Book Review: Jonathan Goforth, An Open Door in China

. August 11, 2011
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The best children's books are more fun to read as you get older. We relate to them more as our wisdom grows. When our children read these books, we impart a bit of that wisdom to them.

The neat thing about this particular biography, published for children by Youth with a Mission, is that the book isn't a chore to read. The writing style isn't particularly engaging, but it doesn't impede, either, which allows Jonathan and Rosalid Goforths' fascinating story to tell itself.

The Goforths' sacrifice, bravery, and vision helped open up the China's interior to mission work in the era of the Boxer rebellion. There's more to life than air-conditioned living rooms and cable television.

Like other children's books, the length and style are actually a plus. You can finish books like this in a day and think quietly about how God might be shaping your life.

Here's an excerpt from the back cover.

"What would make you come back?" the Chinese people asked. "What is so important that you would risk your life to tell us?" Jonathan eagerly explained to them what had brought him back to China, even after so many foreigners had been killed: the need to share the gospel.

As a poor Canadian farm boy, Jonathan Goforth had no idea that he would spend most of his life braving disaster, danger, and disease to share God's love with the people of China. But when God led him to do just that, nothing, not even the violent Boxer Rebellion, would stop Jonathan and his family from answering God's call.

Making their home in China, the Goforths opened their doors to as many as five thousand visitors a month, all of whom heard the gospel message. Their nearly fifty years of service to a nation in need would leave behind a legacy of many thousands of Chinese Christians.
 Disclosure: No missionaries were harmed in the making of this review.