A Book Review of Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot, One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador

*I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

"No one has had a greater impact on my spiritual development than Elisabeth Elliot. . . . May her experiences--and her confident conclusion--strengthen you for your journey as they have strengthened mine."--from the foreword by Kay Warren, cofounder of Saddleback Church and author of Choose Joy

In this deeply personal account of her first year as a missionary, Elisabeth Elliot shares the challenges she faced as she worked in the jungles of Ecuador to bring the Word of God to a people virtually untouched by the outside world. With fascinating detail, she captures the stark realities of life in the jungle, the difficulties she encountered while developing a written language for the tribe, and her confusion when God didn't "cooperate" with her efforts to accomplish what she believed was His will.

More than just a memoir, Made for the Journey is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to authentic Christian obedience to an unfathomable God. - Made for the Journey Synopsis

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★  |   This powerful, insightful glimpse into Elisabeth Elliot’s first year as a missionary in Ecuador is not only heartwarming, but spiritually enlightening as well. Readers will follow along as Elisabeth shares her journey to the jungle, her experiences, her innermost thoughts and feelings and the impressions God laid on her heart in the form of multiple lessons.

In high school, I read about the missionary lives of Elisabeth Elliot and her husband Jim, an evangelical Christian who was one of five missionaries killed by the Huaorani Indians in 1956. While I haven’t yet read Elisabeth’s bestselling book, Through Gates of Splendor, I was familiar with their lives and story.

This book, Made for the Journey, is Elisabeth’s own memoirs of her life before marriage. After she graduates college and follows the Lord’s calling to the jungles of Ecaudor, she shares what life was like as a single female missionary, working and living life with three other missionary women, while completely disconnected from the rest of the world. Elisabeth feels led by the Lord to take up the matter of creating a written language for the Colorado Indians and uses her linguistics knowledge to do so with a help of a bilingual gentleman she meets in the Ecuadorian jungle. Upon his death, she begins to question the reason for her calling to that particular task…

I thoroughly enjoyed her story and found it to be relatable, deeply personal and very touching. Elisabeth did not shy away from sharing the harsh realities she faced or the thoughts she struggled with, but she shares in a tender and peaceful way. As she questioned what she felt was God’s will in her life, true human nature is displayed and I found myself identifying with those thoughts and feelings through hardships in my own life. The way Elisabeth presents the lessons she learned and the truths God revealed to her was concise and soul filling. Indeed, God always takes care of His children, even if we don’t understand the “how” or “why” at the present time. This book is well organized, with each chapter reviewing different aspects of Elisabeth’s first year - sharing about the native people, customs, daily chores and necessities, meals, flora and fauna, animals and creatures she experienced, her work in linguistics and more. I believe Made for the Journey is an excellent educational tool for homeschool teenagers, an inspiring read for any teen or adult and could be used as a discussion guide amongst Sunday school or Bible study classes.


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015) was one of the most perceptive and popular Christian writers of the last century. The author of more than 20 books, including Passion and Purity and The Journals of Jim Elliot, Elliot offered guidance and encouragement to millions of readers worldwide.

Other Books By Elisabeth Elliot:

Lastly, pick up your own copy of Made for the Journey or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 

A Book Review of Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson - A journey through the treasures and transforming power of a reading life.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Momentum, a nonfiction imprint of Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

An enlightening and invaluable resource for any avid reader or book lover.

When I first chose to read Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson, I immediately identified with her because I too grew up loving to read and explore books. As a child, and even still as an adult, my time spent reading was, and is, a time I treasure and crave. As a new mother, I want to cultivate that desire and passion for reading in my daughter’s life so I felt Book Girl might provide me with the tools I needed to do that. To me, this book did just that and more… A truly invaluable resource that I know I will find myself returning to over and over again; a book I want to rave about to all my friends!

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Hidden Among the Stars, a Tyndale House Publishers historical fiction novel by Melanie Dobson

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Hidden Among the Stars, a Tyndale House Publishers historical fiction novel by Melanie Dobson

You may have noticed that I did not rate this book like I have done in the past with my fiction novels. That is because Book Girl is above any rating in my opinion. It is truly a book to cherish. As I read through the first part of this book where the author shares her heart and purpose for the book, I felt a unique kinship with her as a book girl. I laughed because I also remember “nap times” in my house as a young child where we were given the option to nap or read quietly. I almost always chose to read.

Author Sarah Clarkson does an excellent job of creating a dialogue that draws you in. It feels as if she’s in the room, sitting and talking to her reader in person. There’s a warm friendship and strong connection that flows throughout this book. She shares of her own personal experiences and takes the time to explain her thoughts and recommendations well. In addition, she discusses the direct link between reading and how it can deepen and strengthen your life, your faith and your education. While reading through these sections of the book, I realized that I’d never really considered how books had impacted my life - my worldview, the decisions I’ve made, the desires I have for my daughter and her reading life… It was an exceptional time spent in these pages, reminiscing over the books I’ve loved and making my own lists of books I’d still like to read, or even better, the ones I’d like to read with my daughter.

Book Girl is an excellent resource for any reader, but geared mostly towards women. I highly recommend it to fellow mothers but also any young woman or woman who desires to deepen her reading experiences. This is not just a book to be read and shelved; it is a resource and a guide. A book to return to, to study and to cherish.

Thank you, Sarah Clarkson, for your time spent creating Book Girl. Your love, knowledge and passion are evident and we, as readers, extend our utmost gratitude to you for continuing to pass on the legacy of being a Book Girl.

When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle’s delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast?

If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl.

Books were always Sarah Clarkson’s delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie children of Narnia, and the wise Austen heroines, she discovered reading early on as a daily gift, a way of encountering the world in all its wonder. But what she came to realize as an adult was just how powerfully books had shaped her as a woman to live a story within that world, to be a lifelong learner, to grasp hope in struggle, and to create and act with courage.

She’s convinced that books can do the same for you.

Join Sarah in exploring the reading life as a gift and an adventure, one meant to enrich, broaden, and delight you in each season of your life as a woman. In Book Girl, you’ll discover:

  • how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and deepen your faith,

  • why a journey through classic literature might be just what you need (and where to begin),

  • how stories form your sense of identity,

  • how Sarah’s parents raised her to be a reader—and what you can do to cultivate a love of reading in the growing readers around you, and

  • 20+ annotated book lists, including some old favorites and many new discoveries.

Whether you’ve long considered yourself a reader or have dreams of becoming one, Book Girl will draw you into the life-giving journey of becoming a woman who reads and lives well. - Book Girl Synopsis


Image courtesy of https://www.tyndale.com/authors/sarah-clarkson

Image courtesy of https://www.tyndale.com/authors/sarah-clarkson

Sarah Clarkson loves books, beauty, and imagination, and thinks everyone else should too. She's a published author (The Lifegiving HomeRead for the HeartCaught Up in a Story) and recent graduate of Oxford University, where she studied theology at Wycliffe Hall. She blogs at sarahclarkson.com and is a regular guest on the podcast At Home with Sally, where she chats about her current reads and imaginative discoveries. She lives in Oxford, England, in a red-doored cottage she shares with her husband, Thomas and their daughter, Lilian. Learn more about Sarah on her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Also, take a moment to find Sarah’s Storyformed Project, another great resource, at www.storyformed.com.

Lastly, pick up your own copy of Book Girl or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!