Word&Way has started a partnership with Luminar Bautista, the media arm of Venezuelan Baptists. Luminar Bautista, which started in 1951, means “Baptist Light.” After months of communication online with leadership in Venezuela, Word&Way Editor Brian Kaylor met with two leaders during the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance in the Bahamas in July, which led to more online conversations.
“The opportunity to walk alongside Baptists in Venezuela is exciting, especially as they work to faithfully share the Good News during this critical time in their nation,” Kaylor said. “I look forward to learning from each other about the ministry of journalism.”
In December, Venezuelan Baptists will host a training conference for up to 80 media and communication individuals from across the country. Word&Way will send a video greeting to the conference and provide funding to make the training event possible.
“The use of media today makes it possible to reach the entire world with the message of the Good News,” materials for the conference explain. “It is essential that we make good use of the resources we have at our disposal today to reach more people.”
The event will focus on topics like the communication reality in the present Venezuelan context, strategic cooperation for projects, crisis communication, and social media. Additional partnership efforts between Word&Way and Luminar Bautista will be announced in the future.
Venezuela has faced a humanitarian and political crisis throughout the year as a result of a disputed presidential election last year and years of economic difficulties. According to the Baptist World Alliance, there are 70 Baptist churches in Venezuela with about 3,200 members.
Word&Way started its first international partnership in 2017 with El Mensajero, the magazine of Baptists in eastern Cuba. Publishing since 1904, the magazine, whose name means “The Messenger,” might be the oldest magazine still printing on the island nation. Word&Way provided a grant for El Mensajero to purchase a printer in order to print their magazine inhouse. Word&Way also delivered a slightly-used laptop for use by the magazine’s team.
“I’ve been blessed to travel to Cuba, worship with Baptists there, and learn from them,” Kaylor said. “And I’ve enjoyed continuing to hear from them as we exchange emails and Facebook messages. We look forward to continuing to partner with them and other Baptist journalists around the world.”
Since 2017, one percent of all revenue that Word&Way receives — from donations, subscriptions, and advertising income — goes toward an international partnership fund to support Baptist journalists around the world.