Daniel Schwabauer of Crosswinds Comics recently passed this information my way, and I found it to be a very encouraging testimony. They’ve been targeting non-traditional outlets for their comics for several years now and it’s great to see them get this lift.
So in Daniel’s words:
As some of you know, we've been working on a 48-page color comic book based on the gospel of Luke. It has been five years in the making, not because we're really good, but because we aren't. Gabriel Valles (who actually is really good) did the pencils. Joel Chua and Carrol did the color. (Come to think of it, they're good, too. Pretty much everyone but me is good. :) Carrol and I have been telling each other that when we finally get the color done, God will give us the money to print it. Sounds crazy, but that's how Crosswind has always operated.
Last November we finally (finally!) finished the color. I took it to Sir Speedy to get some proof copies to show to potential funders, and as I was walking out with my laser-printed copy something just rose up in me and I knew it was going to work. As I got in my car I said out loud, "I know this is bigger than us, Lord, but thank you for letting me touch it." I'm sorry if this sounds pretentious now. It wasn't at the time.
Five days later I met with Tom Buttram of the Gospel Tract Society. I met Tom because, ironically, Bill Corum, the subject of our first comic book, gave Tom a proof copy of The Amazing Gospel. Tom asked Carrol and me to come to his office. I work for an insurance company, and I am, shall we say, jaded. I basically expected anyone to be interested in helping Crosswind Comics to be either 1) As crazy as me, or 2) A satanic cult member trying to foil God's plans by making the whole thing about money. (OK, I'm kidding about #2, but I didn't want it to be about money, because, well, as much as I really, really like money a lot, I consider this a personal flaw.)
So we meet, and I get the tour of their little building - half an hour from my house, by the way - and I sit down in Tom's office. Tom's dad started GTS in 1928. They never sell anything. All their stuff is given away for free. Hmmmm. They still have the first printing press his dad used to print single page tracts in his barn. But I'm still jaded. And I really wanted to know whether or not this is a God-thing, so I prayed for help. I asked God to let me know if it was Him or not.
Then Tom grabs the proof copy and holds it up and says, "This is bigger than Crosswind Comics. It’s bigger than the Gospel Tract Society. But sometimes God just lets us touch it." Coincidence? I don't think so. At the very least it was the expression of a similar heart.
Long story short, a couple of weeks ago we printed 85,000 copies in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. About half these are going into the prison system. We have an Indonesian translation completed, and people are working on Arabic and other languages. We expect to do another printing this summer, if not sooner.
But the coolest thing - which is too complicated to really explain in depth here - is that opportunities are opening for The Amazing Gospel to go to unreached people groups. The vision is for the book to be a kind of spear-point for missionaries reaching out to cultures that have never had a Christian influence. I'll post an update when we have more concrete info.
Meanwhile, Crosswind has officially become part of The Gospel Tract Society. They have support, printing presses, offices, a warehouse, and a quality staff. Frankly, responding to all the prisoners’ letters we got became impossible for us a long time ago. Merging with GTS makes sense. What GTS didn't have was much in the way of modern material. Most of their tracts are older. Tom Buttram told me he feels like a ship that finally found its cargo. In that case, I feel like a cargo that finally found its ship.
BTW: If you'd like a free copy of The Amazing Gospel, you can write to The Gospel Tract Society at 1105 S. Fuller St., Independence MO 64050-4221.
Gospel Tract Society