Through a series of stories and memories, this book presents a firsthand account of the author’s family experiences as missionaries in West Africa, dating back to the early 1900’s.
The stories give a unique view of history from the perspective of an American growing up in colonial Guinea, who returns to follow God’s call following his service in WWII. Some of Paul’s stories will make you laugh about language faux pas, crossing borders with snakes and chickens, pursuing a criminal in a commandeered car, or pretending to have a wife upon the return from service in the US Navy. However, there are also recollections of personal hardship due to serious injury, illness in a country with limited medical resources and providing aid and assistance to Liberian refugees who fled their own country during the civil war in the early 90’s. The book speaks about the impact of the two World Wars in West Africa, a taste of French colonialism followed by independence, and living everyday life in a country that effectively functioned as a Soviet Satellite.
Throughout the collection of memories, we see how God’s hand guides the lives of His servants in the big things, like marriage, enlistment in the Navy and the building of a Bible school. God also demonstrated his providence in the day-to-day travels on unimproved highways, obtaining visas, and air travel through West African airports. These accounts show how God used unlikely people to carry his message to individuals and tribes, and how the work transitioned from relationship evangelism and translation, to public evangelism and then to Bible and pastoral education at just the right time in history.
Paul and Florine served in Guinea for 36 years, with The Christian & Missionary Alliance. Early on they were involved in church planting and for the rest of their career they taught at the Telekoro Bible Institute, training men and women to be pastors, leaders and church workers.