You would think that finding yourself kidnapped, staring at drug-fuelled guns and machetes on the very edge of death, you would need to be of a strong and courageous mind to survive. But this book is about weakness and fear, pointing continually to the God who is strong in weakness despite the malice and evil that penetrated the high walls and strong gates of the mission house on the Niger Delta. Over a period of 22 days, sitting on a mattress with the face of their dead colleague clear in their minds, David, Shirley and Alannah learnt what the call of God really meant. They had one Bible between them and wore only their nightclothes, everything else having been stripped away in a single frenzied moment. They spent their time on the pontoon laying down their lives before the living God, telling their captors of the urgency of salvation. Much of the time they lived that witness in small daily actions, occasionally they used words.
Shirley’s chapter on grace is particularly pertinent as she personally struggled with the commodity of grace, given hour by hour to appropriate and use whenever she had need of it. The morning of their rescue they heard from nowhere a song which said that ‘God will make a way’; grace indeed.
This is not a read for the fainthearted, but for those who will listen to their challenging call for action which reverberates through every tenet of their book.
Ruth Aird, Edinburgh Theological Seminary