I create this critique of Tim Keesee’s new book A Organization of Heroes at the finish of a year-extended journey about the planet. Twelve instances in the previous year I boarded a plane and started a extended journey to a distant nation. Twelve instances I disembarked and got oriented and started a search—a search for objects connected to the extended and storied history of the Christian church. I scoured colleges and cathedrals, libraries and museums, normally on the lookout for objects that would inform a story beyond themselves. I identified some unbelievable artifacts. In the National Archives of Northern Ireland I identified the Bible that Amy Carmichael had pored more than for so quite a few years as a bedridden invalid in southern India. In a small museum in England I identified the snuffbox Andrew Fuller had pulled from his pocket and passed about the area as a makeshift collection basket upon the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society. In a new exhibit in China I identified Hudson Taylor’s gravestone which for so quite a few years had been lost, discarded and covered more than by the Communist government. I identified all these and so quite a few extra. It was an inspiring year.
But more than the course of the year it gradually dawned on me that I was discovering an even superior, ever extra valuable treasure. Everywhere I went I met Christians. I landed in a important city in China and was straight away welcomed for a meal by the pastor of an underground church. I landed in Australia and was invited to remain with some newlyweds who had ready a spare bedroom specially for me. I flew more than to Auckland, New Zealand, and was invited to remain as extended as I wanted in the property of some believers there. In England, and India, and South Korea brother and sisters in the Lord gladly gave up their time to drive me quite a few miles and to give customized tours. I joined into formal or informal worship solutions in Brazil, Ecuador, Israel, the Philippines, South Africa, Zambia and elsewhere.
I came to understand that even although these storied treasures of church history are inspiring and worth seeing, the greatest treasures cannot be identified behind glass in museums. The most useful artifacts of the history of the Christian faith are not neatly labeled in library stacks. The most enduring relics are not boxed up in dusty basement archives. These objects are fantastic and inspiring and worth pursuing about the planet. But the correct treasure is identified in these posh edifices and ramshackle huts we contact churches. The greatest treasure is God’s redeemed men and women.
For years now, Tim Keesee has been scouring the planet for that type of treasure. His search has led him to pastors in the world’s most unsafe nations, to missionaries who have left behind household and comfort to take the gospel to distant lands, and to men and women in his personal hometown who have labored silently but faithfully. Considerably of his search is documented in his unbelievable Dispatches from the Front series of videos that I’ve watched and encouraged numerous instances. Much more lately I’ve been thrilled to see him also start to document it in books like this 1. With 1 eye on the present and 1 on the previous, he powerfully tells the stories of committed males and girls from currently and days gone by. I encourage you to join him on this journey and to come to see and know the greatest treasures in the planet.
(This stands as a critique of A Organization of Heroes, but is also my foreword to the book.)
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