The FISHERS 50th Anniversary
 

The Beginning of the Vision



The first issue of the Fishers magazine was printed in 1970, initially as a newsletter for internal circulation. It was then called “Visions” but subsequently, this was changed to “Fishers” to better reflect its objectives and its affiliation to The ‘Fisherman of Christ’ Fellowship.

Its mission is to present the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ and to promote spiritual growth. It continues to be distributed free of charge and its upkeep depends on faithful Christians who have a burden for this work, and on God who supplies all our needs.

By God’s grace, the circulation of Fishers has steadily increased from 100 copies for Issue 1 to 11,500 copies (in 2020).

Readers of Fishers hail from many countries. At present, the Philippines has the biggest readership, closely followed by Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries. Though separated by national boundaries, we are thrilled whenever we hear from readers. It is our constant prayer that every copy of Fishers will be used for the Lord’s glory, and not a copy will be wasted. To this end, readers have been encouraged, after reading, to pass the magazine on to someone who has not read it.


Typewriter

In the initial years, the entire process of typing and drawing were done manually using stencils. The stencil was made of wax, and we had to carve and type on it. Both of us were one-finger typists. We ended up buying a small typewriter each – which was all we could afford. We would type on the stencils at home.

It was not like today when we can easily correct any mistake on the computer. Back then, when we typed on the stencil, the letter would be cut into the stencil and we could not undo it. But there was a wax we could pour over the mistake, and then we could type again over the wax.


The cyclostying machine

Printing was done in-house. The stencil was placed on a roller filled with ink and turned by hand. This was called cyclostyling. So when we printed 500 copies, we had to roll 500 copies for each page and the paper always got stuck because in those days the paper was not so fine. After that, we had to do our own stapling and folding. We published Fishers that way for many years until the number of copies increased to 5,000!

As far as possible, every copy contains a Gospel message, a testimony and articles for Christian growth. The “Dialogue” page has been there since the beginning to provide an avenue for readers to give their feedback. The editorial “A Line from Us” was added later to introduce the articles in the publication. The articles continue to be in prose and poetry. Special care is taken to ensure that the articles are easy to read by people of different cultures and backgrounds. With the use of modern technology, the “look” of the magazine has improved, and now we even have an online version at www.fishersmagazine.net.

Much has changed, but one thing has not: the Word of God is as relevant today as it was yesterday. If you were to read an article from the earliest issue of Fishers, the message would be as fresh as if it had been written yesterday. That is the reason why every issue remains undated. Now you know!


Vincent Sim & Chris Tay

- Vincent and Chris are past editors and current advisors of Fishers.
*This article first appeared in The ‘Fisherman of Christ’ Fellowship 60th Anniversary Commemorative Publication.

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