A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
If you’re looking for a great resource to help you and your children have a broader perspective on the world and how Christianity is spreading, this is an ideal book for you. The purpose of this book is to present information on a wide variety of countries and people groups and share specifically how we can pray for those described. Some of these locations and peoples are familiar to us and others we’ve never even heard of. But God knows all of these image bearers and He desires that each of them comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
There are 92 countries/people groups that are described throughout this book. They are organized alphabetically and each entry contains the following information:
- A vignette about a real or fictional child
- A description of the culture as it relates to their religious beliefs
- A “fact file” highlighting (for countries) area, population, capital, main language, main religion, and chief imports; and (for people groups) country, numbers, main languages, main religions, and occupations.
- A map with the location highlighted
- The country’s flag (if applicable)
- A fun fact
- Suggestions for specific prayer needs
The articles are written in a very interesting and informative way. There is clearly a respect shown for each of these people. The descriptions of their culture and history give a clear picture of how religion and specifically Christianity are influencing them. Each page contains several colorful, engaging photos from the region and includes people living in each area.
There are also supplementary pages. The beginning has an introduction to explain how to best use this book, followed by a world map that shows the location of each of the 92 countries/people groups. At the end, there are articles on the various world religions (Animism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism). These explain the history and the main tenets of the beliefs. Then there is a “What’s Next” section which directs parents and children to action, both in prayer and giving/serving. Finally, there is a glossary which provides definitions for words that may be unfamiliar to children.
There is much to recommend this book. It certainly contains a wealth of information and would be very helpful in praying for people and missions around the world. Homeschool families would appreciate how useful it would be in teaching geography and world cultures/religions. I would offer one word of caution, however. I noticed a tendency to treat Catholicism as equal to Evangelicalism. Mother Teresa is hailed as an Albanian Christian who did great work in India; in the section on Christianity, Catholicism is just another “kind of church”; and in the glossary, the entry about Catholicism says, “Like other Christians, Catholics believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Bible is the Word of God. But they also believe that other traditions are important and honor Mary as the Mother of God. . .” I did appreciate, though, that following each description of the other religions, the authors point out why Christianity is superior and that it is not of our own merits that we earn salvation. If you have a heart for missions or if you want to help instill that in your children, this would definitely be a valuable resource to have.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.
Buy the books
Window on the World: An Operation World Prayer Resource