the first edition and this was his reply.
I do hope that this will encourage you and give you all the confidence you need to press on for the future because your efforts are bearing fruit in Malawi:
"Going through the newspaper, I could not believe it that Christians can produce a paper of high quality like this. Congratulations for this job. This Christian Newspaper is tackling topical issues for Christians today. I like its layout and its stance that there is good news."
With the warmest greetings in Our Saviour,
Greetings again in the Name of the Lord Jesus. We bless the Lord yet for another print run of Challenge entitled NO LONGER A FAILURE. The great heading took residence of Nakuru by storm yesterday as people rushed to get a copy of the paper. During this distribution 20 people came to accept the Lord Jesus. We prayed for many people and 3 got healed, many got encouraged.. We are trusting the Lord for 30,000 copies per two months (now achieved) but our vision is a target of 100,000 copies.
In God's service,
Peace Makers Fellowship - Kenya
I am a retired UCA minister who works in the prison system mainly as a Prison fellowship volunteer. I also do a monthly communion with prisoners under the banner of the chaplaincy department.
I work at Labour Prison where 1300 prisoners are currently located. I have many opportunities to encourage Christians on the inside, and assist them to engage in creative evangelism to other prisoners.
Your Challenge newspaper is used very effectively in the above ministries. I am constantly handing them to prisoners as a tool of evangelism where suitable. Following a recent Holy Communion that I conducted a prisoner prayed for a young fellow prisoner whose life is being screwed up with anger and hatred.
I gave him two Challenge magazines, one for himself and one for his mate (drawing attention to the Boyzone 'Bad boys' story)Grace and Peace
Allan George - Australia
Q. What are you current plans for expansion?
A. India - please pray for the first edition being printed in March that the print run will go smoothly and that the paper will be received well. Pray for Destiny communications (part of AEF) which incorporates the Challenge paper. Initial distribution will be to Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Mumbai (Bombay) with these 3 cities having a combined population of approx. 30 million people. The first print total will be 50,000 and Sheldon Samuel, CEO of Destiny Communications in India, would like to have a minimum of 300,000 papers by year's end.
South/Central America and Mexico - what an amazing opportunity! The Lord has presented to Challenge and to the many faithful who support the work both financially and prayerfully. At the Word of Life conference held in December, Carl Carmody was able to present the work of Challenge to all the overseas folk working in all the countries in this region. There is now an opportunity for the Challenge paper to be used by Word of Life ministries as a primary outreach tool in every country in each of these areas.
Brazil - With a population of 220 million, we are excited about, Lord-willing, commencing the printing of the Challenge paper in May/June 2009. It will be in Portuguese.
New Zealand - The paper has been previously used in New Zealand and we are trusting the Lord that this door may be once again opened to us.
Q. What is the biggest challenge for Challenge?
A. Kenya, Paul Dondoh - Paul will be travelling through Australia in February and March to promote the work of Peace Makers Fellowship (PMF) in Kenya and the exceptional results being seen through the distribution of the Challenge paper. Distribution has doubled to 30,000 papers bi-monthly. Challenge and PMF are praying that the print run will be able to increase to 100 000 copies. They also need Bibles, bikes and scooters to use in the distribution of the paper.
Zambia - will be receiving their own edition commencing this year with an initial print of 20 000 copies.
Zimbabwe - desperately needs to increase their print run. Multi-Ministries Zimbabwe director Jabulani Mudenda says the current 30,000 copies bi-monthly are all gone within 1-2 days! The difficulties currently being faced in Zimbabwe present wonderful opportunities to present the gospel to all people.
Malawi - Despite a recent print run increase from 10 to 20,000 copies, Malawi's Challenge committee leader Jonathan Newell reports they are still desperately short of the number of papers they would like to be distributing.
As you can see the greatest challenge that we currently face is the ability to provide the Challenge paper in the quantities required to meet the demand of the people. It is a wonderful encouragement to us to see the Lord bless the paper in the way that He has and the Challenge papers has been a very effective tool and seen many come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. The harvest fields are ripe and to be able to share the good news of the gospel through the printed page we require additional funding to make this a reality.
Q. How can folk get involved?
A. As with any mission organisation we have many needs but the primary one is Support.
Firstly - We need prayerful support. If the Lord is in it it will succeed but if He is not it is destined to failure. We want to know that the Lord is directing the steps of Challenge and opening the doors. Challenge do not want to rush ahead of what the Lord has planned for this work but equally we do not want to walk when we have been called to run. We need prayer for the content of the paper that it is honouring to the Lord. Pray for those who produce the paper and for those who use and faithfully distribute the paper. Possibly the greatest need for prayer is for those who read the paper, that God through His Holy Spirit would convict them and call them into a personal relationship with Himself.
Secondly - Financial support. As a mission organisation we rely on the faithful believers to support the work. The Lord has many faithful who have supported the work over many years. The issue we now face is the demand for the paper greatly outstrips our ability to be able to fund the paper into the poorer nations. The need is great.
Thirdly - Get on board. You can use the paper to reach into homes that you may never be invited into. The Challenge paper can be used personally by passing onto friends and family. Many churches are taking an adopt a block outlook, where people in the church commit to distributing the paper around their local block, apartments or retirement village. They may also work in other locations. The paper is also being very successfully distributed through stands in local shops or shopping centres, waiting rooms, Laundromats, hospitals and the likes. Make an impact for Christ in your area, share the hope you have in Christ and the Challenge Good News Paper may be a great tool for you to use right where you are. Yes you can make a difference.
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