Friday, October 29, 2010

William Carey: Obliged to Go (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)

William Carey: Obliged to Go is a part of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series. You may know William Carey as the "Father of Modern Missions," but Janet and Geoff Benge will give you more insight on the intriguing life of this missionary to India.

As a boy, William was apprenticed to a codwainer (shoemaker) who taught him his trade. While he was an apprentice, he began to attend dissenter meetings. When his master died, William moved two miles away to finish his apprenticeship with another codwainer. He ended up marrying Dolly, one of the daughters of the dissenter minister in that town.

William and Dolly faced many hardships in their young married life: poverty, the death of two daughters, and the slow descent of Dolly into depression and emotional illness. William wrote a book, Enquiry, which was meant to aid in Christian missions.

William felt that God was urging him to preach the gospel in foreign lands, but he had one problem. Dolly, who was expecting another child, refused to go along. William felt that he had no recourse but to leave her behind. Dolly did agree to allow him to take their oldest son Felix, but she was firm in her intention to stay behind. In God's Providence, William, Felix, and their companion, Dr. Thomas were not allowed to board the ship because of some outstanding debts that the doctor had. During the interim, Dr. Thomas helped William to convince Dolly to bring the children and her sister, and travel with them to India.

On their way to India at last, William had no idea of the troubles he would encounter in his quest to preach Christ to those who needed to know Him. Through poverty, death of loved ones, opposition from the missionary society, and sickness, God sustained William. He was able to minister to those he had a burden for, and he didn't let any of these things stop him. He truly sacrificed his life for the sake of the gospel.

What I Like: This biography pleasantly surprised me as an exciting and compelling read. Many of the events in Carey's life were heartbreaking, but his faith in God stood firm through it all. I like it that the authors do not candy coat or sensationalize the story, but present it in a clear and honest way.

What I Dislike:
Many of the events detailed when William Carey was an older man are not developed as well as the events in the beginning of the story.

Overall Rating:
Very good

Age Appeal:
9-12, but I believe that younger children could easily enjoy having this book read to them.

Publisher Info:YWAM Pub, 1998; ISBN:1576581470 ; Paperback, 211 pages; $8.99.

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Special Info: We have reviewed other books in the Christian Heroes: Then and Now Series. Read those reviews here.

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