Title: Southern Cross by Paul Clark
How it was obtained: I borrowed it from a person in my small group.
Time spent on the "to read" shelf: Less than a week.
Days spent reading it: 2 days.
Why I read it: I read it based on the recommendation of a person in my small group at church.
Brief review: Every now and then I read a book that challenges me, encourages me, and reminds me about who God is and what He is doing. This was definitely one of those books. I was completely hooked on the stories that Paul Clark tells in this book about his life.
Paul Clark is a missionary in Lima, Peru. This book is a collection of the different people he has met in his life as a missionary. The chapters are individual snippets about how God met these people in the streets of Peru or in the jungles of the Amazon. The stories told in this book are about how the simple gospel can transform a life completely. One of my favorite stories was about Tariri. He was the chief of a tribe of headhunters, when he was transformed by the gospel. "He learned to obey God and love his enemies and those who spitefully used him. He ordered his tribe to no longer kill, even if they were attacked. God honors those who honor him. Tariri and the many Christians in his tribe are living witnesses to this truth." One thought I had as I read this story was about how missionaries clearly teach tribes to stop killing each other (makes sense right?). They say to stop killing even if it is a unilateral move—meaning that they may be attacked, but to not fight back. They believe God's transformational love is able to overcome even in death. These tribes become powerful witnesses to those around them. I think about that, and then I think about how the world would be different if we took that simple concept and applied it to a nation. I'll just leave that thought there for you to think about.
What struck me about Clark's story is how he lives and breathes his faith in every single step he takes. He sets aside the security and safety that the world offers and instead lives by faith (which is a completely different kind of safety and security). It is the memoirs of faithful missionaries like Clark that remind me of the true power of the Gospel when we allow faith to completely filter down through our lives.
I highly recommend this book. It will pushes and challenges. But it will also warm your heart. It is a solid book about God's love for lost and broken people.
Favorite quote: "The great lesson I was about to learn was that although circumstances and settings can be vastly different, God's dealing with all men and women, girls and boys, is the same. He meets us all at the point of our greatest need and, having heard our cry for help and sensing our anguish of soul, responds with compassion and love. I was to witness love at work in this ancient, troubled, and mysterious land of Peru."
Stars: 5 out of 5.
Final Word: Faithful