Not More than 5—MAX—Times in alife


We come in peace. We realize that the headline for last year’s editorial in the graphic novel issue was “Once in alifetime” — and someone graciously wrote to tell us how much he appreciated the word once. But many more of our readers responded enthusiastically, even gratefully, to our visual approach to storytelling. Some were thrilled about the use of original art in alife, something we usually don’t have the time or budget to commission. Others thanked us for producing an issue of the magazine that they thought was specifically geared toward youth. We confess that, though positive comments from alife readers spanned all age groups, the graphic treatment of Alliance stories was designed to send a shout-out to the twenty-somethings and younger in the C&MA family. We know you’re out there, we wanted to say, and we think you’re gonna like this.

After years of trying to get his daughter to read Alliance Life, one National Office worker left the graphic novel edition on the kitchen table without comment—one of those gift/bait combinations family members are so good at coming up with. He was wisely silent when he later found her reading it.

“Are all these stories true?” she asked her dad.

We assure our readers that they are. This month’s graphic candidates came to us unexpectedly, from sources we had not solicited, by snail mail or e-mail—or even by showing up on our door step. In April, a group of Arab-American church leaders attended a conference in the Springs, and some with strong Alliance connections toured the National Office. In that group we met Tamar and her husband, Sarkis, a singer/songwriter who told us how God had intervened to give him one more chance to turn to Him. And his wife’s prayers about whether to emigrate from their troubled nation were answered with startling clarity. I knew right away that we could tell their story in pictures, and the task was assigned to Luke Flowers, a local artist who also happens to be a singer/songwriter.

The element that runs through every story in this issue is faithfulness—not only from God but to Him as well. Though obedience to the Lord is required of believers, it is often misconstrued as rebellion by those who do not know Him. When Alliance worker Lin Wood rushed into a crowd and stole the “offering” they were about to give to the spirits, he acted so far outside the “norm” that French authorities pledged to protect his life. Last year, Bob Fetherlin, vice president for International Ministries, sent alife the story of Nema, that precious offering who had been rescued by the missionary. Nema had recently died after serving for decades as a tutor at Bamako Girls School in Mali and her influence continued even then. Beryl Glass, our designer, happened to have taken Nema’s photo on a trip to Mali years earlier, so there was no debate about who should illustrate that story.

Although Lin Wood’s brazen act occurred more than five decades ago, following God’s commands still incites murderous hostility in many parts of the world. When Antonio and his wife started a Bible study in one of the roughest areas of Guayaquil, Ecuador, the woman in the house next door didn’t like it. Not one bit. This story was sent to us by Alliance worker Randy Newburn, and since we received it fairly early in the planning stage, we assigned it to Denes House (that’s REV. House to you—see last month’s ordinations). Denes set the standard for scriptwriting and production last year and we figured he’d be our tent pole again, so we wanted his art to be the first to arrive “in house.”

So “once in alifetime” has become “once a year.” alife heartily thanks the artists who take on this time-consuming task, but we especially thank our readers, who passed last year’s issue on to friends and family who otherwise might not have looked twice. And we trust you to do it again.

Past Alliance Life Issues


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