Russia Publishing House Celebrates 25 Years Instilling Hope

The Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Russia recently celebrated 25 years instilling hope during a special weekend of thanksgiving and missionary commitment. From June 2-4, Source of Life Publishing House employees and church leaders met in Zaoksky, Tula Region, Russia, to thank the Lord and the faithful workers responsible for the publication of 50 million copies of books and handbooks of various genres and styles.

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It would be remiss of me if I did not underline the good work that Seventh-day Adventist publishing houses have accomplished throughout the world. Having myself been a publishing House general manager I can testify first of all to dedicated staff members who were thankful to have had the privilege to serve God by working in such an institution and secondly of how literature pointing people to the Bible - and consequently to a life with purpose and hope - has indeed changed many men and women’s lives.
I recall one instance - as a young man earning pocket money to augment my meagre salary as a printer’s apprentice in a large secular publishing house - entering a home and selling the housewide a number of books on ‘bringing up’ young people and then returning that night to make a delivery when her husband was home.
He confronted me at the door wanting to know what ‘right’ I had to sell to his wife without his permission (1960!). I asked him if I could come in and explain and he indicated the lounge. I entered and was able to show him numerous testimonials from social workers, judges and magistrates and so on - and even the good Pope Pius XII himself. He seemed somewhat bored and began to rumage around in my bag, bringing out book after book. Placing his hand on my arm he simply said “Enough! How much does this lot cost?” and proceeded to write me out a cheque for every book I had in my bag and in his wife’s hands and requested me to return with other books the following month. Little did I realise at the time - he was the senior magistrate in that town.
I would love to know today, fifty-seven years later, how he and his family - and his grandchildren - had fared on the ten volume Bible Story, Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories and the many other books he brought - and which he described as being “entirely wholesome”.
I guess I could go on and on about the many exciting experiences I enjoyed in both selling SDA books and later serving in those publishing houses. Without doubt, the best years of my life. Sorry, in a way, that it is all over now . . .

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