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One Million Arrows: Raising Your Children to Change the World Paperback – September 1, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A professional writer and speaker, Julie Ferwerda challenges families nationwide to become part of a movement by using their God-given gifts and talents to make a significant spiritual impact in their schools, workplaces, and communities. She is the mother of two teenage daughters who are both making a significant spiritual impact in their community.

Recognized for making the Bible relevant to daily life, Julie's work is featured in many Christian magazines and Web sites. She hosts regular blogs for Crosswalk.com and CBN.com, and is the author of The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love.

Julie volunteers her most of her time and talents to international orphan discipling ministry. She is a Certified Lay Counselor and a faculty member of CLASSEMINARS, INC., a professional communications development organization.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Winepress Publishing (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606150111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606150115
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up with a conditional view of God's love. This came about through a very legalistic church I attended with my mom and left me feeling very insecure about my relationship with God and my future beyond death. I constantly doubted whether I was a true child of God because I couldn't seem to be "good enough" to please Him. At times it was paralyzing.

This warped view of God, coupled with harsh and unapproachable authority figures in my life, left me feeling unloved and worthless as a child. As a result my life remained controlled by fear and anxiety until I went to college.

In college I got involved in a campus ministry where I began to grow spiritually in a nurturing environment. It was there I made my first conscious step of turning my life over to God out of desire, not fear and duty. After that, He began speaking into my life in ways that I could perceive--not audibly but through His Word, thoughts, other people, and circumstances.

One night while driving in my car, I experienced an unexpected "message" introduced into my thoughts that went something like this: "You are "legally" my daughter. Just as a parent cannot be extracted physically from their child's DNA, so my spiritual DNA cannot be extracted from you. I can never go back on this covenant." Instantly, my uncontrollable fears of some forgotten sin separating me from Him forever melted away once and for all, proving to me that it was truly God speaking to me. This was the first step in a long journey of learning to trust God with the details and controls of my life.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." John 10:10

Though fear controlled my life up until college, it was then that anger took over, especially anger toward myself. I hated who I was, and I desperately wanted to change. But it seemed the harder I tried, the worse I got. I begged God to change me, but there was only silence. Battling the same habit pattern sins over and over again, I never experienced any lasting victory, despite my earnest pleadings with God to take them away.

As a young wife and mother, there were several years of depression and hopelessness with no reprieve, and seemingly no progress of becoming a whole person. Through continued cycle of despair, my life was on a path to self-destruction. Rarely did God seem real or involved in my dry and barren wilderness. And therein was the disconnect. The realization that I was a Christian who was supposed to have answers and to live in hope and victory only made matters worse. I described my Christian experience to a few close friends as "a salesman who doesn't believe in her own products." What did I have to share with anyone? It wasn't working for me, why would they want it? I felt jealous of those people who came to belief in Christ and described the feeling of being set free for the first time.

"...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

God spoke these words to me (also Jeremiah 29:11-14) and revived a tiny spark of hope that He indeed had something better for me, far above my defeated life. I knew He wanted to set me free and to give me hope, but how? I came to a huge crisis of belief. But instead of choosing to believe His promises, I sunk to the lowest point of my life, giving up hope that God could improve my life or my failing marriage. I waved my white flag of defeat, giving in to utter defeat. What I never expected was that God wouldn't leave me alone. At my lowest place ever, LOVE followed me into the darkness and didn't give up on me.

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me." Psalm 18:16-19

It was a hard road back, but God has given me a new life. Paradoxically, through the "ground zero" of hopelessness and failure, I was finally changed when Mercy met me at the bottom. I have experienced the grace, forgiveness, and redeeming power of a loving and Sovereign God like never before. He has finally broken through the clouds and confusion by teaching me to trust Him and believe Him, and how to live by the truth that sets me free.

"Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32

I've been set free--free from sin and death, and free from lies that set out to destroy my life. The road has not been easy, but I wouldn't change a bit of it because I have learned that God is not as concerned with my happiness as He is with my wholeness. It is through the process of *becoming* and overcoming that I am learning true joy.

"But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10

If there is one super encouraging truth I have learned through my human frailty and doubt it is this: With God, there is no "Plan B." In other words, our lives are already written on the pages of "His-Story." Nothing I have done or will do takes God by surprise because He already knew me before I was born. He knows the exact price I have to pay to become conformed to the image of His Son. I am who I am today because of my failures and imperfections, not in spite of them. There is nothing that has brought me more comfort and peace than learning and believing this truth.

The other completely radical truth that has changed me from the inside out is studying and learning the truth of the Gospel message, all but forgotten from mistranslation in today's popular, modern Bible translations:

"So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men." Romans 5:18

As you will see in my latest book and writings, I firmly know today that there is no such thing as hell or eternal torment, but the truth is that God created "all of this" to teach us who He is and who we are--beloved, awakening children of God--not ultimately to punish us. If you have struggled with doubts about the character of God, the "limits of His love," or the afterlife, I hope you will read the greatest message I have ever been given, through my book, "Raising Hell: Christianity's Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire." It is my Magnum Opus; nothing I have to offer you could be more full of the love, grace, and liberation of my new heart and life.

I am a woman who believes in my products now. I know what I have and what I have been saved from. I have experienced the incredible power of grace. God took a completely failing, powerless, weak, angry, fearful loser and made me, by His redeeming power and love, into a confident, joyful, free, purposeful, peaceful woman who is excited about His plans for my future. He has given sight to the "blind," and brought light to my darkness. He has put the power of truth in my mouth, my head, and my heart so that I can stand in faith and defeat every lie that I encounter. My exhortation to anyone struggling in fear, failure, or discouragement is to learn the truth. Your life will be free to the degree that you know, understand, believe, and stand on the truth, which is the living Word of God, found only in dynamic relationship.

From my heart to yours,


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For years now the church in the US has continously developed ministry after ministry targeting our children and young people. Effect?? More and more are leaving the church after leaving the home. As a former student pastor I saw the effect first hand. The reason: I asked a roomful of "church kids" whose parents served in the church, how many of them had prayed with, had devotions with, or even spiritual conversation/guidance from their fathers, or parents in general within the LAST FEW MONTHS. The answer was 1 in 30! The answer is not more church programs to monopolize your families time. The answer is YOUR FAMILY! God, wife, children, are your top three priorities and One Million Arrows calls us all to stop dropping our children down our list of to dos behind work and "church." OMA calls us all as parents to take up this banner for our lives and run with it so that our children will not become casualties of a generation of unconcerned, lukewarm, Christian by name only young men and women, but truly Arrows for God!
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Inspired by the work of Dr. M.A. Thomas in India, Julie Ferwerda enthusiastically embraced his God-given vision of sending out One Million Arrows (children trained to reach the nations with the gospel) into the world. While Thomas has been faithfully laboring to raise abandoned and orphaned children for the Lord while training them for future roles in ministry and evangelism, Ferwerda has expanded this vision to include our own biological children here in North America, and any whose lives we may touch through giving.

Ferwerda both encourages families to raise their children whole-heartedly for missions and ministry, while examining the impact that families can have mission-ally and financially as they seek to reach the world for Jesus. Recent years have seen a huge re-evaluation of the approaches used to impart discipleship upon children. Increasingly parents are turning away from reliance upon formal church ministries and embracing visions of family discipleship within their homes. Author Julie Ferwerda offers a unique approach to creating a family on fire for the great commission in One Million Arrows.

One of my favorite portions of the book was the inclusion of the paths different families have taken to raise their children with a passion for Christ. Many homeschooling families have shared their stories and the fruit their children's lives have borne. Likewise, the stories of many orphans who have been raised in Christian homes with a heart for ministry are also shared along with some of their impact upon the world.

Ferwerda's passion is unmistakable, but at times her message of spreading the gospel through the lives of children who have been abandoned and consequently raised in Christian homes seems a bit cold.
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What I Liked: For starters, the subject matter. I've cut back seriously on book review opportunities lately, trying to catch up on my backlog. But I couldn't pass this one over - the topic is just too close to my heart. More than any other dream I have for my little daughter, I want to raise a child who loves God and changes the world, through Him and for Him. And service to humanity has always been a dream and priority of mine, even before Esmé came into the picture.

Somehow, though, I didn't expect this book to pierce me so much. To point out my shortcomings so well. To make me realize I need to change the very essence of my thoughts on homeschooling and education.

In fact, I just spent the weekend studying different methods of education. I tried to sum it up on my Mozi Esmé blog - realizing that I could never get it all figured out, and ultimately loving and savoring my baby girl is by far more important than picking the right handwriting teaching method and helping her ace the SATs. This book takes it even further.

This book is full of quote after motivational quote that I wish I could memorize and internalize. Here's one:

I don't want children who are just productive members of society. I don't want to encourage my kids to strive after mere hapiness either. In the short window of opportunity I have to impact their lives, I want to raise spiritually fulfilled kids who are productive members of eternity.
Not just inspiring quotes and ideas, this book is also full of inspiring stories. One after another. Of parents. And children. And it makes me realize no matter what my circumstance, what my daughter's personality, what the ingredients are - kids CAN make a difference for God.
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As someone who has seen first hand the great need for parents to raise their children and the need for parents in countries whose streets are filled with orphans, this book speaks a clear word to everyone who cares about justice and mercy and the lives of children. Trust me, this book will change your perspective on pretty much EVERYTHING concerning the future of the world we live in, because the future is in our kids, and their kids, and the kids who have nobody to teach them right from wrong.
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