The Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Russia recently celebrated 25 years instilling hope during a special weekend of thanksgiving and missionary commitment. From June 2-4, Source of Life Publishing House employees and church leaders met in Zaoksky, Tula Region, Russia, to thank the Lord and the faithful workers responsible for the publication of 50 million copies of books and handbooks of various genres and styles.
“It is the Lord who has blessed our efforts during these 25 years of service,” said church leaders time after time during the celebratory events. Source of Life is the only Russian Protestant publishing house with its own printing facilities in the Russian Federation and publishes Christian literature in thirteen languages, including Armenian, Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Uzbek.
A Long Tradition of Book Promotion
The Adventist Church literature evangelist ministry—or the activity of selling religious books door to door—started early in Russian Empire. By the end of the 19th century, literature evangelists were not only selling books, but private printing houses were producing Adventist magazines. When authorities imposed a total ban on religious books, copying books by hand and self-publishing became the methods faithful Christians chose to keep sharing their beliefs.
“We all understand that the essence of your business is education,” said Larisa Akimova, head of the Zaoksky district, who stopped by at the anniversary celebrations to congratulate the publishing house employees. “[Your] books bring people joy and enlightenment.”
World church vice-president Billy Biaggi believes that a highlight of the publishing house has been its role in bringing people hope. “Millions of people are living without faith and hope, even though they badly need both,” he said. “Book publishing is bringing people hope.”
Those attending the solemn liturgy dedicated to the anniversary celebration paused to remember the pioneers who preserved books by copying them by hand. They also thanked the publishing house booksellers and readers, who keep the ministry moving forward. The focus of thanksgiving, however, was on God’s faithfulness.
“God fulfilled His promise because His Word has not returned empty,” leaders said.
“In remote villages and big cities, these books witness of the power of Jesus Christ to change lives,” said Publishing Ministries director Pavel Liberanskiy. “Even in places where there is not yet a single preacher, books are there, bringing hope.”
Liberanskiy said that in the last decade, Source of Life has published two volumes featuring stories of people who came to God thanks to their books. As part of the Sabbath worship service, several people shared their testimonies about finding Jesus through a Source of Life book donated or purchased.
Celebrations were capped by an Open House Day, which included lectures, literary cafés, and “meet the author” events.
“It was a miracle when the publishing house opened 25 years ago,” said Source of Life General Director Daniil Lovska. “And every year, the Lord continues to do wonders.”