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Here is a review of Eastern Voices, Volume 1 that appeared on Amazon several weeks ago. It is reposted on our site with permission from the reviewer, Peter T. Sommer.


Usually Pretty Far from the Benefits of Globalization

Reading Eastern Voices is a different book. It’s not Western reporting on churches and movements. It’s not Asian believers working for West-based churches or NGOs. Rather it’s the voices of men and women, usually pretty far from the benefits of globalization. They lead and evangelize via Asian churches or agencies. The nine people here, from India, Bangladesh, Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar and three unnamed-for-security-reasons nations, don’t even raise money from the West, much.

The voices are deeply Christ- and Gospel-centric. Persecution, opposition from other Christians and parents, barriers due to class, race, wealth, and gender are all present, but so is the genius of the Holy Spirit, the power of faith in a living Jesus Christ.

The book is Voices, not Answers. Some issues are raised that aren’t resolved. Some stories report breakthroughs. We watch creative individuals in the middle of it all, trying to sort things out: two young leaders with families, choosing not to work for a western NGO (=financial security) in order to stay with a movement reaching migrants living in shacks at the edge of a huge Asian city; a PhD’d professional, who could easily opt of his dicey spot when the state police come to call, yet stays; wives seeing the way forward before husbands do, then facing gender barriers.

Almost every leader describes a “hit the wall” experience. Something that worked stops working; a “success” in the eyes of others turns out to be hollow; a crisis hits which requires fast change. A God-sent mentor or companion appears in each life, as they face failure, getting fired, or going dry spiritually. Mentors take very different forms, from the iron disciplinarian in Japan, to the non-directive listener in Cambodia whose presence changes the seeker. They catalyze fresh starts.

Hearing these voices is like hearing new music. Slow down and give it a few listens, and you’ll be on to something outside the Western orbit. The first chapter, “Losing My Face to Find My Soul,” was utterly Burmese, but pointed for our culture. “The Ministry of Business” is an insightful story for any Christians in demanding careers. The hope, trust and courage in the face of complexity and scarcity exposes our love of comfort. Let’s “hear the Voices,” to learn something of God’s ways in their lives, and in ours as well.

 


EV1 final title slide 2017 04 25 flat 700pxAbout the "Eastern Voices" series

Eastern Voices Volume 1 is compilation of 14 stories from 15 different Asian authors. The book is available in paperback and in digital (ePub) format. It can be purchased through Amazon and other book resellers. Order your copy of Volume 1 today!

 

 

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