Does our work in the world make a difference?

Does our work in the world make a difference? It's a question that gets at the heart of our identity as followers of Jesus: "Who are we? Why are we here?" And it's a question that has shaped the stories Nancy Thomas brings in this week's Fruit of the Vine devotionals. Each morning, Nancy is sharing anecdotes from Friends whose lives have been changed - Manuel Coronado in Guatemala, Elena Rivera in El Salvador, Mario and Celia Choque in Bolivia - by an encounter with Christ. This morning, I read about Bernabe Sanchez of Honduras who found a New Testament on the road "and began leafing through it ... He wondered how come, if Protestants were evil, their Bible could speak of God." I won't spoil the story, but I will offer this: scripture, the written word of God, has power to reveal the present and living Word, that is Jesus. And the result of that encounter is a sense of identity, a sense of purpose, new life.

Here at Barclay Press, we've closed out 2015, and as I look over the books, I find evidence of concern in a slow but continuing decline in subscriptions from local congregations. But I also see signs of hope - a trickle of new subscriptions from individuals around the world, a handful of new writers, a slight uptick in book sales, a new book project, continuing partnerships with Christian camps and Evangelical Friends Mission, and just over $1,000 in unrestricted gifts over the last two months. Some of you have also written me in the last three weeks, generous letters of support, of encouragement, of your sense that this work we do together through Barclay Press should continue.

Eric Muhr