My kids and I had the opportunity to review a book by Gwen Toliver: Seed Sowers. The full title is Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures. It is available in three different formats: hardcover, paperback, and Kindle edition. They are $27.86, $12.56, and $3.99, respectively. Gwen's website lists several different companies online which sell her book. We received the Kindle edition.
Gwen has interviewed missionaries and put their stories into a form to share with generations to come. I would gather my kids and sit at the dining room table or comfortably on our living room couch to read from the book stored on my computer. I had hoped to see a spark within them as I read or some sense of wonder and amazement. They just listened as if it were any other book.
The twenty one chapters in this book tell stories of single people and couples in places like Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea. They detail certain events in their lives and relate how many years it took them to translate the Bible into the native languages of the people they ministered to. Since one of my sons is currently learning two languages, my daughter thought it was interesting how one of the stories told about a translator who had to learn five different tones in one language.
I was most impressed by the story, "It All Started with Dionisio," about the spiritual battle that was being raged for the people of a tribe. They had some dark beliefs which, to us, sound like superstition, but these beliefs played themselves out in real life. Those people began to believe in God because of the missionaries persistence in prayer. They realized that they did not have to live in fear any longer.
A lot of the stories have a jaw-dropping effect because they seem too amazing to be true. Other stories do not. It is a good lesson to learn, in this day and age, that not everything worth doing needs to have some miraculous or climactic event. God more often than not leads ordinary people to do ordinary things in order to reach the world for Christ. Sometimes he intersperses harrowing events that cause us to have greater faith than we knew we had. These stories help to increase others' faith. Because this book has both kinds of stories, I highly recommend it.
The amount of work these missionaries had to do, including studying before even entering the mission field, is quite amazing. They were called by God. They persevered through rigorous training and difficult situations. I hope that these stories, even though we are done reading the book, have touched some place in my children's hearts so that they can be in awe of the power of God and his faithfulness to people the world over. Gwen also provides updated information on each of the missionaries at the ends of each chapter.
You can place faces with some of the names by looking at the pictures on Gwen's website.
Gwen's book is geared toward the sixth-grade reading level. It makes for a good book to read out loud to the family.