Sent, by Hilary Alan, tells the story (as the subtitle promises) of how one ordinary family traded the American dream for God's greater purpose. It is the story of Hilary (the author), her husband Curt, and their two children, who took the risk of actually listening to God and considering the possibility that a comfortable suburban life and convenient church involvement was not the sum total of what God had in mind for their lives.

With engaging honesty and humility, Alan details how a "normal" Christian family reached the point of selling all their carefully-acquired home and belongings in order to move themselves and their teen children to the site of an unimaginable tragedy--and unpredictable challenges. It is an inspiring and convicting account of faith, courage, and witness.

While some of the book's anecdotes ended disappointingly, and others, in the telling, promised more than they delivered, over all the book is an easy and enjoyable read...but one that may make the reader uneasy as he or she contemplates the depth and breadth of God's call on his or her own life. The best parts, for this reader, were those (early on) that depicted the family confronting their seemingly radical call, and those that detailed them coping with and adjusting to the people and customs of their new home in Southeast Asia. Another favorite: the fourth-from-last chapter, in which the author contrasted the things the family surrendered with the far greater things God gave them in place of those things.

I hope this book is read by many, many people--and not just those who already have an interest in cross-cultural ministry or radical discipleship. Its message is for all who claim to love God and follow Jesus Christ.

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