In March I went on a Christian Writer’s Conference hosted by A Rocha and MAI. It was a turning point for me as a writer as I came to realize that, in God’s hands, my writing can be a tool to reach others with His message of love and salvation. This was where I heard about MAI’s writing contest with the theme “Blogging for Global Impact.” There were several question prompts to kick off your 300 word entry, one of which was “Why is it important that more Christian authors in your country write and get published?”

This is my entry called “South Africa’s Big Five.”

My country, South Africa, is known for many noteworthy things: – the dignity of leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu; our smooth transition to democracy; majestic mountains; glorious beaches; and our “Big Five” wildlife.

Yet, South Africa has another “Big Five” stalking us, seeking to devour our beautiful land—the crises of HIV/Aids, Poverty, Unemployment, Crime and Corruption. Just one look into the eyes of an orphaned child or a destitute woman begging at a traffic light, and one sees the effect of these calamities on individual lives. Daily they cast people into the darkness of sorrow, despondency and fear.

South Africa is in desperate need of light. John points to Jesus as this light when he says: “The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:4)

There are many ways to bring Jesus’ light to people’s lives, and one of these is through the written word. Psalm 96:3 instructs us to: “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvellous deeds among all peoples.” The Hebrew word for ‘declare’ is more fully translated as “to recount or inscribe,” and this latter meaning comes across wonderfully in the New Living Translation which reads: “Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.”

It is important that Christian authors in South Africa write about the glorious light of Jesus, and publishers distribute this writing. If every one of these God-glorifying articles, poems, short stories, devotions, autobiographies, bible studies or novels can cast a little of Jesus’ light into our country, imagine their impact as a whole. Surely—through this tool of words—God’s light can blaze ever more brightly into the darkness of people’s lives as they encounter the One who can transform their sorrow to joy, their despondency to hope, and their fear to peace.

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