Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

To spend much time with me at all will likely result in a conversation involving foreign missions. I have warned many friends not to get too close… There is a pattern in my life that involves sending close friends off to the mission field. This pattern has been in place for almost twenty years. You have been warned. My ears perk and my heart sings with the mention of missions. So, of course, when given an opportunity to review a book filled with the adventures of missions in deepest, darkest Africa, I jumped at the chance. And thus I read, Venturing With God in Congo by Darrell Champlin and punlished by Conjurske Publications.

I received a hard copy of the book. The binding is sturdy (a plus for our rough living… seriously… we break stuff all the time). The book includes some great extras including a pronouciation guide and map of the Congo. Venturing with God In Congo is a collection of stories from the 1950s and 1960s, written by Darrell Champlin. He has since passed away, but his writing lives on in this compilation. The stories share life lived over ten years in the Congo. Stories cover adventures in preaching, individual conversations, adventures in everyday life, hunting, surviving… living life on the mission field.

Story telling is God’s gift to us. When we open ourselves up to story, we see the Gospel played out in front of our very eyes. It is in the stories of our lives that we see the power of the resurrection. We see death, resurrection, beauty over and over. We could hand someone a Bible and say, “Here… the answers you are looking for are here.”… and that could be sufficient. God doesn’t need us, but he chooses to bring us into his work. He gives us a story that he is writing. When we share those stories, we share the Lord.

These are the thoughts I had as I was reading Venturing with God in Congo. The book is filled with story after story of adventure, heartbreak, fear, entering the unknown, leaving beding comfort, hunting rogue elephants, waking to leopard foot prints, and more. The book is a “riveting memoire of Darrell Champlin’s missionary exploits in the Congo jungles during the 1950s and 60s.”

I really like how the book chapters are different stories. Each chapter is like a complete journal entry. This would make a great read aloud around the breakfast table or maybe in the evening when everyone is home and things are settling down for the night. You could read one story a day or a week.

I read this book on my own for the purposes of this review, but intend to read as a read aloud with my kids (ages 8, 10, 13, and 15).

Other possibilities for using this book in your homeschool could be as the basis for a unit study. You could do a study on the congo, or the Belgian Colonial perion, or the animals of the Congo (there are tons of amazing stories of animal encounters throughout the book), or the history of Christian Missions. There are many directions you could go.

In a time when fear is so prevelant, it is refreshing and needed to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and provision. We see over and over through Venturing with God in Congo where God shows up in impossible situations. He provides financially. He provides friendship. He provides protection… protection even from angry hippos who disrupt a canoe trip down the river.

Books are an amazing way to give your child a cross-cultural experience without leaving the comfort of your home. I highly, highly recommend exposing your child first hand to missions… we are hoping to take our kids on a family mission trip this summer if the Corona virus doesn’t shut down the world. If, though, if you cannot physically go right now… at least give them the gift of stories from those who have gone.

I also love how missions and Venturing with God in Congo blows our view of God out of the water. We are often so self centered with our view of God, thinking we have the corner market on his character and image. The missionaries in this book went into the uncivilized world, armed with the gospel, not knowing what to expect from the people they met who were steeped in witchcraft and other practices. They began with the question, “Do you know God?” and were amazed to find that, many time, the people did! They knew of a creator God and the missionaries were able to bring the piece of the story starring Jesus Christ, the son of God. God had already laid the groundwork. He invited the missionaries into what he was already doing.

Want to be challenged? Want to know what God is up to around the world? Want to take a trip with your children to another country? Grab Venturing with God in Congo from Conjurske Publications and start reading.

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