BOOK REVIEW – Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places

A serious question

A war-zone. A closed country. A rural part of North Africa with limited medical access. Have you ever asked yourself the question ‘Why does God call us to these dangerous places?’. Maybe you’ve asked this on behalf of someone you know who has parted with you to follow God’s call. Or maybe it’s something you are wrestling with as you seek to discern the Lord’s will for your own life.

Kate McCord, who worked in Afghanistan for almost a decade tackles this question in a gracious and honest way that is humbling to read. Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places addresses what it means for us to go to a dangerous place, to love and serve in a dangerous place and what it means for those we leave behind.

‘We face squarely and honestly what it means to follow God into a world that does not know him. As we do so, we find answers that move beyond romance or excitement. We find purpose, comfort and a peace that Christ offers us –  a peace beyond even the most horrific circumstances. We find the heart of God.’

An honest picture

You won’t find here a romanticised hindsight portrayal of a missionary endeavour. You will find honest stories of losing friends and teammates in horrible ways, the struggles of sowing when you see very little fruit, and just how difficult it can be to love some of the people in these dangerous places. The author also addresses the worker/sender relationship, acknowledging the grief of those who are left behind as well as the grief of those whose Christian community rejects their call to go. Yet, despite this, I have found this book soften my heart to these difficult situations.

I believe this is because Kate weaves scripture and story together in a way that marries the sacrifice made by going or sending to the discovery of the heart of God.

Reflective and transformational

Chapter headings include ‘My story’, ‘How deep the Father’s love’, ‘Sending our friends and families’ and ‘Knowing Christ with us’. Each one ends with a few devotional questions which push us to reflect and adopt the truths shared. This makes it a brilliant book to read with someone: a supporter, a family member, a friend, a younger Christian pursuing God’s call. I trust you find it will open up your hearts to the awareness of God’s love in sacrificial service in a pastoral and transformative way.

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