Let me say right up front, do not, DO NOT, let the title of this book, "Great for God", turn you away! Do not judge the title before you have read the introduction to the book. :)
Mitch and I love reading about missionaries, do you? Do you have any idea? What do you know about missionaries? If your son or daughter came home and said they felt called by God to carry the Gospel to the Middle East--to a "closed" country that is hostile to Christians--how would you respond?
In Great for God
, David Shibley has compiled biographies of 23 real life missionaries who gave up their own lives to live to share the Gospel with "all the world". These stories are uplifting and inspiring. The missionaries featured here are no longer living, but as I read them I am filled with a sense of awe of how God is moving in the world around us even now. It creates in me a desire to be involved with the mission of sharing the Gospel in our world today. One of my favorite quotes in the book is by Jim Elliot, "You are immortal until your work is finished." With all the things I worry about, Jim's life is an astonishing reminder that I can rest in the sovereignty of God.
The book is organized so that each chapter is about one missionary. The chapter begins with short biographical data organized into a chart format for quick reference facts about that missionary and a quote that gives a snapshot of the missionary's life. A passage of Scripture also accompanies each chapter. The biographical stories are written in a conversational tone that is easy to read or listen to. These are brief enough to be read for a time of family devotions, but long enough to give a good overview of the missionary's life (and hopefully "whet your appetite" for more).
I love the versatility of this book. Some of the missionaries in the book I already know about. I have read several of the books in the Christian Heroes Then & Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge (which are excellent), so I know there's more to the story and feel a little sad that you can't hear it all! But on the other hand, this is a GREAT way to introduce a good handful of missionaries all in one place. And there are many that I haven't read about before. This is a resource that I plan on weaving into our history and geography curriculum this year. It would also be good for personal or family devotions, small groups, or even Christian school classrooms.
I'm grateful to New Leaf Press for sharing a complimentary copy of the Kindle version of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.