- Taschenbuch: 239 Seiten
- Verlag: Crossway Books (31. Mai 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 143354069X
- ISBN-13: 978-1433540691
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 1,3 x 21,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 580.748 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World's Difficult Places (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. Mai 2014
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Tim Keesee is the founder and executive director of Frontline Missions International, which for the past 20 years has served to advance the gospel in some of the world's most difficult places. He has traveled to 80 countries, reporting on the church from the former Iron Curtain countries to war-torn Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is the executive producer of the popular DVD documentary series, Dispatches from the Front, and the author of Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World's Difficult Places.
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If you have read before "Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists" by Colin Hansen or "A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir" by Colin Hansen and John D. Woodbridge, the format of this book would be very familiar with you.
In Dispatches, Keesee takes us through almost every continent in the world and the many countries that have been "closed" to the gospel. Many of these countries includes former Soviet countries like the Central Asian countries, China and Albania.
Intersperse within his stories are many pictures and maps of these christians mentioned in this book. You will no doubt read of many heart wrenching stories, and many many bravery stories, stories of how willing these Christians are to suffer for the gospel sake. These and many stories like it are repeated almost in every country that Keesee has written about. Not only so, you will see the different needs that these people have and how Christianity has been meeting these needs and especially the great need for salvation in Christ Jesus. Keesee's writing is engaging, thoughtful and enjoyable. I do not remember having to pause at any time just to take time to digest the stories, but with every chapter finished, I looked forward to reading just another chapter.
Many a times as we how the Gospel has been marginalised in the West, Christians can feel rather disheartened about the situation, but as you read, your heart will be warmed to see how God has been and still is converting these hearts for Himself. Not only so, God will continues to send His servants to them despite the tremendous difficulty and hardship that they will face.
Not only will your heart be warmed, it too be be tugged, to want to see more of the Lord's work to be present in this world before Jesus returns again. I know of no other way to help you better see this than to give some quotes from the book itself "The world is more willing to receive the gospel than Christians are willing to give the gospel", "Is Afghanistan sealed against the entrance of the missionary? Or is the land only waiting for those who will pay the price of bursting its barriers?" and lastly, "On the front lines of gospel advance, there is no medals, no helmets, no sword - just men and women transformed by the gospel to take the message of Christ to the next city or country or next door".
I would highly recommend every christian to read this book, especially those who want to know more about missions, and I pray that after reading this, that God will send more to go, and even more to pray for those who have gone, and for those who will go.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Crossway in return for an honest review.
Wherever Keesee goes, he writes. As he travels from place to place and as he makes contact with Christians and non-Christians alike, he records his thoughts and experiences. He does so in a unique and uniquely poetic style. He is a gifted writer but also a gifted observer of people, settings, landscapes, and customs. He combines these gifts in wonderful dispatches that allow us to travel with him. In this book he visits the former Soviet republics in the aftermath of Communism, the Balkans in their time of never-ceasing conflict, and China under the influence of a God-hating regime. He goes to Southeast Asia where children are treated as currency, to Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, to the Horn of Africa and Egypt and finally to the dangerous, war-torn nations of Afghanistan and Iraq, where at this time there is barely even a gospel glimmer.
As he goes, he finds Christians. He spends time with them, he listens to them, he teaches them and they teach him. Wherever he goes he looks for evidence of the gospel’s power at work. He is a man who gets the gospel—he understands in it and believes in its power and will accept no cheap substitutes. And, of course, there are endless succession of these fraudulent imitations. He says,
I have seen empires come and go, but never have I seen anything so radical and pervasive as the gospel of the kingdom. The kingdom of Christ is diverse yet unified, boundless yet bound; for our lives are forever bound up in his life—and thus bound up with all other believers. We are like family, his body. The more I grasped the gospel, the more I loved Christ—and the more I loved him, the more I loved his people. I found a certain likeness in them.
One aspect that stands out I as reflect on Dispatches from the Front is the importance of humanitarian work that is coupled with gospel work. Of course we want the hungry to be fed and the homeless to find shelter. We do not advocate gospel completely divorced from physical provision. Yet the deepest and best hope comes when people hear the gospel and are transformed by it. This is not only because the gospel provides for them eternally, but also because the gospel motivates change here and now. Where animism is dominant, the people tend to subsist in misery. When Islam advances it brings with it an abhorrent form of captivity (as Keesee illustrates in several of the book’s chapters). But where the gospel goes, so too does an ethic that promotes love for others coupled to love for Christ. It’s an all-powerful combination that stands in stark contrast to the hopelessness around it.
This book reminds me that my experience of Christianity is not typical. It may be typical for a twenty-first century Western Christian, but it is not typical when we broaden the scope to encompass the whole church spread across the whole earth. For every bit of ease I experience, one of my brothers or sisters is facing peril. For every gift I take for granted, one of my brothers or sisters is thanking God for another day’s provision. For every Sunday I worship safely without the slightest fear of consequence, one of my brothers or sisters is risking their very life to gather with the saints. Keesee reminds me of all this in these brief dispatches.
I admire Keesee for this ministry and for his willingness to venture where the rest of us cannot or will not go. I admire his desire to help the church in dangerous places and to tell us of the gospel’s triumph over every manner of opposition. I enjoyed every page of this book and am convinced you will too.
One of the greatest needs in countries where Christians are heavily persecuted is resources that are Bible-based. Many of the pastors in these countries have little to no Bible training. You never know when you write an article, record a podcast or video blog who will read, listen or watch your material. This is one reason why when I talk to people about blogging I tell them that their material should be biblical, practical and personal. Our brothers and sisters in places like the Middle East, Africa and other places around the world don’t have the amount of resources that Christians in America have. This is one reason why American Christians should be mindful of how blessed we are that we have an abundance of resources at our disposal. This is also one reason why we should be mission minded in our writing ministry online and in our ministries in our local churches. Our goal should be to speak the truth in love to build one another up. This is exactly why I’m thankful for Dispatches From the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance In The World’s Difficult Places.
Dispatches From The Front is a unique book in my opinion. I’m in the fortunate position where I receive copies of almost all of the latest and greatest Christian books to read and review. In my opinion this book is one of the best books I've read in the past five years.
As Christians especially in the West we live mostly in the bubble of our local churches. By that I mean we live in a world where we go to church Sunday after Sunday and hear the pastor preach but often miss the fact that our local church isn't the only place where Christians are. We live in a connected world where we can now connect with Christians the world over. Our faith is not something new but old and rooted in the history of God’s redemptive plan from Genesis to Revelation. The Lord is working in and through His people using ordinary people in extraordinary ways for His glory. This book tells some of the grand story of God’s redemptive work in the world. It is for this and many other reasons I think Dispatches at the Front is my book of the year and one of the best books I've read in the past decade. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord would use it to fan the flame of His global mission in His people for His glory.
Thanks to Keesee and his teams of brave volunteers, we learn about the struggles of believers in these challenging places. We can pray with greater clarity. The book is an additional resource for us in the comfortable West to learn more about other nations, that faith for them do not come easy. We have our own challenges. They have their own. As a people of God, we all will do well to be informed of one another's challenges so that we can all pray for brothers and sisters worldwide. For the time will come, where we will be united as one body of Christ, regardless of ethnicity, geography, and circumstances.
Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of Crossway Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
There is much going on all around the world. God has been actively spreading his Gospel to the ends of the earth for millennia and will continue to do so until our Lord returns to consummate his eternal reign. One of the greatest benefits of living in the age in which we do is the access to global news. Before, a believing pastor would be jailed in a hostile nation and we would not even know about it. Today, we know Saeed Abedini. We know his wife and his children. We see his face. Before, a sister in Christ would be tortured and sentenced to death for not embracing Islam and we would know nothing. Today, we know and pray for sister Meriam Ibrahim. But even with 24-hour news cycles we still do not know even a portion of what is going on around the world, especially in the world of global evangelism and Gospel missions.
Dispatches from the Front gives us a glimpse of what God is doing and introduces us to the people through whom he is working. We get to meet brothers and sisters who are suffering, persevering, rejoicing, and winning lost sheep to the fold of our great Shepherd. This book, along withthe video series, does a truly wonderful job introducing us to our brothers and sisters all over the world.
Tim Keesee takes the reader all around the globe. To Azerbajian and Uzbekistan to meet Galina Vilchinskaya. When Galina was a twenty-three-year-old Sunday school teacher she
spent five years in prison for her gospel work; but prison, hunger, and beatings could not silence her. She led many in her prison to the Lord, so she was transferred to another prison—and after that, yet another. For her, these transfers were just new gospel opportunities. Finally, Galina was transported by prison train to the utter east of Siberia, along with scores of other prisoners—the worst of the worst. As the condemned in their cages rumbled on through the Siberian vastness, the din of cursing and fighting was broken by a clear, sweet voice of singing. It was Galina singing of her Savior. A hush fell over the train car. Even the most hardened criminals turned their faces away to hide their tears—and mile after mile, hymn after hymn, Galina sang the gospel.
Tim takes us to Hatay to meet
an old woman named Arro-kulano, who had for years been a sorceress until she heard the gospel and abandoned the service of demons. In anger over her faith, her Muslim son burned her house down! But the change in his mother’s life and the way the Christians loved her and rebuilt her house softened his heart—and the power of the cross did the rest. He gathered with us to praise the Lord Jesus as we sat beneath trees thick with the nests of weaver birds. The songbirds seemed to join in as we lifted our voices and hands in praise.
In Ethiopia Tim introduces us to our brother Michael who works with AIDS orphans, being the hands and feet of our great God. That is where we meet Yerus and her friend Lamrot.
Yerus, which is short for “Jerusalem,” came here when she was four. Michael found her at the hospital—an orphan with full-blown AIDS, waiting to die. She had lost her hair, and her head was covered with sores instead. Michael made a little shashfor her and took her out shopping for clothes. Afterward he determined he had to help her. Because she was the first child with AIDS that he had ever taken into the orphanage, his heart was filled with fear and uncertainty. Still though, two things were certain: left alone, Yerus would soon die; and Michael had to do something. So Jerusalem would be the beginning of taking care of AIDS orphans. Four years later, she has beautiful hair, which she had pulled back in a ponytail, and she has a strong faith and love for Jesus. There were seven other AIDS orphans at the orphanage when I visited. Michael said the children are the best therapy for each other—they take care of each other.
Tim goes and sees firsthand the persecution many of our brothers and sisters are facing. In Pakistan he goes with some Human Rights attorneys to visit Pastor Indriaz in the hospital. Indriaz was beaten by a group of Muslim men for his faith and his witness. The beating had left him next to dead and his young wife and child facing the real possibility of life without him.
The left side of the young pastor’s head was smashed in. The beating severed his ear and left him blind in one eye. Because of convulsions, his wrists were awkwardly tied with cords, leaving him in a position of twisted agony. His wife, Shinaz, sat next to him, holding their three-month-old boy, Saman. She stared blankly at her husband with indescribable sadness in her eyes, as the baby nuzzled her and cried softly.
In Cambodia we meet Lawn,
the Fanny Crosby of the Tampuans. Through her blindness, she sees the Savior, and the joy of that brightens her face. Lawm has already composed ten hymns, and now that J. D. has reduced Tampuan into written form, Lawm’s songs form the basis for the first Tampuan book—a hymnal. She invited us to sit on a reed mat with her. I asked her to sing one of her hymns, and after some coaxing, Lawm consented. She sang of light scattering darkness, of freedom in Christ, of him who has untied us from our sin. As she sang, tears trickled from her sightless eyes—and from my eyes, too.
In the midst of the suffering and hardship the Gospel is going forth. Our great God is gathering his people to himself. He is raising the dead to life and giving eyes to see. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the nation of China where China is
rushing the future—its rise rapid and impressive. Yet there is another power rising that is more impressive still—Christ’s kingdom. It is estimated that there are nearly one hundred million Christians in China. Here among our brothers and sisters, their vision is rising to the occasion. Jus a few years ago, the local house church here was reaching two campuses—now it is reaching twenty-two! And these house churches have increased ten-fold as well. The men who shepherd them seem tireless—operating “beneath the radar,” they are given to evangelism, discipleship, and now missions beyond their city. Their kingdom-dreams are as big as China!
Dispatches from the Front is one of the greatest Christian resources I have ever enjoyed. This book complements the video series perfectly and is a must for anyone desiring to be encouraged and challenged by what is going on around the world. It is easy to become entrenched in the hum-drum of American life, not understanding what is going on around the world. Christians are not at all exempt from this struggle. So it is a blessing to take a trip with Tim and meet so many who are going through so much and being used so mightily to impact the world for the glory of God. So come with Tim and meet Li Yun, Pastor Gennady, Misko, Chun-Yan, Roland, Baba George, and so many others who will be our co-heirs and eternal worship partners because of the mighty work of Christ and how it has and is impacting their lives and the lives of those around them. Be challenged. Be stirred. Be convicted. Be encouraged. This is a work that God will use mightily. Get a copy of this book and the videos and be blessed.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.