Grace, one of our staff members, wrote the following blog earlier this year. It is a book review on Light Force by Brother Andrew and Al Janssen. I decided to repost this blog, since it focuses on the region we are praying for this week in The Five Minute Challenge. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read this amazing book, you can order it here. It is definitely one of my favorite books- one that left a lasting impression on my life. Enjoy!
I love reading books that challenge me to think beyond what I know and to think past the walls of my comfortable life bubble. The book Life Force opened my eyes and mind, causing me to rethink and relook at my feelings and thoughts toward Muslims and citizens living in the Middle East.
I grew up in the States, and let’s just be honest, the media isn’t always fair in portraying people from the Middle East, especially Muslims. I’ve believed what the media shows- that every Muslim is violent, hateful, wants to destroy America, murders, terrorizes, etc… Yes, there are definitely extremists who fall into those categories, but not all are like that. We must not forget that there are people who want the fights to stop and everyone to get along. With the one-sided stories that we hear, we tend to forget that there’s also another side of the story…the innocent children and adults that are caught in the middle of an ugly war.
In the book, when Brother Andrew was asked what he had learned over the years of service and one of his answers was, “There are no terrorists-only people who need Jesus.” (229) I loved his candid answer because it was the truth. These are real people who need Jesus. Simple as that. How would my premature judgment toward them do any good? My conclusion is that it doesn’t help at all.
Brother Andrew loves God and loves his neighbors. The two greatest commandments that we are called to do. (Matthew 22: 36-40) His encounters with Hamas leaders, the PLO President (Yasser Arafat), Jews and Muslims was born out of this calling. Nothing was too difficult or impossible because God was on his side. He was even willing to take the place of a Christian man in a hostage situation! (Chapter 11)
After reading this book, my soul had a wakeup call and my lens of the world is being reshaped. My hope for myself and for us as a community is to look beyond our judgements and to seek after God’s heart for the individuals He has created. Lord, help me to love my neighbors the way You love them. Amen!
Now that I’ve shared what I’ve learned, it’s your turn. We can learn so much from one another, so let’s hear your thoughts about this book! Below are a few questions to guide this discussion or you can just share freely from your heart. Happy discussing!
1. What are the things that stood out to you from this book?
2. What is it that made Brother Andrew desire to serve the persecuted church?
3. Why is it important for me to be a part of it?
4. What is God challenging me to do?
5. By reading this book, do you feel that you’ve increased your knowledge for the persecuted? How so?
6. How has this book strengthened you?