Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
This past month I had the opportunity to read the book Venturing with God in Congo from Conjurske Publications. It has been so encouraging to read these stories by Darrell Champlin that tell of God’s power and faithfulness. I read this book just for me this month, but I look forward to sharing it with my children in our homeschool as they get older.
First of all, the thing you notice first about Venturing with God in Congo is that the cover looks amazing. My boys have asked me about the book multiple times because the cover looks very exciting and interesting to them. The book is also very good quality. It has a hard cover and the pages are thick and sturdy.
After the contents, one of the first resources the book provides is a page with pronunciation tips for the Lingala language. This was very helpful to know how words that they wrote in the native language would sound. This is especially helpful if you are reading it out loud to your kids. I like to know, as much as possible how the language would sound, as I teach my kids.
There is also a timeline of important events and map of the Congo. These provide excellent references to refer back to as you read. Many of the stories name certain villages and areas in the Congo and how they traveled around. The map gives us a better idea of how far they traveled. I personally loved seeing the timeline and being able to see from the beginning, an order of main events in the Champlin’s Family’s mission.
Before you start reading the main part of this book be sure you don’t skip over the introduction. The introduction gives you a good complete picture from Darrell Champlin and his wife Louise May Griggs Champlin. They tell how they entered the mission field and give an overview of how God used them in the Congo and later in Suriname, South America. Be sure to go ahead and flip to the middle of the book as well to look at some of the photos of the Champlin family’s time in Congo. This will help you picture some of the people and events they tell about throughout the book. It also helps to refer to these pictures as you read.
Venturing through Venturing with God in Congo
The first thing to note about Venturing with God in Congo is that it not just one story. This book is a collection of stories about the Champlin family’s life serving God in the Congo. The book is not written in chronological order. The first few chapters, or stories, however, do give you a picture of how it all began with Louise’s family. You learn more of how she grew up in a missionary family in the Congo. Then you see how their mission continues as the Champlin family journeys to the Congo shortly after they are married.
I love how Darrell Champlin writes and gives you a very descriptive picture of the land, the wildlife, the challenges, how little they had, and the huge amount of faith that they had to live. He describes their house of mud and sticks with thatched roof. You get to learn the challenges of adjusting to life in the Congo with a small child. They had to trust God for everything. It made me even more thankful for all that we take for granted each day.
The Importance of Missions
I also loved how Darrell Champlin described how vitally important the missionaries are in the Congo and other developing nations. I grew up learning about missions, supporting missions and have been on several mission trips. However, I learned even more from reading these stories. The government’s of primitive nations do not supply schools, or education. Missionaries were the first to explore many parts of Africa. Yes, the main purpose of their mission is to spread the Gospel, but in doing so, they also have brought education, clothing, roads and taught many trade skills to the people in need.
Encouragement From the Lord
So many of the stories told of how they saw Jesus work miracle after miracle in protecting them, saving their lives and and the lives of their friends. We also saw how God broke down barriers among the villagers. He would usually start with one or two, and then God would move to then reach even entire villages. I enjoyed his descriptions of how he dealt with and protected his family from things I can’t even imagine. Some of these stories include dealing with a rogue elephant, a buzzing snakes, hippos, and leopards.
While reading this book you will be encouraged and strengthened from stories about how God provided for them over and over again, often in unexpected ways. For Example, providing much needed food for a village, in the form of a Sixteen-Foot Python or wild boars. It reminds us that no matter how big our needs are God is bigger and can provide!
In one of the stories, I had to discreetly wipe away tears as I read during my children’s Karate classes. I was touched reading how a village that for years, hated them, and even threatened, them suddenly and miraculously came to know Jesus. Then later theses villagers invited their whole family to come and visit. As they arrived they honored them and treated them like royalty. They told them they honored his family, because Darrell continued to come and cared for them despite how badly they treated him. They knew he was why they had been saved and came to know Jesus.
A great read for you and your family!
Venturing with God in Congo will encourage you in your faith, and give you a picture of how miraculously God works. It is written in such a way you could easily share these stories with your older children. It definitely would give older children a clear picture of God’s power, and of how God uses people to spread His Word. This book would also be an excellent resource for your homeschool. It would also be great to use as a read aloud if you were studying African Cultures, or Missions with your family.
Want to know more? Check out more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew to read what others thought about Conjurske Publications‘ book Venturing with God in Congo!