Tuesday, May 30, 2017

For the Joy Set Before Us: Insights Into the Missionary Journey by Erica Fye, Erica Mbasan

For the Joy Set Before Us: Insights Into the Missionary Journey
by Erica Fye, Erica Mbasan

30207235What does it take to leave behind everything you know, all the comforts of home, to travel into the unknown to answer the call? For the Joy Set Before Us invites you into the depths of the mission field, offering insights into the life God may have in store for you. Whether you are called to serve overseas or to serve right where you are, this book is for you.

My Take:
The call to Missions can be a daunting and frightening concept to many Christians in our comfortable air-conditioned living rooms. Those of us who are considering whether we are called to short-term or long-term missions work would be well-advised to pick up a copy of this book. In it, Erica Mbasan clearly illuminates many of the mysteries and covers some of the misconceptions and fears surrounding the surrender to the mission field.

With riveting true stories of salvation and the miraculous work of God in the war-torn country of Uganda, this book equips the new missionary with an understanding of what to expect both at home and abroad during their life as a missionary, including such topics as mission board requirements for service, spiritual warfare, loss of friends, disillusionment, pride and its consequences, wolves in sheep clothing, the loneliness and isolation. It encourages camaraderie with other Christian missionaries to bolster and encourage you in the faith, how to stay immersed in the Word and prayer, how to get out of your comfort zone. How to deal with the culture shock both when immersing into the field, and when returning home for short visits to the home church or family.

There is much more meat in this book for the aspiring missionary, I'd label it a must-read if you are considering service in the mission field, or if you simply want to understand the decision your friends have made in going to the mission field, the struggles and opposition they will face, and how you as a fellow believer and friend should support them.


Drug Content:
PG - There is some mention of rampant homemade alcohol, alcoholism and its devastating consequences. 

PG - A few scenes in this book cover some very violent true events, including one where a fellow missionary is tied up, stabbed multiple times, and left for dead. The ravages of war and its impact on the people of Uganda is covered, though not in graphic detail.

G - No language issues.

Adult Content:
PG - There is some discussion of the widespread AIDS epidemic and wanton rape. Missionaries are warned that the missionary is not immune to the violence, rape, and even threat of robbery or death. No adult events are described, that I remember, however.

Christian content:
It's full of meat and brimming with scripture and encouragement, as well as admonishment and biblical warnings. I would say that if you read this, you cannot come away without a clear understanding of the reality of spiritual darkness outside our comfy borders, or the crying need for workers in the field.

Final analysis:
Oh, wow. My heart goes out to those on the mission field. It's both harder than I ever dreamed, and more rewarding than this armchair quarterback could ever imagine. This book is well-written, clearly equipping missionaries for the field, from a spiritual readiness standpoint. Five Stars!

About the Author:
Erica MbasanErica was born and raised in New York State. She developed a passion for writing at a young age, and also a desire to help those in need. In 2006, Erica went to Kitgum, Uganda for the first time. She fell in love. After that, her life has revolved around doing missions work, writing, and traveling. She is the founder of Africa for God NGO in Uganda. She works with orphans, widows and others who were negatively effected by a 20 year war. She works with a wonderful team of people doing Biblical discipleship, literacy training, and outreaches. Her passion for writing has never dwindled, and in late 2014 Erica published her first book. She also maintains a personal blog, ministry blog, and writes a quarterly newsletter for the missions organization.

In August 2015, she was blessed to marry an amazing man, Robert (Robb). Robb and Erica live together in Kitgum, sharing the Good News and reaching out to the most vulnerable people.

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