Today I have a fabulous biography to review for you: Outrageous Courage by Kris & Jason Vallotton, courtesy of the blogging review program offered by Bethany House Publishers [in association with Chosen Books].
Here is a description of the book from the publisher [or more accurately, from the authors]:
that will change your life.
Consider yourself warned.
This is the story of one of the most courageous, radically obedient people we know.
Tracy Evans, a physician assistant, has treated rebel guerillas while captive on an Asian island. She’s sipped tea in a Mozambican hut while bullets whistled through the grass walls. She’s cared for 900 HIV-positive orphans.
In these pages you will find not only gripping, unembellished true stories of Tracy’s exploits around the globe, but the more amazing account of what God can do with–and through–one person’s raw faith and obedience.
Tracy’s life has had an unbelievable impact on us, our families and our friends. We pray that you, too, will be inspired to radical obedience, faith adventures and wild trust in God’s power and purpose for your life.
Put on your seatbelt and let the journey begin!
Love in Christ, Kris Vallotton, Jason Vallotton
As usual, here’s my five point review:
- First of all, I must say that I cannot think of a more appropriate title to this book, because Tracy Evans definitely lives a life filled with outrageous courage. For many people, courage comes in small doses and is applied in situations of [relatively] little import, such as asking someone out on a date, confronting a coworker, etc. For Tracy Evans, her demonstrations of courage are often quite literally involving life and death–risking her physical health, finances, and freedom to share the gospel and Jesus’ love. If that’s not outrageous courage, I don’t know what is.
- Initially I was attracted to Tracy’s story because she is currently working with HIV+ orphans in Mozambique (southern Africa). Since one of my academic fields of study is Africa, the continent obviously interests me, and I love reading about God’s work there. The stories I read about her work in Mozambique (and really, around the globe… but more on that later) are astonishing and miraculous. No better way to put it, and so, even though I was interested in her story of mission work on a continent that I love, this book has taught me so many lessons about faith, even here as an American Christian. So the next three points reflect those lessons, but I do hope you’ll check out the book because there are many, many more.
- The authors are very clear early on that this book is not to glorify Tracy’s life, but rather, God. I appreciate that, because sometimes missions books [or even the Christian media] can blur the line a little bit. It’s easy to do in our own lives, as well. So this biography has caused me to consider who I am seeking to glorify in my actions: myself or my God. I hope and pray it is the latter.
- Tracy’s life has been filled with hardship and struggle, yet she is definitely a woman of joy. She has given her life to God’s mission and that has taken her around the world in the US military, in LA, in the Philippines, and in Mozambique. Her story has inspired me to seek joy instead of happiness, to see how the Lord wants to use me and then let my attitude be reflective of that, not my circumstances.
- Lastly, this book has challenged me in regard to my spiritual beliefs about the miraculous and supernatural. I don’t have time to go into all my personal beliefs about this subject, but I will say that I tend to be more conservative. If you have questions or want to discuss this further, just email me and we’ll talk [pajamachef at gmail dot com]. 🙂 I certainly believe that the stories of God’s work outlined in this book are true, and that God works through people in miraculous ways, here and now. However, the circumstances of these supernatural events: healings, provision, etc. were truly miraculous and beyond my realm of easy to believe. This book has given me much to think about and has challenged me to be more faithful, more obedient, and more courageous. I think this is a story that you will love no matter where you are in your faith journey because of the inspirational life that Tracy lives and the way that she prioritizes her beliefs over everything else in life.
What are you reading lately?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and Chosen Books. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House/Chosen Books for the chance to read this great book!