Title: Passion & Purpose
Author: Susan Martins Miller
Series: Men of Valor
Major Themes: Jim Elliot, Elisabeth Elliot, Auca, Waodani, Ecuador, Missionaries
Synopsis: What effect would Jim Elliot’s single-minded devotion to God have on him and others?
It has been a long time since I have read anything about the five young men who were speared to death in the jungle of Ecuador by the Auca Indians. I’m sure I have read a biography of Jim Elliot, but I can’t think right now what book it might have been. Passion & Purpose caught my eye recently, and I’m glad I chose to read it.
Jim grew up as part of a Plymouth Brethren family in Oregon. From a very young age, he was methodical and structured, and by the time he was six years old, he knew that he belonged to the Lord. This methodical, structured single-mindedness followed him through the rest of his life. He went to college in Wheaton, Illinois, where he focused all his attention on making himself ready, mentally and physically, for the mission field. His passion was to serve God—and nothing else was to get in his way. When he found himself attracted to Betty Howard, and that she was attracted to him, he made sure that she knew he would only marry her if he came to the conclusion that God wanted them together. What a long time it was until he knew for sure! As anyone who is familiar with modern mission work knows, Jim married Elisabeth (Betty) and they worked together on the mission field in the jungle for a few years, climaxing with the mission to the Auca Indians.
I can’t say I learned any new facts from Passion & Purpose. I did find it fascinating to see how Jim learned to find more balance in his life, as he learned more about God and His will. However, for a book that includes the word “passion” in the title, there is not a lot of passion in the writing! This book is a good overview of a life lived for God, but not a gripping account.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults
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