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Publication Date: 2013
Sent: How a Middle-Class Family Traded Success for God's Bigger DreamHilary AlanWaterBrook / 2013 / Trade Paperback$2.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 13 Reviews Video
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If anyone had the ability to succeed as a committed Christian as well as a high-achieving American, it was Hilary Alan. She and her husband, Curt, had a beautiful home, a fast-track career, and talented, successful children. But in the midst of their comfortable life and active church involvement, they realized they rarely heard from God.
Sent tells the story of ordinary Christians who accepted two words from Jesus at face value and found that doing so changed everything. In Jesuss call to "follow me," the Alans discovered answers to the most pressing human needs: meaning, purpose, vocation, significance, and Gods plan for the future. For the Alans, it led to selling nearly all their belongings and moving with their children halfway around the world. For you, the particulars will be completely different, but no less significant. Jesuss call can change everything in your life.
As you follow Hilary Alans journey in response to Jesuss call to discipleship, you will gain a clear understanding of the things that can keep you from obeying God. You will no longer wonder if youre investing your life in the best way possible, because two words from Jesus change everything.
HILARY ALAN, a former public relations professional, is a wife and mother of two children. Hilary and her family moved to Southeast Asia in the aftermath of a tsunami that destroyed villages, homes, businesses, and hundreds of thousands of lives. Today, the Alans continue to advance the work of Christ internationally in their involvement with a church in North Carolina as they prepare for another overseas assignment.
"There are people who talk a lot about going on adventures with God, and then there are people who actually go. The Alans are part of the latter group. In the years Ive known them it has been an honor to watch their story unfold. Im thrilled that now you will get the chance to hear their story as well!"
Jon Acuff, Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job and Stuff Christians Like
"What kids really need is not the best of everythingclothes, education, opportunities. Our kids need parents who become heroes to them by following Christ into difficult situations where success is not the goal. They also need relationships with young adults who are completely in love with Jesus. That is so much more important than having
them in a youth group with kids who are at least as clueless as your own. I wish every American parent could read Sent."
Kathy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York, NY
"Sent chronicles one familys journey from the comforts of America to the challenges of going to the nations. You will be blessed and convicted by what you read. The Alan familys story can help change you for the glory of King Jesus!"
Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Having spent years leading the largest missionary-sending agency in the world, I never ceased to be amazed at the parade of young families that turned their backs on the comfort, security, and affluence of the American Dream to take the gospel to unreached nations. Sent is the inspiring testimony of one of those families. Be prepared to face the challenge of making the same radical choice."
Jerry Rankin, president emeritus, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
"What do you do if you discover that the American Dream is not Gods dream for you? Sent is the gritty story of an ordinary American familya family just like yoursthat gave up comforts and careers in exchange for Gods call. Compelling, transparent, and convicting, this book will open your heart to the possibility that God has a different
dream for your life."
Brian Fikkert, coauthor of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself
Kris BushOrlando, FLAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5ObedienceMay 18, 2014Kris BushOrlando, FLAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5In the bible Jesus never asks us to follow him but issues the command "follow me." He does give us the choice to obey the command or to remain in sin, in rebellion. Hilary Alan's book is about a family that heeded the command "follow me." They shows that to follow Christ and to do HIS Will, will not always be easy, it will comes with some stripping. We will be stripped of what we think is right, of what we think we want/need, and what we think we want to do. Hilary's family travels to Southeast Asia for missionary work, they approach it in a "love them to Christ" manner. They didn't overwhelm the villagers with Christ but showed His love to everyone they encountered and effectively shared the gospel that way.
Angie GrigaliunasAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Two words from Jesus change everythingJune 5, 2013Angie GrigaliunasAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Sent" is the riveting account of an upper-middle-class Christian family who left everything to go to Southeast Asia following the tsunami of 2004. Not for vacation, not for the experience, not to look holy or radical --- but, as author Hilary states many times throughout the book, because God told them to go. From the outside, this family had it all --- high-paying jobs, happy and healthy kids, a brand new house, fancy stuff to fill said house, lavish vacations, two new cars, and a great church. And inside, they felt like they had it all. Hilary starts off by saying that she was very happy with the life she had. Had it been up to her and her husband, Curt, they probably wouldn't have changed anything.
_But God had other plans. And step by step, He began to get their attention. He took them from content (though never fully satisfied), to wanting something more; from living for themselves (under the guise of being good, involved Christians)_to living for something far greater. From striving for the advancement of their own little kingdom_to laying everything aside for the advancement of His. The change in each person is evident throughout the book, and a beautiful testimony of what God can do with a willing heart.
I knew nothing about this family or their story going into this, so I had no preconceived notions or ideas. Once I began reading, I devoured this book in a matter of hours. Hilary starts by describing the tsunami, then details what was going on in her family's lives when it happened. And how God used the tsunami to, as Hilary puts it, "reverse the trajectory" of their lives.
While much of the story deals with things that happened during their three years in Southeast Asia, a lot of it also relays Hilary's faith journey. I related a lot to her struggles to let go of her idea of success, of control (or, rather, the illusion of it), of her own plans, and of her husband and two children. Her steadfast respect for her husband was inspiring, and her own honesty refreshing. Throughout the book, she makes it clear that she and her family were and are nothing special. They heard a call from God, answered the call the only way one truly can, and were obedient to the call. But in the midst of it all, they were human. She never tries to come off like it was easy, or that once they made the decision to go, there was no opposition or doubt. They struggled over whether or not they'd made the right decision, over whether their kids would be hurt by the cross-world move, over what people would think, over God not answering prayers as they thought He should, over the pain and devastation they encountered.
One of the things I loved about this book is how Hilary and her family didn't really seem to go into Southeast Asia to mass-evangelize the place. Their focus remained on cultivating relationships with the villagers_sharing the gospel with them through loving them_and they did that. One of the most touching stories Hilary shares is how a friend, Lee, comforted another girl in the midst of devastating loss. When Hilary thanked Lee for her compassion, Lee said that the Alan's and their group had shown her how to love, and that she "_wanted to do for her what you all did for me."
There were not a lot of details given as to the nature of the ministry work the Alan's were doing, or where exactly they were doing it. One of the things that sucked me into the book was the broad description "Southeast Asia". I wanted to know where in Southeast Asia, precisely, because I am anal about things like that. I was a ways into the book before I realized that Hilary wasn't going to say where. That was slightly disappointing, but I got the impression that it wouldn't be safe to announce it. That, and a bit of repetitiveness throughout, kind of bothered me_but I got over it.
To be honest, this book makes me love God more. Seeing how He fit everything in the Alan's lives together_how Hilary and Curt's pasts made them the exact right people for what God called them to do_seeing how much they struggled and how faithful and patient He was with them_it was just incredible. At the end of the first chapter, Hilary states a familiar quote --- that God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. Their story is definitely living proof of that. And it is such a beautiful testimony.
I highly recommend this book. It will encourage you, make you tear up (if you are anything like me), and challenge you to put your own "yes" on the table. And to see where God takes you.
Note: I received this book for free for this review. This is my opinion only.