Book Review: Dispatches from the Front

Tim Keesee, Dispatches From The Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014.

[Note: I received a review copy from the publisher in kindle format.]

Tim Keesee has spent years visiting missionaries in difficult places around the world; this book is a digest of several articles detailing the tough conditions that are faced by Christians and those who minister to them. The stories come from former Soviet republics, Russia, China, India, and other “closed” countries that regularly disenfranchise and persecute evangelical Christians. In a lucid and “you are there” type of style, Keesee puts the reader in the thick of the action. The stories of Christian bravery inspire gratitude to God for His preserving grace and power, as well as the faithfulness of suffering saints in far-flung corners of the planet.

The reader meets Galina, a faithful Russian woman who witnesses in prison after prison in the Soviet Union, as the atheistic wardens repeatedly transfer her in a vain attempt to silence her potent testimony. The book also tells of courageous preachers like Husayn, whose church ministers to unwanted people like the mentally disabled in Azerbaijan. Keesee tells what it was like to be in Afghanistan when foreign aid workers like Cheryl Williams were murdered by the Taliban for their faithful service to Christ among the needy Afghan people.

I thoroughly recommend this stirring account of the contemporary progress of the Gospel amid staunch opposition. It moved me to pray more for the persecuted church around the world, as well as seek to be a better witness in the comparative freedom of the United States. Read it and prayerfully consider your connection to the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20.)