We’ve been here much longer than this!
by Sotos and Eva Photiades
CLC opened in Cyprus in 1981 but, in fact, as with CLC in some other countries (see Korea), our links with a Christian bookshop here go much further back than this. Since 1964, CLC was associated with the work of a Christian bookshop in Limassol, where CLC personnel were involved. In 1981, CLC was approached about taking on full responsibility for the shop—at that time the only Christian bookshop on the island.
Over the years, the bookshop has built an ongoing relationship with many local churches and missions. Being the only non-orthodox Christian bookshop in Cyprus, we have been blessed in being the sole provider of literature and other necessary materials for a variety of church groups and missions as well as individuals. This literature includes Bibles, tracts for outreach and devotional calendars.
For example, a Russian sister spent five hundred Euros to start off a library in her local Russian-speaking church. Another sister sets aside a budget for buying her gifts from the bookshop; she considers this work as part of her personal ministry. Also at the end of the year, various churches pre-order devotional calendars from our bookshop for distribution as gifts and as part of their local outreach. Instead of ordering directly from the supplier, many prefer to order through our bookshop.
Recently, the demand has unexpectedly increased and we had to order again and again. Some of our customers said that they were very much helped by these devotional calendars through the year and they were very eager to have the current issue.
The bookshop first launched its website in 2005 with the help of Alexis, a brother from our local church. It was slowly populated with a catalogue of products by copying and pasting product descriptions and images from other supplier websites as new items arrived and were added into the local stock. Having an online catalogue of our stocked products, and being the only source for Christian products on the island, has meant customers living one to two hours away in some of the other major cities could now browse our site and make their orders by phone (and online since 2015). Due to our frequent weekly travels to other cities for ministry, we are also able to deliver straight to the homes of some of our distant customers.