Rodney Hui is a new author to me, so I felt I was getting acquainted with him. This is a sequel to his first book, Been There, Done That. He has already spent 28 years in missions, mostly with Operation Mobilization. Hui grew up and lives in Singapore, still working with OM.
His is an interesting, conversational style of writing. It is very easy to keep reading on and on. Especially since he uses some original short stories.
The book is divided into three parts. The first, Keep Believing, is about how his brother Lawrence came to faith by a long, circuitous route. It holds up Jesus as the one to focus on, and offers encouraging advice to new Believers in Christ. I liked that he doesn't take for granted they know all that a more mature, experienced Christian does. He offers milk for thirsty new believers.
The five principles of maturity in the fourth chapter, Growing up, are profound in their simplicity. 1. Learn about Jesus and love him, 2. Faithful in the midst of failure, 3. Esteeming and forgiving others, 4. Always give thanks and pray, and 5. Missions in the face of hardship. These boil down a lot of deep treatises to the essentials, and explain them in ways an ordinary person can grasp.
I had to pause for some personal inner debate when I saw his advice in the chapter on leaders' roles, and about resolving conflict. Hui says you have to be willing to loose some friends because you won't always get people to reconcile. I've always felt like a failure when I couldn't keep all sides in an issue in church together, but I guess Hui is right. Some relationships we have to turn over to the Lord, and wait to see how they will be dealt with in Heaven. We have to let go.
But then in part two, Going, Going, Hui introduces readers to the concept of missions. He shows them why this is crucial and not an option. Amen, brother! I've felt that since I was about nine, but I keep seeing the church full of people who do think missions is optional. (Hear my exasperated sigh?)
This section made me even more excited when I saw that Hui provides very practical steps for a believer to discover what God is calling them to do in missions, and how to try to work with, or through your home church first if possible. He suggests researching mission agencies, and even trying out a short missions trip to see where you might best fit in. He takes you through the commitment step, and further specific preparations, and then the big issue of honouring one's parents in all of this.
Hui explains the Asian culture's high regard for parents and bowing to their wishes, but I can well identify. When younger, I was always sure I would end up on a mission field. I ended up coming home to look after aged parents, and learned humility through submission, even though an adult. It has turned out well, in that I finally had time (I was too busy in church before) to become a writer, and so now I do have a world-wide ministry from my father's living room. So I know that God can and does work out impossible situations. But all this makes me especially glad that Hui does not avoid this matter.
Keep Going! goes on to describe what the 21st century missionary is really like and what character and skills are most necessary.
He faces the matter of God's Call head on. Oh, the debates I've heard on this one point. Several times now, I've seen a skit where someone is illustrating the "waiting for God's call to missions" by waiting near a phone for a special call, and ignoring the needy ones who keep interrupting his or her life.
I have to say that I know for a fact, it is a great help that I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt before I moved home that it was God's will, for there were times I would gladly have run away, except for that commitment I had made before the Lord.
Hui found no less than nine arguments against waiting for "the call" and I found them quite interesting. They are worthy of your study. This chapter might be worth the price of the book to you.
Now this Rodney Hui is thorough if nothing else. He even tackles why churches are down-playing missions in favour of celebrations. Concerts and things that attract the crowds, and fill the building. Missions conferences do that in most places. Hui offers some valid reasons that missions committee members would do well to study. There are clues there for improving your missions profile in your church.
How good of Hui to include a chapter showing the positives about missions too! And one about how to keep informed and to help even if you are a stay-at-home missionary.
The third section, Gone! tells stories of ordinary people with humble beginnings who went to do mission work and made some fine contributions, besides furthering the gospel. I found them fascinating! I think you will too.