For the Joy Set Before Us – Review
I enjoy books written by missionaries about the missionary life. There’s something about the work that intrigues me. I love and appreciate the stories, the hardships, the methods, and the cost. For the Joy Set Before Us – insights into the missionary journey is a book about missionary work by a missionary to Uganda – Erica Fye. She tells of the joys and challenges of missionary work and gives lots of advice along the way. I’m reviewing the Kindle edition.
Erica talks about her journey that took her into the mission field. She talks about the missionary life and the hard work and isolation involved. She discusses what it’s like to become a missionary and to live like a missionary. Of course she also points out that every situation is different.
She tells about her experience and then gives a Biblical principle behind it with an application. Either one of these alone makes for interesting and enjoyable reading. Combine all three elements and this book is a must read for anyone interested in missionary work. She’s open and shares both the good and the bad. She even talks about how she suffered from both severe malaria and typhoid, among many other things.
The book isn’t all about her. It includes her experiences, but it’s also about what mission work is and is not. She talks about how to understand the differences in cultures. It’s not about replacing cultures. It’s about spreading the Gospel. She gives a handy list of practical steps to handle culture shock. This list is helpful no matter where you live.
“We cannot know our purpose until we are in communion with the One who created us with that purpose. Each one of God’s children has a special purpose and is a unique part of His plan.”
It includes stories of other missionaries from the past and the problems and experiences they faced. It includes thoughts on analyzing your reasons for going in the mission field and encourages you to look at your own personal motivations, and to be assured of your calling.
She talks about getting close to God and spending time with God and letting Him transform us into what He wants us to be. Letting God speak to us to tell what our own mission is. Don’t try to mimic others and their mission.
“You are called to be a disciple and a disciple maker.”
She shares a lot of candied stories include that she wanted to bargain with God to not have to teach and ended up teaching 7 Bible studies a week, and about the struggles and hard times that she faced (being robbed, getting sick, feeling alone, etc.)
“I believe that this preparation starts by ministering right where you are.”
Her love of God’s Word and finding His will shows on every page. She gives lots of Scripture and also provides several quotes from writers such as Charles Spurgeon. She gives lots of Biblical examples of missionary work and gives illustrations of Peter and Paul on a personal level. Everything she says about missionary work applies to all forms of witnessing – whether it’s in a foreign country or in your own neighborhood.
“My most effective teachers were brokenness and loneliness.”
One thing that really hit home with me was where she talks about the importance of encouraging others, and even the importance of others supporting your mission (your home Church and a network of missionaries). She uses Paul as an example. She has a strong emphasis on mission work (at home and abroad) and shows Biblical principles for the mission.
“We are all commissioned in different ways.”
Erica shows what the hard life of a missionary is like. Both the good and the bad. The isolation, malnutrition, sickness, depression, spiritual warfare, hunger, discouragement, encouragement, help, and support. The chapter on spiritual warfare alone is worth buying this book for.
The book is filled with advice, Scripture, and application, and written from the heart, personal experience, and includes her personal beliefs.
“Whatever ministry the Lord entrusts to you, may you see to it that you serve Him with all of your heart as you watch Him change the world.”
I’d like to thank Erica a special thank you for putting up with my endless barrage of questions. The passion she has for the work she does shows in all of her writings – even if it’s just a short email. Erica… thank you for writing this book. You’re not only helping people understand their own calling to be a missionary, you’re also helping people in making their decision about any and every calling they might feel – even if it’s doing a work in their own neighborhood.
This is a special book that is very well written, very interesting, and very much needed. I can’t recommend For the Joy Set Before Us enough.
This ebook was provided by the author for free for this review. I was not required to provide a positive review. My opinions are my own.