We have recently been reviewing a wonderful book on missions, Seed Sowers, by Gwen Tolliver. And, I am very excited to get to tell you about it! Why? Well, when I was a little girl, I was blessed to attend a church that had a huge heart for missionaries. Not just the heart that gave money (which IS a good thing), but also a heart to get to know who these amazing people were, what they were doing, and how God was using them.
Once a year, our church would host a missions conference. The would invite any of the missionaries who were able to come to the conference. They would ask each of these missionaries to set up a little 'station' about their mission work and then we would 'travel' around the world-stopping at each of their countries to see what they did. We would travel to Papua New Guinea, Japan, Romania, the US, and many other countries.
This little yearly conference left a huge impression on my life. Knowing from a young age about real people who went and told others about Jesus had me telling people I would grow up to be a missionary. Now, I only ended up going on a short-term missions trip, but I know that missionaries are all Christians and God uses them even in their homes.
Gwen's book, Seed Sowers, has a very similar mission: to introduce people of all ages to the amazing people God has chosen to work as overseas missionaries. It also allows them to see how God has worked in their lives in some very challenging situations.
Gwen, a fellow homeschool mom AND blogger-she writes at ToliversToTexas-wanted to put together this book about real missionaries and some of the real ways God has provided for them on the mission field. She and her husband serve with Wycliff Bible Translators, and so she was able to contact many missionaries throughout a 2 year period and interview them for this book.
Gwen interviewed 21 different missionaries and complied their stories into one book, Seed Sowers Gospel Planting Adventures. And, let me tell you, adventures they are! From one missionary almost drowning, another almost getting eaten by an ocelot, a third facing the terror of being beheaded, and there are MANY more.
The best part of each story, is that the missionaries always share how God took these crazy situations and allowed His power and provision to be shown through them. He shows how either the missionary learned a big lesson about trusting God, or a person (or entire tribe) ended up coming to know the Lord all from one scary, strange, disgusting, or challenging-but important, event.
I had intended to read the book with my children, but felt like I should read it myself first. I don't really know why, but I did just that. Each morning, for my quiet time, I have grabbed my Kindle and entered a land I have never been to, and live a crazy moment in time along with the missionary of that day. It has really allowed me to appreciate the current mission field I have been given!
There are actually days I question my mission field. Yes, when I am changing dirty diapers, cleaning up toys, folding laundry, cooking dinner, or one of the many daily tasks on my plate, I feel quite mundane and unexciting. It's easy to look at those serving in a mountain tribe in South America and say-hey THOSE people are serving God. And, wow, what a COOL way to serve God. I think back to my 3 weeks in Ghana, Africa, and wonder if I should have tried to go back. I mean, God could have used me SO MUCH MORE if I were in a hut, right?
Reading Seed Sowers has really pointed out one major thing to me, God will put you where He wants you. He will provide for you the things He knows you need. And, if you allow Him control of each situation, He will be glorified, and you will be doing EXACTLY the mission work he wants for you to do!! Yes, as a matter of fact, I got all that from reading about witch doctors and missionaries!
The more I read, the more I am excited to share it with my children. I would like to gather a map and maybe other things to help them get an idea of where these missionaries live. I love the photos that are on the Seed Sower's web-site to help you get an idea of who they are, too. I will update you more when we do!
I would highly recommend Seed Sowers! I reviewed the Kindle version, which costs just $3.99. You can also purchase a softcover book for $12.50. You can read an excerpt of the book on Seed Sower's Website, and also find out more about the book, Gwen Tolliver, and the missionaries in the book.
Many of the other crew members also reviewed Seed Sowers. To see what they thought, be sure to check out the crew blog.