Monday, November 10, 2014

Wherever the River Runs - Kelly Minter -- Book Review

Wherever the River Runs is the recounting of Kelly Minter's travels to the Amazon Jungle. The idea of going to Amazon was first planted in her mind by John Paculabo, the founder of Ray of Hope and Managing Director at Kingsway Distribution. The book is a memoir telling about the travels of the author to the Amazon. She went to Brazil seven times, each trip adding a new perspective to the work she is to do for the poor abroad and in her community. It's a great lesson and reminder for the reader as well.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I personally enjoy reading memoirs, but this one was a bit different. I don't recall having read (or not that many) memoirs of people who were missionaries, so this one was a fairly new reading experience for me. I am sure the writer wouldn't call herself "missionary" in the traditional sense of the word, but she kind of was. For several years, she and a group of people spent a week in the Brazilian jungle, on the Amazon river, helping and ministering to the beautiful, Portuguese-speaking people living along the river.
This book, beyond the easily read style, yet very engaging, was eye-opening for me. I kept highlighting a lot. Everything she said rang so true and it hit close to home. Basically, it was her telling the reader how the ministry of Ray of Hope helps those less fortunate. The stories and the people she tells about give a new perspective on how Christianity is more than a nicely boxed theology, how Christ-following means living it daily, not just talking about it. What I would have loved was probably a bit more about the specific work that goes on when the team is not visiting the country, and how the things are kept working smoothly. This was probably left out because the behind the scenes mechanism is usually not that entertaining. For those interested in helping the ministry, Justice and Ministry Amazon is now the one carrying the legacy started by John Paculabo, and their site offers info about the ministry and ways to get involved.
As I said, I enjoyed this book tremendously. Minter's style is great, in my humble opinion. This is her first book I've read, but now I'm ready to try some of her other writings as well. I think what I really liked about her was her willingness to be honest about her shortcomings, quick to acknowledge that she's still a work in progress, that there is still a lot she must learn. She's also funny, which is always a plus in my book. All in all, this book has been a great read.
The book trailer:
The audio version of the first chapter, narrated by Renee Ertl can be found here.

I requested this book via Net Galley from David C. Cook for review. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

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