Monday, February 28, 2011


A couple of years ago, I read the short book, Climbing: Memories of a Missionary's Wife, by Rosalind Goforth. Rosalind and her husband, Jonathan Goforth, were missionaries to China in the early 19th century. The introduction was written by Ruth Bell Graham, and I think she summarizes the book so well when she writes, "'[This book] gave me fresh insights into that intrepid band of missionaries who, braving long separations from home, interminable sea voyages, difficult languages, bandits, and hostility and suspicion on all sides, still went.'"

Rosalind is extremely transparent in relating personal details of her own struggle with an impatient spirit and a sharp temper. She even shares the story of when she overheard, quite by accident, two Chinese women talking about her. She heard them criticize her for those very things, and then add,"'If only she would live more as she preaches.'" That insight into how the people she came to serve thought of her at first angered and hurt her, but as she realized it was all too true, she was able to seek God's help in overcoming these un-Christlike traits.

Five of their eleven children died before reaching adulthood, and yet there is no evidence that Rosalind ever became bitter against God for allowing this. Instead she seemed to simply believe that God was still in control and able to work even these tragedies for her good. What a testimony! Rosalind surely must have learned what it is to trust God completely.

This book changed my life in so many ways, but primarily in how I look at the ministry I am in. It seems like all to often I have an attitude of, I'll serve God, as long as the cost is not too great. Rosalind learned to count the cost and still be willing to surrender to whatever the Lord wanted her to do. I highly recommend this book to any Christian lady, but especially those in ministry. It is a short book and very easy reading - you won't want to put it down!

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