A word from Mel Lawrenz…
Dear friends –
I had such pleasure in working with my daughter, Eva, on books that would give hope and life to people in different cultures around the world. Eva was a real book-person, and a fine editor. Her unexpected death at just 30 years old five years ago was like the ground dropping beneath our feet. A few days later, after I was asked if there would be a memorial fund, the idea of continuing to publish for the sake of needy people around the world was the obvious thing to do. It seemed natural to use “Life and Light Books” as the moniker, after Eva’s two names (Eva in Hebrew means “life.” Helen in Greek means “light.)
Thanks for perusing this webpage. You will see below the book offerings that we have been able to provide through the generous financial gifts of numerous people. We are subsidizing translations and initial printings in parts of the world where people absolutely cherish something offered in their native language. Creole (Haiti), Hausa (Nigeria), Urdu (Pakistan), Farsi (Iran), Spanish, Russian, Turkish, and more in the works. Right now tens of thousands of books are in the hands of people in these languages. They use the books. They pass them around. They wear them out.
In 2012 I wrote How to Understand the Bible which went out to 50,000 subscribers on Bible Gateway, and then was published as a book in cooperation with Amazon. How to Understand the Bible aims at helping ordinary believers gain a basic understanding of the content of Scripture and basic principles for interpreting the Bible and recognizing false teaching.
We stepped out in faith and got the book translated for readers in Ethiopia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Haiti, and the Spanish-speaking world. The positive response has inspired us to commit to translations and distributions in the Arab-speaking world, China, and numerous other countries asking for this resource.
Our vision extends to doing the same with follow-up titles, How to Study the Bible, How to Live the Bible, How to Teach the Bible, and other titles.
Eva Helen Lawrenz (1987-2017) had a passion for truth, literature, and the world. “Eva” means life (Hebrew), and “Helen” means light (Greek). Life And Light Books are dedicated to her memory and for the purpose of glorifying God through the ministry of the written word.
How to Understand the Bible (in 8 translations so far; English available here)
An overall perspective on the flow and meaning of Scripture. Explains how to understand every part of the Bible including narratives, the prophets, the teaching of Jesus, epistles, etc. Also explains the proper ways to apply Scripture and how to recognize false teaching. Knowing the Bible better is about knowing God better. (2014)
The Word of God brings life and light…
Jesus as “the Word” and the writings of the prophets and apostles, the Bible, as “the Word.”
FACT – The Bible is available today in hundreds of languages.
FACT – The distribution of the Bible is wider than ever before in history.
FACT – There is a crisis of lack of understanding of what the Bible really means. People believe things that are not true. Preaching lacks authority. Cults abound.
Believers are looking for help in understanding and applying the truth of Scripture. In many parts of the world there are hardly any resources in translation.
How to Study the Bible
Guides believers and leaders in the ways to study and discover the true meaning of Scripture using curiosity, observation, and facts. Explains how to study context and biblical vocabulary to understand biblical characters, events, and main themes. Explores how we can be shaped by Scripture, and how to avoid mistakes. (2017)
Prayers for Our Lives (in Spanish translation; English available here)
95 different prayers to be used in times of distress, on special occasions, and as daily patterns for new believers and for mature believers who sometimes need help thinking of how to talk to God. Teaches daily patterns of prayer. (2016)
Life After Grief (in numerous translations; English available here)
Life After Grief offers an understanding of the experience of loss and grief, and lays out pathways of healing for those who are hurting, and advice for those trying to help those who mourn.
How to Live the Bible (coming in 2023)
We study the meaning of Scripture so that its truth will shape our lives. This is exciting and transforming, but requires courageous faith and obedience. Today there are many false applications of Scripture, offering empty promises. Jesus told us we must build our houses on stone, not sand. (Coming in 2023)
A Chronicle of Grief: Finding Life After Traumatic Loss
In this narrative of grief, Pastor Mel Lawrenz chronicles how his family struggled to survive the sudden death of their beloved daughter. In raw, vivid episodes, he describes the immediacy of the pain and the uncertainty of what comes next. In the agony of traumatic loss, Lawrenz apprehends the realities of love and life and offers insights on how to navigate our life priorities before or after tragedy hits. You are not alone. You too can find a way forward.
A Book of Prayers for Kids: Ways to Talk to God Every Day
What could be more important than giving our kids the tools to keep them connected to God? Kids are wired to have faith. And prayer is the way they (and we) make our bond with God strong. Kids don’t need simplistic prayers. They need to be inspired to use the minds and hearts God gave them to speak specifically about every circumstance of life.
Some of the translations completed or in process…
- Priority in 2023: translations of Life After Grief and Overcoming Grief and Trauma into Ukrainian for those who suffer in that land.
- Distribute Spanish version of How to Understand the Bible and Prayers for Our Lives in Latin America.
- Translate How to Understand the Bible and How to Study the Bible for China and launch major eBook distribution.
- Explore distribution of English versions in the U.S. in prisons, medical facilities, and for members of the military.
- Translate, print, and distribute How to Understand the Bible into Arabic for use in the Middle East.
- Translate How to Study the Bible into Amharic for use in Ethiopia.
- Print Indonesia version of How to Understand the Bible (already translated).
- Numerous other open doors are being explored.
- Translation costs per title: approximately $1,000.
- Printing costs per 1,000 copies: approximately $3,000.
- Communication, production, and support costs: $15,000 per year.
- Basic funding for one title in one language: $5,000
- “How to Understand the Bible has been blessing many people who read it here throughout Pakistan. I have never come across such a book before which so simply but effectively mentions the importance of the Bible and tells how it should be read.” (Leader in Pakistan)
- “Our 6,000 churches are very much exited to have this book. Please keep more books coming.” (Leader in Ethiopia)
- “Rarely have I seen a book take something as misunderstood as the Bible and make it so simple to understand. It is clear, concise, interesting, and well-written. It gave me both an explanation of all aspects of the Bible and the encouragement to approach God’s word with confidence.” (U.S. reader)
- “Clear, easy to read, great explanations… and in everyday language. It provides a ‘big picture’ of the Bible and how I can understand it better. It’s a resource I’ll refer to quite often… and encourage others to also. This is a MUST READ!” (U.S. reader)