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1.06.2019

Made for the Journey ~ Review

Made for the Journey: 
   One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador
by Elisabeth Elliot
with foreword by Kay Warren
First off just for those who think they have all of Elisabeth Elliot's books this book was originally published in 1998 as These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge? For those who are unfamiliar with the previous title (which I was) this a most interesting and insightful look at Elisabeth Elliot's first year as a missionary (which I might add was before she married Jim Elliot).

All too often the life of a missionary is glamorized in the hard work and effort that goes into the life well Made for the Journey doesn't glamorize it. Elizabeth went to Ecuador with the intention to learn the language of the Colorado Indians and then work on developing a written language with which the Bible could be translated for them. But her first step was learning Spanish so that she could communicate with those who called Ecuador home. Which makes one realize just how valuable an understanding of languages truly is to those who serve in the mission field. 

The community to which Elizabeth and her colleagues settled was not home to the Colorados to whom the deeper jungle was home but it was an area which they frequented upon occasion. But obtaining the willingness of one of these individuals to sit with her for hours, days, and weeks was nearly impossible. The need for her to learn their language was not nearly as important to them as it was to her. And there were setbacks that made her at times question her work and whether she had misheard God's calling.

Through her efforts, successful and not, Elizabeth wondered at times what God's purpose for this year of her life was. Years later she had her answer (revealed at the end of the book) and we need to remember the truth that God, that Christ is sufficient for all our trials and sorrows - that was and is the purpose of the cross. We often don't know the "why" but that is not important in our journey only that we trust in Him and follow His leading.

This book is not long at only 166 pages but there is a lot of information and depth to be found within these pages. I wouldn't say this should be read as a devotional but rather as a welcome addition to one's daily readings. There are 19 chapters so this could even be read over a couple of months if one only has free reading time on the weekends. This is labeled as a memoir and most will find it to be so much more. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion.

About the Book:
In this deeply personal account of her first year as a missionary, Elisabeth Elliot shares the challenges she faced as she worked in the jungles of Ecuador to bring the Word of God to a people virtually untouched by the outside world. With fascinating detail, she captures the stark realities of life in the jungle, the difficulties she encountered while developing a written language for the tribe, and her confusion when God didn't "cooperate" with her efforts to accomplish what she believed was His will.

More than just a memoir, Made for the Journey is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to authentic Christian obedience to an unfathomable God.