A few years ago my mother-in-love shared several books from the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series with my family. We have enjoyed reading through the stories of missionary heroes of the faith and have been inspired as we study and discuss these books together. These biographies from YWAM Publishing tell the true-life stories of men and women who heed GOD's call to go into the world and share the GOOD NEWS of JESUS. Because I want nothing more for my children than to follow GOD's WILL for their lives, I was excited to add Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose ($6.99 -- available in either paperback or e-book format) to our reading list this semester.
Although we were very familiar with Jim Elliot's story of service and his desire to reach the Auca people group, we've spent the past month studying more about his love and passion for being the hands and feet of JESUS in flesh and bone so that all would know true LOVE and forgiveness. We've read the biography and worked through the pages of the corresponding Jim Elliot: Unit Study Curriculum Guide ($7.49) and the facts that we already knew have taken on new life and meaning in our home. It has been delightful to "meet" Jim Elliot in a very real way through the pages of both books and my children have gained a new appreciation for what it means to truly follow GOD into the outermost parts of the earth.
We chose to read Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose aloud together with each taking a turn in reading to the family. Written to an audience aged 10 and up, the 192-page book easily held the attention of my 12- and 14-year-olds and would be enjoyed by younger children, as well. My Boy Scout's ALL-TIME favorite movie is based off of the book End of the Spear so truly this was a perfect fit for us. We eagerly read through the pages of the book -- devouring the life message of Jim Elliot. It was fun to read along as he left America and headed into an unknown land that called to his heart and soul. His complete surrender and whole-hearted obedience to GOD is exactly the message that I desire my children to grasp as they seek to become faith heroes of today.
As part of our family reading of Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose, we used the accompanying unit study, Jim Elliot: Unit Study Curriculum Guide. This 62-page curriculum guide is designed for use by groups or individuals and works well for students of many ages and grade levels. The numerous activities included in the guide help students take ownership of what they've read through Student Explorations -- activities chosen as a representation of all learning styles. There are suggestions for hands-on learning (collecting and displaying items from Elliot's beloved Ecuador, papier-mache crafts, and bark and leaf rubbings) and suggestions for writing thought-provoking essays. Students are encouraged to "taste and see" through the preparation of regional food items and to study Spanish sentences and relevant Scripture. All activities can be modified for younger children to enjoy alongside the family.
We used the Chapter Questions provided as reading comprehension and review as we completed our reading of each chapter (all answers included). These worked well to make sure we were all paying close attention and served as an immediate reinforcement tool. Both my son and daughter are currently working on additional projects from the Curriculum Guide. Together they are creating a timeline of Jim Elliot's life. In addition, my son is working on an audio-visual project to share the character traits found in Elliot and friends and my daughter is creating clay models to represent animals, food, and trees that we read about in the book.
I have especially enjoyed the reproducible maps and fact sheet for delving deeply into a study of geography. I like having my children label the maps and track Jim's journey across the world as they read along in the book. This helps us to really see the big picture of Matthew 28:19-20. We've had a great time digging into the life and passion of Jim Elliot and have followed through with the suggested Scripture study through memorization and discussion of spiritual concepts presented. For us, the Unit Study Curriculum Guide has allowed us the opportunity to learn so much more than we would have by simply reading the book by itself. It has been an extra mile worth taking.
As suggested in the Books and Resources section of the Curriculum Guide, we plan to read Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer now that we've finished the Jim Elliot book and study. I look forward to the opportunity to compare the lives of the two men who died side by side and to share with my children how both of their wives showed the ultimate act of forgiveness by staying put to continue to minister to the Aucas even after their husbands were killed. The lives of all of these Christian Heroes speak the language of LOVE that I desire for my children to know, understand, and share.
YWAM Publishing offers a multitude of free resources that you will find useful in your home. My children enjoyed the challenge of the Christian Heroes Character Traits Crossword Puzzle and the fun review presented in the Jim Elliot Crossword Puzzle. (You can even find the answer keys on the website, so be sure to look for those if you need them.) The Princess likes to keep her hands busy as we read and the Coloring Pages were perfect for that. The Christian Heroes World Map has added a wonderful dimension to our geographical studies -- and helps us see that GOD wants to use us all. Make sure you take some time to peruse the YWAM Publishing website (Youth With A Mission) and see how you can help children and adults all around the world through missions programs. Quality Christian materials PLUS service to others makes each purchase worthwhile. On your quest to help your children be ON MISSION, you'll be glad you stopped by -- I promise.
I was given the opportunity to review Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose and Jim Elliot: Unit Study Curriculum Guide published by YWAM Publishing as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)