Sword or Pen?

Apr. 12, 2013

Because READ Ministries is built on the premise that books are more powerful than bombs, I appreciate the proverb English novelist Edward Lytton famously uttered a couple of centuries ago:  The pen is mightier than the sword.  


In our post-9/11 culture where strong suspicions of all Muslims still persist, many are tempted to opt for the sword as a means of revenge, but READ has a better idea.  In keeping with the Great Commission, we have recently agreed to partner with Pioneers, a highly respected evangelical missions group based in Orlando, Florida, on a project we believe will significantly enhance the spread of the gospel in Islamic cultures. 

The mission of Pioneers is similar to our own, and they have an excellent curriculum called Encountering the World of Islam (EWI).

Because believers in Russia and Ukraine have become deeply committed to reaching out to Muslim-dominated countries in Central Asia, the Pioneers ministry has asked our help in getting this material translated into Russian and into the hands of pastors, leaders, and students training to become missionaries in that part of the world.  

EWI_Cover_EnglishDuring my trip to Russia and Ukraine this past month, I met with church leaders, theological educators, Christian publishers, and potential missionaries to Islamic countries to help launch publication and distribution of this valuable material.  It looks like a Win/Win arrangement for both Pioneers and READ Ministries. 

God willing, a run of 2,000 copies of EWI-Russian will be available for distribution by October of this year.  An affordable price of $10 a copy will help to make this valuable material available.  There is no other book like this for the Russian-speaking world. 


Our spiritual adversary does not want this weapon to be deployed and is trying to derail its development.  For this reason I am appealing to you as friends and supporters of READ to help in two specific ways: 

  1. Please pray for READ and for me.  Pray also for the Pioneers organization and for Keith Swartley, the EWI-Russian project manager.  As you pray, I would ask that you read Ephesians 6:10-20 describing the need to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes.  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

  2. Please consider a gift to READ to help with our purchase of 500 copies of EWI-Russian.  Your gift of $10 will allow this effective spiritual weapon to be placed in the hands of one of the church’s young recruits.  Help to equip the next generation of Great Commission missionaries in the former Soviet Union.  It could be the best investment you’ve ever made. 

Thanks for standing with READ,
Bill Arvan