Now that in Ediciones Lumbrera we have sent our final book of the Peacemaker series to the printer, my job centers around promoting and selling our materials. After working closely with a few denominations this year, I recently decided to expand our influence and contact all the major denominations in the country. This has been an eye-opening and at times hilarious experience. My data base consists of an out-of-date Directory of Christian organizations, including pizza parlours, auto mechanics, hairdressers, and some churches, which are listed randomly, neither in alphabetical order or by denomination. I also have a list of denominations, with out of date contact information.
This task has then become a major detective investigation. A few of the interesting questions I have encountered:
* Is the Iglesia Santidad Pentecostal the same denomination as the Iglesia Pentecostal Santidad? (no, they are totally unrelated)
* Is the Iglesia de Cristo, of which 20 appear in the directory, a denomination or a random group of churches having chosen the same name? (I called several churches, and they themselves did not know the answer to this question.)
* Is the Iglesia del Pacto the Evangelical Covenant Church, which I used to belong to? (No, itâ€™s some Pentecostal group started from a congregation in the southern US.)
* Is the Iglesia Misionera Bautista the same as the Iglesia Bautista Misionera the same as the Iglesia Bautista Misionera Internacional (ABA)? This was the funniest one. I called up the Iglesia Misionera Bautista in Alajuelita to consult on this point. After introducing myself, I asked, and the pastor said that yes, they were all the same, and gave some more information before bursting out laughing and introducing himself: he was one of our pastors, and I had called a Federation church, which just happened to have â€œMisioneraâ€ in its name. I did finally track down the head honcho of this ABA denomination.
I looked up Christian NGOâ€™s in Costa Rica to see if any could use our stuff. The British based Educacion Plus popped up, so I called them and explained who I was. The woman said, â€œI know you; I used to sell your books at IINDEFâ€. When I talked to the director, he said, â€œCome on over. Iâ€™m a graduate of the Baptist Seminary.â€ The British missionary working with them was a colleague of my friends. They bought 3 sets of books instantly.
I have also started contacting schools, since some choose their textbooks in August for the new school year in February. I have been astonished at the positive reception to my calls. No-one has turned me down, and it has been easy to set up appointments to talk with people. I havenâ€™t actually sold much yet, but it all looks promising.
All this represents God working major miracles in my life in response to intensive prayer. I have always hated anything related to marketing and sales, and, in addition, have always been resistant to making phone calls. But somehow God has given me grace to do this job, and I am having much better results than the professional salesman that we had last year. So I am praising God and feeling empowered by my success in making a major attitude change.
Please pray with me that we will be able to make an impact on Costa Rican society through the schools and churches with our materials.