Thursday, July 10, 2014

Adventures under the Mango Tree









  












By Lillian Ann Klepp of Harvesters Reaching the Nations HRTN.org 




Sometimes the people we are called to care for live half a world away from us. 
Sometimes they speak a language we don't know, and come from a culture that we don't understand. 
Sometimes a place we never dreamed of living is exactly where we are meant to be. 

Adventures Under the Mango Tree is a book about service, sacrifice and family. 
Lillian and Dennis moved to Africa to help orphans, and ended up going through more trials and joys than they ever thought possible. They worked with boys and girls both young and old, in the middle of a war zone. 
They taught children about the love of God and they dealt with disease and trauma. 
They experienced times of peace and times of fear. 
They questioned why they had come, and then they praised God for how He revealed His heart. 





It is always fascinating to see what God is doing in our world. I like books like this because they remind us that God sheds His light through us, at home or abroad, and that there is a purpose to every life and work to be done by every person.

I have never needed to worry about experiencing thirst without access to cold clean water, hunger without plentiful food, or sickness without medicine. It is hard to imagine human beings trying to survive and thrive in a place like the Sudan.  
Here in American, we talk about God in a culture of dreams and desires. There, you talk about God while meeting basic needs. 






There are times that I wish every country could experience some of America's "problems." I wish every nation's young people had to fight their way to faith in a current of college choices and casual dating. (Not really, but you'll see my point.) 
We worry endlessly about how to present the real Gospel in our entertainment/virtual reality driven society. Then we read about these kids, and perhaps the good news is more obviously good to them because they are surrounded by need... the broken world is evident. A God who cares about them seems too good to be true, but if suffering is this real then a suffering Savior must be too. 
Perhaps to them death and burial and bread and wine make sense, because they live in a world of starvation and war.   
America's issues all seems so doable and solvable compared to the poverty found in Africa.... and yet where did Jesus promise to be? Among the poor in spirit. 
So I should not be surprised. 

Thank you B&B Media Group for my review copy!



In sharing their story, Lillian explains not only the early motivation that prompted the couple to make such a massive life change, but also shares how their faith and trust was strengthened prior to the move by numerous situations in which they had nowhere else to turn but God. Recalling one day in particular when one of their children was suffering from a severe asthma attack, Lillian details her thoughts and fears, writing, “I immediately prayed to God asking, ‘What do I do?’ I then proceeded to pray over Lance the words of Mark 10:14, ‘Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’ And while I read this, I realized in that moment that I needed to trust God for healing, medicine or no medicine. I needed to have full trust in the Lord.”
It was during times such as those, Lillian writes, that she realized “God was working in our lives to help us come to trust and rely on Him for everything. And as it turned out, He was preparing us for what was to come.”

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