Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Beth Thomas

O ne piece of business discussed annually at Spring Meeting is the Missionary Book of the Year. Especially now, when the world is in such turmoil, this special resource gives the 22 million members, pastors and leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church the perfect opportunity to share hope and peace with their friends and neighbors. 

Almir Marroni, publishing director for the Adventist Church, outlined the 18-month process it takes to plan for the Book of the Year: 1) Defining a subject, 2) Finding an author, 3) Manuscript edited, proofread and printed, 4) Introduction and dedication at Spring Meeting, 5) Printed books in different languages presented at Annual Council.

The Publishing Department was scheduled to introduce the book Words of Hope, an abridged version of Christ’s Object Lessons by Ellen G. White, as the potential 2021 Missionary Book of the Year. Unfortunately, no one expected COVID-19 and the far-reaching effects of the pandemic. Marroni said that “due to the unprecedented coronavirus, we received a suggestion from the field to develop a new book about the world’s current situation and its social, economic, and political impact, introducing readers to Bible prophecies on Jesus’ second coming.” 

Mark Finley was invited to write the new volume from scratch, a challenge he promptly accepted. The eight-chapter book is titled Hope for Troubled Times: How to Thrive in a Shattered World. Marroni gave the Executive Committee a sneak peek at the chapter titles: “Pandemics, Pestilences and Prophecy”; “Overcoming Fears, Worry and Anxiety”; “Discovered: The Ultimate Vaccine”; “Thriving in Life’s Toughest Times”; “Staying Healthy in a Sick World”; “What’s Coming the Day After the Day After?”; “How to Prepare for the Coming Economic Collapse”; and “A Place of Eternal Security.” 

As mentioned previously, this project would normally take 18 months. Finley has just eight weeks to complete his manuscript to allow time for translation. The Publishing Department hopes to launch the book at the “I Will Go” congress (see story here) in July.

Hope for Troubled Times will be available as an electronic free download, an audio book, and in Braille. A brief study guide is included at the end of each chapter, as well as links to Church ministries such as Adventist World Radio, Hope Channel and other sites where readers can find additional information about the Church. If necessary, each chapter can be used as a sermon for Total Member Involvement (TMI) evangelistic campaigns around the world. 

If one member gave away just one book a week, 1 billion books would be distributed in one year. In just 2 ½ years, every home would be reached with the good news of salvation in Jesus. Finley recalls a dream Ellen White had in which she saw streams of light going around the world. “She saw Adventists going out, giving out books and literature and Bible studies. I wonder if she saw you in that picture? God is going to use literature to be streams of light to touch thousands of lives by this mighty, powerful, last-day movement.”