With heavy hearts, we as a church have made the decision to not hold an in-person VBS this summer (please see the June 21 announcements for more information, below). Instead, our Christian Education board has put together materials for a “Summer At-Home Missions Conference.” Details for reading missionary biographies are below. If you are interested in the Missions Conference part of the program, you can find it here.
Summer 2020 Missions Focus
Matthew 16:24-25- “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’”
Mark 16:15- “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.’”
Looking for a way to grow both in relationship with one another AND in your understanding of God’s work in missions around the world? Missionary biographies are wonderfully challenging to read on our own. Yet, they also make for great conversation starters among fellow believers. Here are a few ideas to give this summer a special missions focus.
You may choose to reread a book from your own shelves and then recommend it to a friend. After you both read it, plan to have a conversation or two about what you read, how it showed you something about following Christ or what you plan to do in regards to supporting God’s work in missions (prayer, financial support, encouragement of a missionary you’re already connected with, changing your perspective on missions, sharing the Gospel with someone you know who needs to hear the truth about Jesus, etc.).
Or, you may want to try a new book. In that case, here are a few highly recommended books to consider (you can purchase a copy or coordinate with friends from church to borrow a copy):
For Families with Elementary-Middle Schoolers-
Published by Christian Focus (United Kingdom Christian publishing company) A Boy of Two Worlds by Lorna Eglin tells a delightful fictional story of a Maasai boy living in Kenya whose whole village changes with the work of God through missionaries sharing the truth of God’s Son Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd who calls His “sheep” to follow Him and be changed on the inside by His power. Though retired missionary Lorna Eglin may have chosen to write a fictional story, she has used accurate details that are based on her decades of missions work among the Maasai. Sold by Amazon for $8.99, Christian Focus Publications for $8.99 (comes from the UK, though), Abebooks.com (used bookseller).
For Adults or Older Kids (teens)-
Tales from the Tribe is a wonderful missions-focused devotional book by Aaron Luse (sent by Morningside Bible Church here in Sioux City through missions organization Ethnos 360). Reading this book is a great way to immerse yourself in the life of this missionary family to Papua New Guinea, to see first-hand the challenges and joys of building relationships with people who eat insects and translate God’s Word into a language only recently written down. This would make a fantastic book to read aloud together with your teen. Written as a devotional, there are heart-stirring questions to talk through and Bible verses to read together. Sold by Amazon for $7.49, Christianbook.com for $13.49, Thriftbooks.com (used), and Abebooks.com (used).
Missionary to Middle East-
Lovingly written by personal friend of Australian-born missionary Aileen Coleman, Annette Adams shares vignettes from decades of work offering both medical care and the Gospel to Bedouin tribes throughout modern-day Jordan and Israel. Coleman has been called an “angel of the desert” by those who respect her work, among whom are the ruling royal Muslim family of Jordan. She, however, calls herself “the desert rat”, in humble acknowledgement of God’s use of the ordinary, yet willing, follower of Christ. The Desert Rat by Annette Adams is sold by Amazon for $13.56, Christianbook.com for $13.49, Thriftbooks.com (used), and Abebooks.com (used).
Missionary to South America-
If you are looking for a captivating missionary story that sweeps you into a raging river and carries you swiftly to its end (i.e. keeps you reading “just one more chapter” way past your bedtime), then you’ll want to make time for Bruchko by Bruce E. Olson. This book, originally printed in 1973 under the title For This Cross I’ll Kill You, will show you from the author’s own perspective, how God calls people to Himself from every tribe, nation, and tongue. Amidst overwhelming obstacles and suffering, God uses Olson to win an entire tribe of feared natives for Christ, translate His Word into their language, improve daily tribal life, and bring oneness with fellow believers across cultural chasms. Sold by Amazon for $11.69, Christianbook.com for $8.29, Thriftbooks.com (used), and Abebooks.com (used).