Title: Parables from Peru
Author: Harvey Mast
Major Themes: Christian Living, Missionaries, Parables
Synopsis: A missionary draws life lessons from different experiences out on the field over the course of several years.
I didn’t really have any expectations when I first picked up Parables from Peru, except that I expected it to be a good missionary story about some people in a Spanish-speaking country with a few anecdotes that would be applicable to any situation. What I didn’t expect to find was a group of parables—actual life lessons—from a missionary’s life, each one being quite applicable. I laughed at some of the word usages or situations, mourned with the writer in others, and came away feeling refreshed and challenged. Mom recently finished reading it aloud to our family as well, and again it was an exceptional book. Some of my brothers hated it, some loved it, but in all I think the majority of the family agrees they liked the story.
Harvey Mast really struggled when he first felt called to be a missionary in Peru. His dad had served in Mexico with their family for a while, and that hadn’t been all that easy. Would he be able to live such a demanding life as well? Trusting in the Lord’s leading, he and his family moved to the unknown country, and despite obstacles, they began learning that it is truly best to follow the Lord in what He calls us to do. Through different lessons, whether it be communication problems, appreciating jalapeños, too many chickens, or robbers, Harvey draws deep spiritual insights that are extremely applicable in a wide range of settings. Each one is written in a charming, poetic style, and each one is a great reminder in a different way.
One brother was very vocal against Parables from Peru, probably because a lot of modern words are mixed with the old-style KJV or Shakespearean English. I found that fact to be quite humorous, as it emphasized different parts of our world that you wouldn’t normally think of in that context. In all, I came away blessed and encouraged after reading this book. Some of the “parables” are ones that I’m sure I’ll be mulling over—pulling out meatier bits from—for a long time, and it’s the type of book that would take quite a few successive read-throughs to actually get bored with. Also, for any writers out there, this can be quite an inspiring resource or springboard! It made me want to write a story in this style, just because it’s so fun!
Read Aloud—Ages 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults