Providence and the Muskeg Moccasingraph
In 1978, I arrived in Tadoule Lake, Manitoba. My goal was to build a cabin where my wife, soon-to-be-born son, and I could live while beginning to share Jesus in this small northern community. What we experienced and learned over the next three years could fill a book. But one lesson that has stayed with me all these years came from a “little green paper” I found in a northern cabin.
The Muskeg Moccasingraph was a gospel newsletter that first went to press in April 1961. The publisher, a missionary in Churchill, Manitoba, named Jay Jennings, created the paper to share Christ with the people of the North in simple language that made it accessible to everyone. Because funds were limited, those first (and subsequent) issues were printed on 8.5″ by 11″ inexpensive green paper, folded in half, and stapled in the middle. There were no color graphics or exotic fonts – just black words on a green page with an occasional photo. But that paper found its way all over the North. Although the print run rarely exceeded a few thousand, I would later see copies of the paper in villages from Alberta to Ontario and places above the 60th parallel. God used that little publication to reach people and change lives.
When I first saw the paper, it was in a cabin on a small table beside a well-worn chair. I looked at it, leafed through it, and noticed that the issue I was looking at was over 15 years old. I couldn’t believe such a simple, modestly constructed paper would last that long. But that someone would keep it for more than 15 years – made me shake my head. I asked the people who lived in that cabin about it. They didn’t remember how they got it, but (as best I can recall) they decided to keep it around because the woman’s granny was in one of the group photos, and her name was listed in the caption. And there it was, on that little table, where dozens of people had picked it up and found themselves reading about Jesus (just like I had) for over a decade.
God bless the memory of Jay Jennings. I pray that those Muskeg Moccasingraph papers are being preserved and read throughout the North. And I thank God that the memory of my first encounter with the “little green paper” in a Northern cabin still gives me pause – and hope, every time I think about it. If God, in answer to a northern missionary’s prayers, could preserve a Muskeg Moccasingraph and put it in a place where people could read it for a dozen years, perhaps he will do the same for Clear and Simple Media.
We have had the privilege of writing, publishing, and distributing over half a million printed books. The books have found their way into countries on every inhabited continent. Those books are available in 50 languages. While we know where many of those books are today, most are in the hands of people we have never met, who live in places we will never go. But God knows where all those books are at any moment. And God knows who needs to read them.