Originally Harvest of Life (HOL) was incorporated in Texas by its founder Rev. Murl Gwynn. It’s intended purpose at the time was to record the Bible in indigenous languages and dialects so missionaries could use the tape recordings in remote villages of Latin America and Africa for evangelism. Murl and his volunteers-built recording studios for a requesting missionary whenever asked. This effort continued through 1987, when Dan and Marilyn Nase came on board to develop Christian illustrated magazines in Spanish known as the Foto Novela.
The Nase’s having served with another literature ministry in Mexico, Editorial Vida (Life Publishers), and also having learned practical publishing and printing skills with Christian Literature Crusade located in Philadelphia, set off for Mexico to start from “scratch” a Christian “comic book” for evangelism. In the past, mostly tracts and Gospel portions had been used to distribute among the unsaved. Most literature had been adopted from English and in reality, was not contextual to the culture. This new form of literature was met enthusiastically by those on the “front lines” of evangelism and church planting.
The first series, Camino a la Abundancia (The Way to the Abundant Life) was printed in 1988. This work was 100% written by Hispanics and was culturally appealing. The first volume of this seven-part series of a testimonial presentation of a conversion realized a distribution of 600,000 magazines. And from those first challenging beginnings till the present, over 5,000,000 illustrated magazines have been printed and placed in the hands of unbelievers. This figure, coupled with the printing of books and tracts, have resulted in nearly 12,000,000 pieces of literature being printed and distributed throughout Central and South America and the Spanish-speaking peoples of the Caribbean. In addition, distribution early on was realized in Spain, not to the Spaniard, but to the Gypsies. Gypsies found Jesus in a simple, understandable, and culturally accepted format.
In 1991, an advance into Cuba was initiated. This on-going effort has seen over 2,000,000 tracts, Foto Novelas, books, New Testaments and Bibles shipped and distributed throughout this island nation. The literature has been used exclusively by the Christians in Cuba to reach their fellow countrymen for Christ. The single, most popular piece of literature received by the Cuban Church has been John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. This illustrated presentation of a classic Christian literary work has been very effective in leading many to know Christ as Savior by understanding the “spiritual warfare” involved in making that life-changing decision. Because of the high literacy rate and educational level of the Cuban, this allegorical presentation of man’s search for God has received wide-spread acceptance.
One challenge in Cuba is explaining who Jesus Christ is and his purpose on earth. HOL published, printed, and distributed 935,000 magazines entitled “Quein Es Jesus?” (Who is Jesus) A Bible correspondence school was advertised on the back page and thousands responded to the referee courses offered, thus furthering their knowledge of Christianity.