Made for the Journey: Book Review

A review of Made for the Journey: One Missionary’s First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador. I was provided by the publisher with a copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

I was a young believer, in my teens, when I first heard the story of Jim & Elisabeth Elliot. It was inspiring and heartbreaking! I’ve been fascinated by their faith and commitment ever since.

After reading his Elisabeth’s account of their journey in Through Gates of Splendor, I went to on to read several more of her books. She’s a wonderful and compelling author!

 In case you aren’t familiar with their story, the Elliots were a young missionary couple who were called to reach the aboriginal tribes of Ecuador with the Gospel of Christ. Jim (along with 4 other young men) was martyred while trying to make contact with the Waodani tribe in 1956.

From the surface, and certainly from the world’s point of view, theirs is a story of loss.  But Jim & Elisabeth Elliot are examples of living by faith and answering God’s call on your life, no matter what that means. What was a tragic loss to 5 men and their wives and families was gain to those Waodani people who came to know Christ as a result of their commitment and sacrifice.

Made for the Journey: One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador by Elisabeth Elliot {Book Review}

But if you’ve only ever read Elisabeth’s books about her life with Jim (Through Gates of Splendor, Shadow of the Almighty) or their romance (Passion & Purity), you’re missing an important piece of the picture. In Made for the Journey, Elliot chronicles her life during her first year as a single missionary in Ecuador. It’s an eye-opening account of her life in the jungle complete with physical, cultural, and spiritual struggles.

Made for the Journey – One Missionary’s First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador

I’m afraid most of us (myself included) would find the challenges and living conditions she faced intolerable. No refrigeration and quarters infested with vermin. Trying to learn and document a language with no teacher other than the few who speak it – and they don’t happen to be all that interested in talking to you.

She faced some tough situations in that first year — medical emergencies, death, even murder.  How many of us would have been ready for such experiences fresh out of college? Through all these difficulties Elisabeth struggled to reconcile her idea of God’s will with what she was seeing and living.

This is a great book to give to a young person wanting to go into the mission field. There are many wonderful missionary biographies out there that show the great things that those who accepted the call have accomplished. Stories of rescued orphans and souls saved.  But Made for the Journey gives a healthy dose of reality and shows some of the less glorious struggles and the doubting that even committed missionaries experience.

Made for the Journey: One Missionary’s First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador is a reprint of Elliot’s book, These Strange Ashes which was published in 1998.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

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