This is one of the few books I really enjoy reading and while reading, I constantly give thanks to God for what He has done.
If you have read before “Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists” by Colin Hansen or “A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir” by Colin Hansen and John D. Woodbridge, the format of this book would be very familiar with you.
In Dispatches, Keesee takes us through almost every continent in the world and the many countries that have been “closed” to the gospel. Many of these countries includes former Soviet countries like the Central Asian countries, China and Albania.
Interspersed within his stories are many pictures and maps of these christians mentioned in this book. You will no doubt read of many heart wrenching stories, and many many bravery stories, stories of how willing these Christians are to suffer for the gospel sake. These and many stories like it are repeated almost in every country that Keesee has written about. Not only so, you will see the different needs that these people have and how Christianity has been meeting these needs and especially the great need for salvation in Christ Jesus. Keesee’s writing is engaging, thoughtful and enjoyable. I do not remember having to pause at any time just to take time to digest the stories, but with every chapter finished, I looked forward to reading just another chapter.
Many a time as we see how the Gospel has been marginalised in the West, Christians can feel rather disheartened about the situation, but as you read, your heart will be warmed to see how God has been and still is converting these hearts for Himself. Not only so, God will continue to send His servants to them despite the tremendous difficulty and hardship that they will face.
Not only will your heart be warmed by these stories, it will also be tugged, you will come away wanting to see the Lord work more in this world before Jesus returns again. I know of no other way to help you better see this than to give some quotes from the book itself “The world is more willing to receive the gospel than Christians are willing to give the gospel”, “Is Afghanistan sealed against the entrance of the missionary? Or is the land only waiting for those who will pay the price of bursting its barriers?” and lastly, “On the front lines of gospel advance, there is no medals, no helmets, no sword – just men and women transformed by the gospel to take the message of Christ to the next city or country or next door”.
I would highly recommend every christian to read this book, especially those who want to know more about missions, and I pray that after reading this, that God will send more to go, and even more to pray for those who have gone, and for those who will go.
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Here’s a video for you. This is one of the countries mentioned in the book.