November 24, 2011

The "Figures" Take Precedence — Lynda Schultz

History books tend to emphasize facts and figures. Although I am a history buff, particularly if it has to do with submarines, warships and airplanes, my next history book is going to focus more on the "figures" of the story than on the cold, hard facts.

Several years ago I was challenged to take on a writing project for the mission with which I have worked for the better part of thirty years. Fellowship International will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year and the senior staff thought it would be good idea to tell our story.

Rose and Mario Bruno, Italy
It's not that the story hasn't been told before—in bits and pieces. Our beginnings have been documented in This Dominion His Dominion, by Leslie K. Tarr (1968), in The Fellowship Story: Our First 25 Years, by Dr. J. H. Watt (1978) and most recently in A Glorious Fellowship of Churches, edited by Michael A.G. Haykin and Robert B. Lockey (2003). But this will be the first time that our story as a mission will stand on its own.

By next spring, the writing of the book needs to be finished so that it will be ready for release in time for our national convention, Fellowship 48, in November 2012. It wouldn't be such a daunting task if the facts and figures of history were all I needed to record. But my vision for this book is a much more personal one. I want people to experience the joys, sense the pain, work through the challenges, acknowledge the losses, and feel the heartbeat of the people who have been part of Fellowship International for the last fifty years. To do that depends, not so much on my writing skills, but on the willingness of our missionaries and alumni to be transparent and willing to share their journeys in print.

Kathryn and Rob Fleming, Japan
I've contacted every missionary and alumnus that I can find. Slowly the stories are coming in. My Thursdays and Fridays, days regularly dedicated to the work of the Communications Department of The Fellowship, will be heavily bent toward the book over these next months. There will be midnight oil to be burned I am sure.

My biggest fear? I do not want to fail my colleagues or the Lord by telling the story poorly so I pray that God will be my skill, be my words.

My greatest joy? I praise God for the opportunity to tell the story behind the movement, the story of the men, women, and children used by God to give Fellowship International faces behind the those cold, hard facts.


  1. As a fellow Fellowship Baptist, I am looking forward to this book! Prayers for you as you write it too.

  2. Thank you, Elsie. I appreciate that more than I can say.

  3. Looking forward to read this book for I'm sure it will bless all those who read it and will educate them about the life and challenges in the mission field.


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