My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the story of the reluctant exodus, when the last China Inland Mission members were forced from Communist China. The experiences of Arthur and Wilda Mathews answer the question: Can a Christian grow in the direst circumstances?
This book by Isobel Kuhn provided a powerful insight into what it would have been like to be a missionary like Arthur and Wilda Matthews in Communist China during the 1950s, and how the Lord used trials of various kinds during that period to strengthen them in their faith. Throughout that time they clung to Jeremiah 17:8: "He shall be as a tree planted by hte waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."
While I definitely would not consider this Isobel Kuhn's best book (I personally found her autobiography much better written) it did encourage me as a Christian to look to the Lord in all trials of life, from the big to the small and to trust Him in everything. This is why I would highly recommend it, despite the fact that at times I felt it focussed a lot on the suffering the missionaries had to endure by staying in China and not so much on the suffering local Chinese went through. However, this is a slim critcism when compared to how much I learned from it, and how much it made me appreciate the many freedoms I experience.
Some favourite quotes from it were as follows:
"These trials of faith are to give us patience, for patience can only be worked as faith goes into the Pressure Chamber. To pull out because the pressure is laid on, and to start fretting would be to lose all the good He has in this for us." ~ p.44.
"The Lord sometimes has to show us, not only the power of the one against us, but also the weakness of our own hearts. His battles are not won through strength and prowess, but through weakness throughly weakend, that refuses to do anything at all for itself but trust in His faithfulness - even when to trust seems folly." ~ Arthur Matthews (p.66).
"through Thy fire would I learn/ 'Thou'rt God', when I can't understand." (p.52).
If this book comes your way, definitely give it a read! :)