A few years back, Dan King was something very familiar to all of us: a member of the holy order of pew-warmers, those of us who go to church, listen to the sermon, sing a few hymns, drop an envelope in the offering plate and bow our heads during prayers. Then we go home and live the rest of our lives.
He ended up spending two weeks in Africa. His life changed. The pew-warmer had become something else.
The story of what happened to King is told in his new book, The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty Fighter. And what a remarkable story it is.
Arriving in Africa, he experiences heartbreak and heartache everywhere he looks. The poverty, and what people have to do to survive, is staggering. The task and the problem is overwhelming. No one person or organization can tackle it alone (although King has a heart big enough to want to try).
But a representative of Five Talents, the organization he’s working and traveling with, tells him to focus on what he can do. He can do a little. Enough people doing a little can do a lot, just like the proverbial mustard seed. So he focuses on teaching small groups of eager people about marketing and other aspects of running their own businesses, elements of micro-finance projects that can jump-start new lives.
What glows from this book is how King experiences the “activation” of his faith. But it’s a smart and educated activation – he doesn’t rush in to do something but instead works with people more experienced and knowledgeable. In other words, he learns.
There’s much to love about The Unlikely Missionary. King speaks with a great passion, but it’s a passion tempered by the reality of the need. He didn’t become a poverty fighter overnight; it took time and the involvement, support and encouragement of a lot of other people.
And he speaks with experience. He raised the funds he needed to travel and spend two weeks in Kenya and Uganda. He travels in four ways: physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Though tempted at times to swing to wild enthusiasm or overwhelmed dejection, he keeps all of it in perspective.
And what results is faith – living, breathing, pulsating faith.
Faith the way it’s meant to be lived.
Information about the book: The Unlikely Missionary.
Dan King’s blog: Bibledude.net.