Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
There seems to be a glut of Christian books currently of the genre: I, a middle-class American, went on a short-term mission trip overseas and was shocked, SHOCKED by the joy and authenticity shown by all these native people that have nothing! I felt so.guilty.about those daily $4 lattes (why is it always a coffee drink that is mentioned? Frequently Starbucks, too …?).
Ornery as I am, I suppose, this whole scenario has always struck me as overly simplistic. I feared that Wherever the River Runs: How a Forgotten People Renewed My Hope in the Gospel might be this type of book, but after reading the glowing reviews (If you read only one other book this year — except for the Bible! — make it this one!), I decided to take a chance.
Sure enough, author Kelly Minter begins her week-long boating trip along the Amazon with the familiar refrain: My head was spinning over the ingenuity of the Indians, the complexity and the sheer force of the jungle, the fact that all this grows and thrives without Wall Street, without smartphones, without us!
She comes to a deeper (to my mind) realization when she understands that the Indians don’t want the stuff she could give them as much as the glimpses of God. She is moved by a quiet little boy, and when she tells him so, the boy says to her, “No one has ever seen me before. God sent you to see me.”
She also realizes, upon her return home, that she needs to continue her missionary zeal in her “real” life — I point I feel is important. She recounts a conversation with a friend, where the friend admits that she would like to help a needy woman she knows, but … what if the woman starts needing her on a regular basis? What if she actually has to get involved personally on a more regular basis with her? I like this type of thinking, as it’s very real and gets to the nitty gritty of life. Sure, going overseas to a foreign culture for a week to feel all virtuous and star in photos with the little brown kids has an appeal. But mentoring a poor woman in your own town?Ay yi yi — that’s dicier, at least for most of us.
I really went back and forth with this book. There’s an awful lot of the superficial, where the author muses on how an Amazonian pastor has no Twitter followers, and yet he’s grateful to have the opportunity to earn money by cleaning toilets. Later, she is disappointed that she’s left off a magazine list of “Top 50 Most Influential Christian Women,” only to be dragged back to reality by a disfigured jungle woman who lives — with a smile — in a hammock.
Would you enjoy this book? I think many people would. If you enjoy books by Ann Voskamp, Rob Bell, etc., you most likely would. And it’s your lucky day, because one of you will win a copy!
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. I’ll choose a random winner August 6.
a Rafflecopter giveaway