Hidden Heroes 3 Witness Men The Stories of Goad at Work in Papua, Indonesia by Rebecca Davis
published byCF4K (christian focus publications)
I love missionary stories. They are the shaping of my earliest memories of children's church, camp teaching, missionary study class, and in our home teaching of my childhood. I value missions and those who go overseas to spread the Gospel to new groups of Bible. My grandmother new several of the Auca indian missionaries personally, so I've always felt connected!
A year or so ago, at chapel we had a speaker share about a different part of Papau New Guinea where they had found the Moi People who had never been contacted outside their mountains til the early 2000. I came home and shared with my family as much as I could remember and looked them up. So I was super excited to read this book and hear details about a different tribe, their discovery, and the way they were reached.
I sat down and finished it in one sitting!! I asked my eleven year old to read it as well, he had a harder time getting into it, but said after chapter 5, it was super exciting and finished the book in two days! He also asked to read more stories like this!
Details of the story:
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.