Filling up the Afflictions of Christ, by John Piper, is Book 5 in the “The Swans are Not Silent” series, which teaches about the lives of Christianity’s great missionaries and martyrs.
This particular volume covers the lives of William Tyndale (martyred translator of the Bible into English), John Paton (missionary to cannibals in New Hebrides) and Adoniram Judson, missionary to Burma (Myanmar). The story of each man is told, with an emphasis on the great personal sacrifices he made while committing himself to the Lord’s work. Many quotations from the personal writings of each man are interspersed throughout the narrative.
This would be a good book (or series) for a school study on church history or for anyone wanting to learn more more about these heroes of the church, some well-known, some more obscure. However, I did find the reading a bit dry. I won’t be asking my teen to read the book because I think she would get bogged down in the writing style, which was very factual, rather than story-like. The most interesting parts to me were the original source quotes. One of my favorites passages was by John Paton, written shortly after his beloved wife and baby son died on the island of Tanna.
I felt her loss beyond all conception or description, in that dark land. It was very difficult to be resigned, left alone, and in sorrowful circumstances; but feeling immovably assured that my God and father was too wise and loving to err in anything that He does or permits, I looked up to the Lord for help, and struggled on in His work.This gave me some insight into the complete devotion and trust in God that Paton had. It is difficult for me to imagine such devotion to God despite the devastating circumstances. Reading through these short biographies definitely deepened my respect for these great servants of God.
I received this book free in exchange for my honest review from Crossway Books.