My Review: “In This Place” by Kim L. Abernethy

A Missionary’s Call!

“Giving up my plans for my life was the most utterly beautiful but most difficult thing I have ever done. As the drone of the Cessna 180 brought me out of my flashback, I smiled as I found myself right where I have, for so long, feared to go. The jungles of Africa. But somehow, though I still felt some trepidation about this new experience, it seemed right. Very right.” ~ Kim L. Abernethy

After a 3-year struggle with surrendering to God’s plans, Kim finally submits to God’s calling on her life – missions, raw and heart-warming, to the country of Liberia, West Africa. These stories captured in real time from the coffers of her early journals will inspire you. Travel with Kim and her small family to an unfamiliar culture as she experiences events that could easily have shattered her resolve to continue following Christ’s dynamic plans for her life.

In 1985 Kim Abernethy, along with her husband, Jeff, followed a call from God to minister in the West African country of Liberia. She writes of the fall of one of her daughters from a two-story building, shares candid emotions when her husband had a close call with Lassa Fever, and delightfully chronicles her husband’s adventures of being a bush pilot in the jungle of Liberia.

Whether you are intrigued by the stories of foreign missionaries and how they adapt to a new culture or are heading towards the mission field yourself, you will find this book enlightening and inspiring.

Inside you will find disbelief, tragedy, fear, anxiety, discontentment, and confusion, but there is also humor, delight, amazement, wonder, surrender, and a deep-seated joy as you watch how God chipped away at the walls of pride, disbelief, and stubbornness that had held Kim captive.

Bio:

Kim grew up in the small community of Delco, North Carolina.  Delco is located twenty miles west of the beautiful port city of Wilmington.

The oldest of two children, her brother, Eddie, died in 2001 after a twenty-seven year battle with terminal kidney disease. Seeing what God did in and through her brother’s life, watching miracle after miracle, served as a catalyst to strengthen her faith in a personal & sovereign God.

She attended Peace College in Raleigh, NC, receiving a degree in English and Journalism. Feeling God leading her into a full-time missionary career, she studied at Piedmont Baptist College. There she met her husband, Jeff Abernethy, and they were married in 1981 and graduated in 1982.

By December 1985, Kim, her husband Jeff, and their oldest daughter, Michelle (then 2) headed to Liberia, West Africa. It is from journals kept during the first five years in Liberia that Kim penned her first book, In This Place. From those journals comes the captivating story of her life as a young missionary wife and mother in a culture she hardly understood.

In 2002, after seventeen years living in and out of West Africa and the West Indies, the Abernethys settled back in Charlotte. For the past eight years, they have led a dynamic campus ministry called Campus Bible Fellowship International at the University of NC – Charlotte.

My Review:

Kim Abernethy’s book, In This Place, gives you a personal look at Kim’s story of being called by God for missions’ work, her initial response, and her final surrender.  To me, she is a modern-day Noah, without the whale, thankfully!

Kim kept diligent journals of her missionary work in Liberia, West Africa, and this book (and her next) are her stories.  They are memorable stories of God’s intervention even when they thought everything was going wrong.  The circumstances kept Kim calling out to Him in faith daily.

The short-story format piques your interest and gives you her personal view of each episode.  It would be a great book to actually use in the classroom for people who feel called by God to missions, to prepare them for the unexpected.  It’s also good for lay people so they know how to pray more effectively for the missionaries as well as the people they are ministering to.  Kim’s stories make the reality of missions personal.

Not to worry, there’s plenty of humor to let you know they are just as human as the rest of us!

Definitely an honest, down-to-earth look at missions and how God is in the mix from the get-go.  I’m looking forward to the next book that finishes her missionary years.

This book was provided by the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog, which was managed by Christian Speaker Services (www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com).  I did this review as I felt it’s a book I just had to share personally.

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