In 1938, in the remote highlands of a mountainous island, explorers discovered thousands upon thousands of tribal people. Missionaries began to come, to bring the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Little did they know that many of the people of the tribes were waiting . . . waiting . . . for someone to come and help them out of the darkness of their old way of life. Witness Men consists of true missionary stories that took place throughout the highlands of Papua, Indonesia, from 1955 to 2010, when one of the tribes received their first New Testaments. Age 8-12.
Witness Men, Volume 3: True Stories of God at Work in Paupua, Indonesia
Great missionary story
I read the book in one sitting....This is an account of several different missionaries and different areas of this tribe, across a 50 year time span written in 15 chapters. Mrs. Davis does a great job sharing different perspectives, experiences, and concepts with us, and the Bible texts that were integrated and translated. The book has a few images drawn in every chapter, and the print is a nice size for a younger reader. You can even download the pictures from cfp's webpage. (all the way at the bottom).
My 11 year old son thought it was a slow start, but after chapter 5, he couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the introduction and background on the missionaries, and how it makes it real that any of us could end up overseas! But my favorite part was the truth of how the tribes people knew there was a better Spirit, and how a few were brave enough to reach out and learn from the missionaries.
As a parent, I loved that each chapter ended with a thinking further perspective (at the back a verse, and some questions). My 11 year old was a bit grossed out when he learned of some of the tribal customs and sacrifices, and if I were reading aloud to a whole family, I would be sure to discuss this in more detail. It was hard for him to read, but the reality is that sin in our lives makes all of us do ugly things, and I don't think it was bad for him to have a bit of shock and awe in a safe context. I found the details appropriate and not over the top, just what tribes do when they don't know God, and are seeking the way to live. It made their salvation stories and sanctified living show the true power and awesome changes that happen with the Holy Spirit enters our lives. Reading along, it was easy to visualize the accounts, make cultural connections, connect it to your own life, and it taught you new vocabulary terms of the people, helping us think through what we mean when we talk about different spiritual concepts.
I think it is a very appropriate book for an 8-12 year old (or an adult who loves to learn). Could be used as a fun read aloud in a kids program, even a suspenseful series with the thinking further sections, or a family read aloud. I'm going to have to investigate the other books in this series!
You can hear an interview with the author here. On Christian Focus Page.
I was given a copy of the book to review, but all opinions are my own.
June 27, 2013