Made for the Journey

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot was a story that spun so many emotions in me.  Her knowing and living her appointed way and sharing with the reader about it was powerful to me.  As she moves along she shares all the Spiritual Truths that she discovered walking it out.  Like her “natural” way is to not trust God but to worry instead.  Also that God has given us the power to exercise our wills.  He has delegated it to us.  I loved this “Trust Me.  Never mind the answers to the whys just now – those are Mine.  Trust Me.”  “God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.’”  Having also journeyed to Quito, Ecuador, this holds a special place in my heart.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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As I look back on that time, I think it was Lesson One for me in the school of faith. That is, it was my first experience of having to bow down before that which I could not possibly explain. Usually we need not bow. We can simply ignore the explainable because we have other things to occupy our minds. We sweep it under the rug. We evade the questions. Faith's most severe tests come not when we see nothing but when we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith vain. If God were God, if He were omnipotent, if He had cared, would this have happened? Is this that I face now the ratification of my calling, the reward of obedience. One turns in disbelief again from the circumstances and looks into the abyss. But in the abyss there is only blackness, no glimmer of light, no answering echo. 

I read this account over 5 years and it is amazing how revisiting her amazing story, you pick up different insights. This was faith pure and simple. Her missionary encounter brought Elliot face to face with what faith is and what it is not. She did not see anyone come to Christ during her time, but she did set the ground work for the next missionary. Her account is harrowing and remarkable as she faced danger, death and snakes. I can't do snakes. She delivered a baby under bizarre circumstances to a culture that is different from our own. She also was faced with death of colleague that questioned her calling to the Coloradans. 

A true testimony of what suffering and putting God first means. The cost and the presence of God in the darkest of hours. It was hard to believe she was in her early 20's. Highly Recommend.

A Special Thank you to Revell and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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Elisabeth Elliot is a common name amongst Christians when they talk about sacrifice and inspiration. Her story of sacrifice is so well-known by many that it is interesting to read about her first year on the field before she was married. Her way of communicating her feelings, and even the events of this time in her life are very real. I appreciate the honesty she writes with, in being unsure of what exactly she was supposed to be doing, but knowing that God is in control and has a purpose. 

I would say this book is definitely suited for a person who already has an interest in her life, as there isn't much shared after the events of the first year to 'tie up loose ends'. But anyone who wants to be challenged in their walk with the Lord will also benefit from her working out her faith, and her beautiful way of communicating the things the Lord showed her through various difficult circumstances she faced.

The book was written a long time ago, and is a re-release of a previous work. Some may take issue with her stance on women's roles in the ministry, and the way they approached the people. But if you read it with an open heart, I am sure you find some really good and encouraging things that will stay with you long after you close the cover.
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Elisabeth Elliot was a Christian author and communicator like no other.  Her books have always challenged me, and her radio show encouraged me for many years.  This book was like reading a personal letter written by Mrs. Elliot.  It is a clear and absorbing account of the beginning of her missionary career.  She did not sugarcoat or romanticize any of the events of that happened to her during that time. She simply shares the lessons that God taught her during these days of service, and it is fascinating reading.   We also get a glimpse of the beginnings of her feelings for missionary Jim Elliot and her desire to get married.   As she shares victories and losses, I was encouraged to trust God through all the circumstances of my own life.   Mrs. Elliot had a long and effective ministry to women until the Lord called her home, and our lives are the richer for this.

I want to make sure the reader of this review knows that this book is a reprint of the book “Strange Ashes” by this author, and was published in 1998.  I did not read the earlier edition, and I’m not sure if any changes or updates were added. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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Elisabeth Elliot,  need I say more? Like a voice of a friend from a long time ago, this book spoke to me as her books always have in the past. This is the story of an amazing, dedicated woman’s first foray into the world of missionary work and the beginning of her story with Jim Elliot, her husband to be and martyr to be. Elisabeth shares deep Christian truths in a very readable, conversational, down to earth, style of writing that draws you into her experiences.  For lovers of this author, and for people who have never heard of her before, I would recommend this book, as I recommend all other books by her. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy to review.
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Elisabeth Elliot is one of my favorite authors, as well as one of my "heroes." If you have heard of Elisabeth Elliot or read anything she has written, you probably know why. The wisdom she poured out through her life is just wonderful. On top of that, she had such a heart of gold. She has also written a few of my favorite Christian books. Keep a Quiet Heart is one of my all-time favorites. Let Me Be a Woman is a wonderful book for all women to read as well.

Made for the Journey is an account of Elisabeth Elliot's first year as a missionary. She shares the challenges she went through to bring the Word of God to people in Ecuador. To people who were untouched by the outside world, really

As I read this book, I could think of only one thing. Missions really are not for the faint-hearted. It's amazing to read such accounts of a year in the life of a missionary. And to be honest, Elisabeth Elliot was quite amazing at it. I honestly found it interesting to read through this account. I have met some missionaries, but I found it very interesting to read about everything she had to go through. All the preparations, language courses, people she met -- everything!

So if you are interested in the missions life, I would recommend reading this book. The journey Elisabeth Elliot had to go through to share to Word of God was quite the challenging one. Maybe this isn't what doing missions looks like these days. I really have no experience. But this book does hold an amazing and interesting account. Therefore this is a good read for anyone interested in missions, but also for anyone interested in the life of Elisabeth Elliot.
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"Made for the Journey" is about the author's year spent in the Ecuadorian jungle as a first-time missionary. She talked about different aspects of her life there--from her romance-by-letter with her future husband to the difficulties of housekeeping to her work creating a written form of the local language to helping her fellow missionaries with medical emergencies. She also talked about her emotions, thoughts, and questions that arose as her faith was tested. She had certain ideas of how God would work and what missionaries and mission work would be like, but things didn't work out like she'd expected.
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Parts of this book were fascinating; however, other parts of this book were problematic and outright offensive.

When I received a free advanced reader copy from Revell Reads, I was excited to take part in this project. Now, after this article, I’m worried that they will never ask me for another review.

I enjoy Christian books and memoirs are one of my favorite genres. I have also always dreamed of going to another country as a missionary; however, I did not have to read far into the text to realize that I was not the target audience.

The author states that she believes that women should keep silent in worship, cover their heads, and be subservient to men.

As an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church with over five years of experience in ministry, I heartily disagree.

I tried to set aside my differences in theological opinion and consider the book on it’s own literary merits. I believe that we can agree to disagree; however, the text itself was inherently problematic.  

In her preface, the author states the events of this book took place over 40 years ago. The book was originally published in 1979, which would place the events of this book circa 1939. This doesn’t surprise me, because this book feels as if was written before the civil rights movement. 

 

A Xenophobic Worldview 
Eliot describes the native people as “sinister” and “godless.” She writes from a clearly ethnocentric Western viewpoint. She repeatedly refers to things of the Western world as “civilized,” which makes clear her implication that the native people are not civilized. 

As someone who has been called an “Asiatic savage,” I cannot help but take offense. I cannot understand why the publisher did not make some simple yet significant emendations to the language for this new edition. I can only assume that either the publisher does not employ sensitivity readers, or that they wanted to release this book as a historical text.

Made for the Journey suffers from a severe case of the “white savior complex.”  At one point, she laments that a young boy’s life seems to be wasted amongst his native people because his family does not possess all the trappings of Western society.

In a moment of rare clarity and introspection, the author even notes that it might be unwise to impose Western standards on native peoples:

“How were we to live among them and not change a thing except their attitude toward God? We did not see what was happening… he was only a little boy, and instead of his providing us with the Colorado viewpoint, we, willy-nilly, quickly gave him ours. “

I gave this book three stars on Goodreads because I believe the author was genuinely trying to do God’s work. I admire her willingness to serve and I do not believe that she meant any harm. It was a different time and I understand that books must be considered within their cultural context. Furthermore, I respect the author for being a linguist and I very much enjoyed reading about her efforts to help to develop a written language for the Coloardo people of Ecuador.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that books must be considered in context, some things are simply wrong, no matter the time period in which a piece was written. 

Problematic Anti-Catholic Rhetoric
I was deeply troubled to read Elliot’s intense anti-Catholic rhetoric. I do not understand the long standing animosity between Protestants and Catholics. The man I love is Catholic. It troubles me that the publisher released another edition of this book into the world without so much as a footnote or other explanation.

Religious prejudice is still alive and well in today’s world. Christians should do well to remember that the KKK developed in response to anti-Catholic sentiment as well as xenophobia. Many of the members of the KKK were protestant church leaders, Sunday School teachers, and missionaries. In fact, KKK members were required to hold membership in a protestant church. 

Made for the Journey is a perfect example of why we as Christians must think critically about what we read. It is possible to enjoy a work of art (I did thoroughly enjoy parts of this text) but to also engage with it critically.

As Christians, we are not called to leave our brains on the church door when we enter the sanctuary. We must be exceedingly careful not to perpetuate racism, stereotypes, or prejudice. 

If pressed, I would recommend this book as an example of the development of protestant missionary efforts. We do indeed have a long journey ahead of us.

 

Note: I received a digital advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I’m not sorry if I have been too honest. These are important issues.
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I found it to be a fascinating book that I did not want to put down. The book describes her first year as a missionary in Ecuador. I found it to be quick read that I did not want to put down. 

I enjoyed how she told her story and also included what God was teaching her during the time especially in those moments that did not turn out as expected. 

I recommend this book if you are looking to learn more about Elisabeth Elliot and/or if you are looking for a book that discusses missions to unreached populations in the jungle. 

I found myself wanting to hear more of her story and look forward to reading other books by her.
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"Made for the Journey" by Elisabeth Elliot is the true life story of her first year as a missionary in the jungles of Ecuador. She describes her first lessons in the sovereignty of God, with the echo of His crystal-clear Word resounding in her ears - "Trust Me. The answer to 'why' is Mine." As Elisabeth says, ashes are not the end of God's story.  From the ashes always springs a brand new life and a fresh new beginning. Faced with numerous physical and often baffling spiritual trials, Elisabeth vividly captures the  puzzles, mysteries and striking realities in the starkly primitive world in which she lived and ministered day after day. She recounts her early days in a series of poignant, deeply personal reflections on the important questions of life. Elisabeth spent countless hours meditating on why she was there. Although she knew that it was important to have a clear-cut purpose and pursue it diligently, and she was absolutely certain about God's call upon her life, she still felt rather restless and strangely uncertain at times. Faced with the severe trials and tribulations of life in the Ecuadorian jungle, Elisabeth learnt that the familiar became like dreams, and the former dreams became familiar. Later, she realized that this was an integral part of the process of letting go of her previous life to embark wholeheartedly on a brand new God-inspired mission. Elisabeth prayed for divine wisdom, the power to understand and the grace to grow. She learnt that 
missionary work needs a very strong, resilient faith. That she persevered courageously is a remarkable testimony to her Christian dedication, commitment and unswerving obedience to God.
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This was such a beautiful memoir of a missionary's first firsts on the mission field.  Very highly recommended to all!
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