As a mother waiting to bring her baby home from Ethiopia, and as a youth pastor's wife, I found this book completely indispensable! I settled into bed with it the night after it arrived in the mail... I couldn't put it down, and within 48 hours I had devoured it. It struck something in my very core and several times John glanced over at me and said, "good?" because he could hear me trying to stifle my sniffles. (I get slightly embarrassed when books make me cry ... and this one did!) It resonated with all my hopes and dreams for my children and the kids in our Youth Group. There were several times that I wanted to set the book down and weep just out of sheer longing. When I finished, I spent a long time crying out to God and begging Him to capture the hearts of our youth and our future children... to set their hearts on a mission! To call them to a mission that would glorify Him and reach out to the world to make a God impact. I begged God to use me... to show me how I can be a part of that...
One of the biggest things I took away from this book is that you're never too young! The concept of "when I grow up..." is far too prevalent in this country. There are many kids out there living their lives for the glory of Christ and making a huge difference for Him! I wish I had read this when I was younger. I think we laugh at children's dreams too often and it crushes their spirit. Reading this book grew my passion for never belittling the aspirations of a child and never dismissing it as silly, unrealistic, or too big. Every talent God gave us can be used, even at a young age, to do His work! After reading this book I've made a more concerted effort to listen when the youth tell me about things they're interested in. I try to always encourage those interests and gifts, and then pray that God would show them how to use them. This book showed me the potential of these teens... not when they grow up, but RIGHT NOW!
One Million Arrows also inspired me to further invest myself in, what the author calls, the mission... God's work on earth. When I first started reading I thought, "I'm not doing too bad. We're in full time ministry, and we're reaching out and adopting a baby from Ethiopia... not too shabby." By the time I put the book down my heart was broken because I knew that I didn't really get it. The last couple weeks have been a molding time for me as God has shown me over and over that being a part of His Mission means going deeper, farther, and harder... I'm not there yet... not even close. But my heart has a burning desire! One of the things we've been praying for Tucker (our little guy waiting in Africa) is that he would grow to have a heart for the Lord and he would serve Christ all his life. I had thought of so many things to share with him... so many stories about other amazing men of God to encourage his walk. What I hadn't thought of (though it seems so simple and clear) is that none of that will matter if WE don't live the mission. He will learn from us... his mom and dad. We have to live it out... and not just a little! We have to fully and completely immerse ourselves in God's mission everyday and bring Tucker with us. We can't leave him on the sidelines to watch while he grows up, and then when he's 18 send him off and say, "okay, now you try!" We've got to include him in it from day one! He won't have to go out on his own to give it a try because he should be living it every day from the beginning. With this new vision I can't wait to see what he does!
I'll leave you with this excerpt from the book... one of my favorites... and then I HOPE that you will order your own copy today. (ALL proceeds from the book sales go to international orphans ministry!) You won't be sorry... and you'll also never be the same!
On his tour called "The Better Questions," Christian musician Todd Agnew told a story about going to India and seeing all the poverty and how it totally changed him. When he came back from the trip, he asked himself, "Why does God allow this kind of suffering?" After praying and studying the Bible on this topic, he came up with "the better question":
"Why do I allow suffering?"People get all bent out of shape at God, wondering why He isn't solving world hunger, or giving destitute people homes to live in, or giving people clean water to drink, or keeping people free from curable diseases. The fact is, God's children - you and I - are His ambassadors on this earth. We are His hands, His feet, His heart, His food, and His money. You and I are possibly the only chance this world will ever get to actually see Jesus.
p.98, One Million Arrows
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