Saturday, May 30, 2009

When God Says Go by Lorry Lutz

When God Says Go

When God Says Go
by Lorry Lutz

Trade Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Discovery House Publishers
First Released: 2002

Buy from Amazon

Source: review copy from publisher

Back Cover Description:
Eliza Davis-George, the daughter of slaves, grew up in racially segregated Texas, where she took to heart the stories she'd heard as a child in Sunday school. Empowered by her faith, this remarkable woman broke through barriers of sex, color, and status as she set out to bring the truth and hope of the Gospel to the people of western Africa.

In the jungles of Liberia, "Mother Eliza," as they called her, rescued little girls from marriages to old men and provided education for tribal people. She raised funds in the tottering economy of the Great Depression, and she single-handedly persuaded government leaders to donate land for her mission work. When her American supporters failed to send promised funds, she dug her own food out of the jungle soil. Nothing was too difficult, no obstacle too great, to keep her from telling the story of Jesus' love. In fact, she made her last journey into the jungles of Liberia when she was 95 years of age.

You will be moved and inspired by the fascinating story of this brave and tireless hero of the faith, who, during her 100 years on this earth, left her indelible, enduring mark on a people and a land.

On her 100th birthday, hundreds of Liberians paraded through the streets carrying banners that read: Mother Eliza George, Great Daughter of America, Great Descendant of Africa, Great Saint and Missionary Mother--Her Life was the Best Commentary of the Bible We Have Ever Read.

This book is a biography of an amazing black American woman who worked as a missionary in the jungles of Liberia from 1913 to 1972. The story briefly covers her parent's lives as slaves, her childhood, and her education. It also briefly describes the founding of Liberia and the history of Christianity there.

Most of the story details the many challenges Eliza Davis-George faced, the work she did in Liberia, and how her efforts helped the people of Liberia.

The biography initially jumps back and forth in time, which sometimes got me a little confused about where everyone (like her husband) was. It was a little slow in spots, but most of the story was vividly written, bringing life in the bush alive in my imagination.

The book doesn't hide her faults, yet it's still quite clear that Eliza George was truly an amazing woman. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes amazing missionary stories and who is interested in Liberia (i.e. if this story sounds interesting to you, I think you'll enjoy it).

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Chapter One
The surging surf pounded the Liberian coastline, tossing the rowboat like a piece of cork. The sea was often treacherous here. For centuries Kru tribesmen had bravely faced the ocean's fury in these time-proven vessels.

Hauling out the day's catch in their hand-sewn nets, two Kru fishermen prepared to beach the craft for the night. Here the jungle hugged the shore as closely as the ocean would permit, their village concealed where the surging tide and the steamy rain forest met. Darkness fell suddenly near the equator, and the tribesmen were eager to get home before night engulfed the trail.

The Kru chatted amicably over their catch when they spotted three figures moving along the shore--a rare sight along this desolate coast. As the strangers drew closer the men were startled to see a "civilized" woman accompanied by two boys. A safari helmet readily distinguished the woman from her tribal counterparts. Heavy boots protected her feet from the sun-baked sand, and she wore a dark print Western dress. In her right hand a long stick helped propel her forward.

Behind her trudged the barefoot teenagers, dressed only in tattered shorts, a canvas bag dangling from the shoulder of one of the boys. The receding tide washed over their scorched feet.

The men stopped to watch in amazement as the unlikely trio approached. Why were they so many miles from the nearest settlement? Such civilized people should be living with the Americo-Liberians--the freed American slaves who had colonized this land more than a hundred years earlier.


Rebecca :) said...

I love memoirs. This one sounds interesting. I have yet to read a story that takes place in Liberia. Thanks for talking to me about it and for the review!

Genre Reviewer said...

Just so you aren't surprised by the book, it's not a memoir. It's a biography. Someone else wrote about Eliza George using excerpts from her autobiography, letters to and by her, and by interviewing those whose lives she touched).

You're welcome. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know how to get in touch with another book about Eliza George with excerpts from her autobiography. It's possible the book you are referring to is the original publication in 1985 titled "Born to Lose, Bound to Win." Discovery House reprinted an updated version in 2002 titled "When God Says Go."

Thanks for helping to keep Mother George's story alive. Lorry Lutz

Genre Reviewer said...

Yes, "When God Says Go" was printed in 2002 and appears to be an updated reprint of "Born to Lose, Bound to Win."

"When God Says Go" several times said in Mother Eliza's autobiography, she said (or described this time as) so I assumed she had an autobiography out there in addition to this book. I don't know anything about it, though.

You're welcome.