Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One Million Arrows: Book Review and Giveaway

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"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127:3-5

One Million Arrows is a book about a vision - a vision for orphans, for all children, and for the world. It began with a man named Dr. M.A. Thomas, known as Papa. In her book, Julie Ferwerda details Papa's dream of turning one million children into one million arrows, sharp and poised for action. Since 1978, Papa has been working tirelessly in India, Malawi, and Haiti to gather thousands of orphaned and abandoned children, bring them off the streets into his Hope Homes, lavish them with the love of Jesus, and equip them to become ambassadors for Christ. From his Bible institutes and colleges, 21,000 students have graduated and taken this pledge:
"I take a stand to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with my hands, to serve all mankind.
I take a stand to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with my feet, to spread the Gospel to all the ends of the earth, no matter the cost.
I take a stand to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with my lips, by proclaiming the Good News to all who hear, and by edifying the body of Christ.
I take a stand to honor Jesus Christ with my mind, as I meditate upon His Word.
I give my earthly treasures and all that I possess to follow the way of the cross.
I commit to love my family, orphans, lepers, the wealthy, and the poor, the way that Christ loved the church.
I surrender my will and life to His will and life.
I commit to the service of the Lord by being a good steward of my time.
I surrender my body to the perfect will of Jesus and, should my blood be spilled, may it bring forth a mighty harvest of souls.
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, and to everyone who believes.
As a soldier of the cross I stand with the Apostle Paul in stating that, 'For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.'
Lord Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
I love my country and my fellow citizens, and I claim my country for Christ."
These abandoned children had no hope for anything besides a bare and miserable existence. Now their lives are full of Hope.
Through Papa's powerful God-given vision, Julie extends a challenge to every family and to every Christian: instead of just raising kids, raise arrows. Is your parenting goal to raise children who go to church? Who don't do anything bad? Or is it to raise children who change the world? Mediocrity is not enough. I am reminded of Revelation 3:15-19. "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent."
Julie gives many examples of arrow families. No two are alike, but all are seeking to use their passions and talents, their time and possessions for the glory of God and the furthering of His Kingdom.
Our decisions to homeschool and to adopt were borne out of a desire (among other things) to raise children who know the love of God, know what He has gifted them with, and use those gifts to glorify God unselfishly. But homeschooling, and parenting in general, gets kind of crazy. In the midst of cooking, cleaning, correcting, teaching, washing faces, brushing teeth, wiping noses, reading, planning, going here and there, and just trying to make it through the day, it's easy to forget the "why" of it all. I sometimes feel as though I can't make any difference in the world, that my chance at making an impact for the Kingdom slips away as I sweep the floor for the gazillionth time. And then God reminds me that there are four eternal treasures entrusted to my care and there is no greater moment for Kingdom work than right now. I could just raise my kids, but I want to raise arrows for Him.
But it is not only our own children who have the potential to be arrows, piercing the darkness in the world. There are millions of orphans whose lives are just as precious and promising to God, as Papa's life's work has illustrated. We must invest in these children. Whether by adoption, sponsorship, financial support of orphan ministries, or actually going to the least of these, we are responsible for these souls. "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. . . Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:22,27
I was amazed by this quote at adoptiondiscovery.org: "If only 7% of the Christians in the world adopted a single orphan, there would effectively be no more orphans." No more orphans! Which reminds me of another quote from Katie at Amazima Ministries. "It is easy to look to God and ask, 'Why is there so much poverty in the world? Why is there so much hurt, so much inequality and unfairness, so much destitution?" I bet He would ask us the same thing.'"
There is so much to do and so much we can do. One Million Arrows can encourage you to make meaningful changes in your family and in the world.
I would like to pass on my copy of the book to somebody out there. Also, whoever wins it will get a pound of Gobena coffee. Gobena gives all profits to orphan ministries. To enter to win the book and coffee, visit the Gobena site and tell me which coffee you would like to win. Drawing will be Monday.
If you don't win, the book is available here. Proceeds from this book also go to orphan ministries. Other orphan arrow ministries are highlighted at One Million Arrows under the Resources tab.

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." ~Jesus, Revelation 22:12

This giveaway is over.

6 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm the first. :)
    I just love your blog, I get so much motivation from you- in my home life and spiritual life.
    Your book sounds awesome.
    The coffee looks divine. I like the sound of the Guatemalan Whole Bean Coffee.
    Thank you. :)
    ~Morris Mama

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  2. I'd love to read this book! Put me in for the giveaway, please.

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  3. It sounds like a great book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so well. You are inspiring and speaking truths we need to hear. It's hard to continue living a average "fit-in" life with thoughts like these.

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  4. This. is. crazy!!! For a full WEEK I have seen "count the cost. live a radical life." everywhere I turn around. Now here!! Sign me up for this book--I think maybe I am supposed to read it! I spent HOURS today talking about this very subject with a dear friend. {shaking head in amazement}

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  5. I just posted my review, but I didn't think about having a giveaway -- what an awesome idea!

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  6. This is a wonderful post Sarah, thank you so much. I completely agree. And have been challenged this week in all these areas also.
    I would love to enter the giveaway. :) I would like to try Ethiopian coffee, I have heard it's fantastic! xo

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