The author tells how they were called to become oversea missionaries to a strict Muslim community in Southeast Asia, including the struggles they faced in trying to decide what this would mean for their 2 children, in their preteen & teen years at the time. I appreciated Hilary's refreshing honesty as she evaluated her own past attitudes and behaviors, as well the detail she went into regarding how the change of lifestyle affected her children and husband emotionally and physically. This book didn't paint a fairy-tale portrait of being dazzling, charismatic Christian witnesses in a hopelessly unspiritual place, nor did it portray a worst-case-scenario tale which would serve to invoke pity for the author or present them as pious.
I found the overall tone of this book to be one of reflection on what is most important in life, as well as encouraging- showing repeatedly how faithful God is to those who are called according to His purpose. (Click here to read the first chapter for yourself.) Reading this helped me to realize in a more tangible way that it is ordinary people who are used by the Lord to be His "hands and feet" on this earth, and that just because God is calling you to do something that seems unusual or way out of your comfort zone, doesn't mean it will be a dazzling or scarring experience- what it does mean is that God has a plan for you that is not necessarily about you, but will absolutely benefit you. If that was too complicated, I simply meant to state that despite our situation or circumstances, obedience to God will build up godly character in our lives and draw us closer to Him in ways we can't accomplish simply by attending Bible study or Sunday worship. Real obedience to God should spill over into every area of our lives, and Hilary does a beautiful job of illustrating just that.
I would recommend this book for families with children 12+ to read together, or for anyone considering going into missions. The reason I would suggest the 12+ age bracket is because there is a loss of life which, although not described with or related to any gore or violence, may be a lot emotionally for younger children to handle. If in doubt, read it first before sharing it with your family, some less-sensitive children may do fine with it at the age of 10. Throughout the struggles, they author turns to God, and while not all questions receive answers, there is definitely closure. I also really enjoyed the fact that Hilary had her (now grown) children write a bit in the last chapters, so you can see how they viewed this time of their life growing up for 3 years in a vastly different culture.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions are mine.