I have an exciting opportunity today to review four books AND give them away! The first one is the one that broke my heart for India. India is a country of more than 1.25 billion people.* I’ll be honest; I cannot begin to imagine what one-and-a-quarter BILLION people looks like. Even more, I find it hard to fathom how God could possibly use me to help alleviate the poverty, bondage, and discrimination so many of them face. Then I read No Longer a Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan. As I read, I met Asha and Lata, sisters who got on a train with their mother only to later be abandoned by her. I met Geeta, a mom who faced the impossible choice of watching her children starve or resort to the only method available for her to earn a living. I met Mariyam, a widow who lost her husband to depression and suicide. It was while reading their stories that God began to help me understand that my perspective of India was wrong. I saw an endless sea of people. He saw Asha, Lata, Geeta, Mariyam, and each of the men, women, and children who lived there, whom He had created and loved. And I could follow His leading and pray for each of them, for real people with real hearts, and I could help support them in other ways as He opened the door.
The next book isn’t specifically about Asia. It addresses a universal struggle that every person who has ever lived has faced – how to stay encouraged. Have you ever had the most incredible day, when everything comes together, you are certain of God’s love and presence, and things couldn’t improve? Has it ever been followed by a day – or a season – when you question everything you ever thought you knew about God and His plan for your life? Each of us has. Stay Encouraged is written to remind us that, “No pit is so deep that He cannot reach you. No valley too bleak that He cannot escort you out. No night is so dark that His light cannot penetrate.” It reminds us that “His ear is tuned to your cries, and He waits to be your help and comfort.” Throughout the book, author K. P. Yohannan shares steps we can take to remember God’s love for us, to encourage our hearts, and to regain our strength. He also offers step-by-step instructions that show us how to help encourage the people in our lives daily, helping us be tools of encouragement God might use in the lives of others.
Even Donkeys Speak had me from the title! This is a wonderful book by Mary McDonald for children ages 7-12. The book invites us to “step into the reality of what God is doing in Asia” and to watch as God “pours out His love on people of cultures very different from ours.” Through nineteen stories, readers have a front-row seat to watch as God uses a stampeding elephant to change the heart of a boy in Assam, a powerful dream to save a village leader and his wife, and children to change the lives of everyone in a village. One of the features I love about this book is that each story is set in a specific state of India and includes a map that shows where in India the state is located. This opens a whole world of possibilities for extending the story and learning about where it took place. With a little research you can learn about the specific state and what it’s needs are, what the climate is like, and even what the people like to eat and grow there. By sharing specific stories set in concrete places, it connects the reader’s heart to the hearts of children in Asia and shows the reader how much we each have in common, no matter where we live.
Revolution in World Missions is one of the most important books on missions that I have ever read. I grew up in a missions-focused church. I learned at a young age about the great missionaries who had left their homes and gone to live and work among people they did not know. What is discovered in Revolution in World Missions is that there is another team of missionaries that God is using to change the world. This team is made up of indigenous believers, Christians who are already in the country and know the language and customs of the people. These missionaries receive Bible training, but they do not require the labor-intensive and cost-intensive language and cultural training foreign missionaries do. They also are already strategically placed throughout the world, including countries and regions where foreign missionaries or foreigners of any kind cannot reach. This remarkable book shares the story of one agency’s goal to train and equip as many of these indigenous missionaries as possible and send them out to the lost people of the world.
Enter our giveaways below to win 1) No Longer a Slumdog and Stay Encouraged and 2) Even Donkeys Speak and Revolution in World Missions. These are TWO separate giveaways, so be sure to enter both below.
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*According to a July, 2015, estimate found on https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html accessed March 6, 2016.
I received a free copy of Stay Encouraged in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this information in compliance with FTC regulations.