Made for the Journey By Elisabeth Elliott

I read Ms. Elliot’s first book, “Through the Gates of Splendor” when I was in my mid-twenties. From that very first book, I found a great respect for her and her writings. She does more than just put words on a page. They go deep into you and teach you spiritual lessons, also reaching you on a deep emotional level. I have never read any of her books that I have not walked away with something life-changing. Therefore I was excited to read this book.
Her spiritual strength and close relationship with God is shown in following His calling to be a missionary in the jungles of Ecuador as a young woman. I guess it is my own stereotype but I picture those serving on mission fields as older. Even with her maturity venturing out so young, had to make it even more of an eye opening experience.
Culture shock does not even begin to describe her experiences there. The Colorados Indians did not request they come there and introduce Christ. It wasn’t like a visiting preacher coming for a revival and hospitality abounding. I don’t think we realize all the sacrifices God’s servants make to do his work is such remote places. She brought it all to life, not just existing there but the gamut of emotions that she felt.
In each chapter of the book you are a companion to Elizabeth as you walk beside her experiencing different parts of her work and all she saw and did. My favorite chapter was “Jungle Housekeeping”. All food and drinking water was a laborious task, not just from obtaining it but also to protect themselves against nasty diseases and parasites. And there is more. They had to live in primitive, dirty places forever prey to wild animals and un-American bugs. Travel was precarious at best and they were oddities as white women in the strange land. They faced death and medical emergencies in the most primitive conditions and which they had no training for. To add to all the work and distractions she had to learn the language not only to communicate but to write a Bible for the Colorados. They had no written language!
As I put myself in her place I felt exhausted, discouraged and at times frightened. Yet she and her fellow missionaries served with all their hearts. Here Christians in America have conveniences and comforts beyond what they need, yet if problems arise or busy times, their church attendance suffers! Shame on us! This is an incredible read you won’t want to miss.
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.


The Bride of Ivy Green By Julie Klassen

I have been very fortunate to read the 2 previous books in the Ivy Green series. While I have enjoyed them all I think this one is the very best! I must admit I am very sad it is the last.
I truly believe you could read each book as a standalone, but I wouldn’t. Each one builds on the other. Having read the previous books made this one so much more enjoyable, knowing Jane, Rachel’s and Mercy’s history in Ivy Hill and as friends. I found previous incidents popping into my head from their past. It gave so much depth to their present interactions and experiences in this book.
As with the other novels Ms. Klassen’s attention to detail in setting and experiences made me feel like I was a part of Ivy Hill. Whether it be strolling down the streets or in one of the characters homes, the 1820’s was brought to life.
Old romances are renewed and moved forward, and new ones bloom. The story for me focuses on Jane and Mercy and a new character, Victorine. I found the latter a very exciting and interesting young lady.
Each of the ladies learns valuable lessons in letting go of the past and embracing a new future. As with any prospect of change, they must work through their fears and doubts. I liked how Jane and Mercy both sought God when they did not know which way to go.
I draw pictures in my mind of the characters and mine somewhat changed concerning Mercy. I pictured her as a homely, gaunt, hawk nosed woman. As the story unfolded I realized this was her view of herself as she has not one but two men that find her beautiful! Mercy is also the one that faces the greatest trials and difficulties. She was inspiring with her great faith in God and wanting His will no matter what she thought the outcome might be.
A delightful book! Ms. Klassen doesn’t write any but the best! I hope upon hope that these books will be turned into a TV series!!
I received this book from Bethany Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.