on January 1, 2008
How ANYONE could give this book a one star rating is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps the reviewer has never read any of the books that explains the background of Steve's life. Steve Saint is one of the most gifted writers I have ever read, and that includes a lifetime of reading. I only WISH that I could write half as well. Steve's ability to turn a phrase by setting it in total opposition and humor to the preceding phrase is amazing. An example taken from his first book is, when in trying to protect his Auca "father" (who was the one who killed Steve's own father) from the fascinating blades of a lawnmower he has never seen before, Steve writes: "I thought I should lend him a hand before he lost one", but there are countless other examples.
Steve's first book "End of the Spear" was among the best I have ever read. Therefore, I had to read this one. Steve and his wife Ginny make God's existence become almost tangible as they share experiences that are unexplainable except for the intervention of God. If other authors could be this honest about their feelings and experiences, while leaving opportunity for God to confirm that He is real, active,and greatly desirous of their realization of His love for them, the books we read and our experiences of this present world would be greatly enhanced.I greatly encourage you to read this book, but more importantly, first read "End of the Spear" to make the events more understandable and chronological.
on February 12, 2008
Honestly, I haven't read a good book like this in many years, whatever the subject, and I'm an avid reader. From the very introduction the writer captured my attention completely, to the point of going back to the beginning and reading the intro three times. The whole book is just wonderful. Images don't stop creating in my head of the scenes described here. I seem to breathe the same air Steve and Ginny breathe along their travels.
Gripping, heartfelt, honest, down-to-earth life stories, but amazingly well narrated. What is the book about? Believe me, if you like good storytelling, read this. But if I should say, I'd say it's the amazing life experiences this man Steve and his wife had along their lives together. A lot of coincidences from the point of view of the agnostic; a lot of miracles, if we understand them as the acts of God in one's life.
I am very thankful to my friend Ed for recommending this book to me. Atheists really don't know what amazing blessings they are missing by walking alone. (Isn't it amazing someone would rather choose to go to hell than to Heaven out of spite?). And Christians need to pay more attention to those signs of His presence. It can be a truly delicious and exciting journey. As a side note, I had to feel some envy at all Americans for the great country they are part of. Seeing the variety of options in life, of possibilities and freedoms to do what they chose with their lives is just awe inspiring. Truly an American is closer to Heaven than anywhere else in the world, however far this may be.
on April 25, 2013
When the script was ready for The End of the Spear Steve had located an original Piper matching his dad's plane in everything but its color and its N-number, the universal aircraft identifier. The minor overhaul of the engine and the re-rounding of the wing tips were done, the color problem was being solved, and now Steve wanted his dad's original N-number. After many calls he discovered it had been re-issued to a flying club and he got the phone number to call the woman in charge. But he delayed, trying to come up with a script which would convince her, first, to listen to his story, and second, to agree to part with that number. Finally he calls and barely gets his name out, when the woman tells him an incredible story which ends with this revelation, "I thought to myself, I'll bet Steve wants his dad's N-Number. So Lois and I decided to try to find a away to get in touch with you, and here you are calling me instead! You want that N-Number, don't you?"
The End of the Spear was a standing room only hit at the United Nations when it was shown. Diplomats who arrived late couldn't get in. This is how a woman, who had just seen the movie, asked to have it shown at the United Nations, "We keep trying to change how people act, but here [in the movie] the change comes about because the people's hearts are changed. That is what we need to do, change people's hearts."
Steve met one man at the UN whose father had also been killed by a man, but that man was in prison. The son of murdered father was hurt deeply and he wanted the killer to be hurt. Unfortunately the man was hurting himself more. As Steve puts it on page 207, "I once heard someone say that hatred is suicide on the installment plan." That son was an example of what hatred does to the hater. When the UN wanted Steve to speak at the reception after the movie showing, he was concerned about upsetting some sensitivities, so he chose to speak as he had heard Mincaye speak of Waengongi, his name for Creator. "Before, no one ever having shown us the Creator's markings, we did not know how to live. Hating and killing, we lived furious and afraid all the time. But then, seeing the Creator's markings, some of us decided to follow the trail He marked with His Son's own blood. That is a very good trail. Now, walking Waengongi's trail, I live happily in peace."
There are many other stories in this amazing book of stories, and the one of how Ginny lost her dearest child, her Stephenie, at a young age to a cerebral aneurysm, is the most poignant and heart-tugging. Ginny says on page 220, "I remembered the verse God had given me during that surgery: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything." (Philippians 4:6)
People who are looking for signs of God's existence everywhere, hoping to find proof which will overcome their skepticism, will never find what they are looking for because the evidence lies in people themselves! People are the sand castles on the beach of the deserted island of Earth which prove the existence of God, and when we as humans long ago lost our direct sight of spiritual realities, God sent his Son as a sand castle, a unique and loving Sand Castle to remind us that we are not alone on this seemingly materialistic island. This is the theme which Steve evoked in me by his eponymous metaphor of finding a sand castle on a deserted island. If someone can't find the sand castle, they are looking for things instead of people, for people are the signs of God along the way.
And those who are looking for signs of God along the way can read more in Bobby Matherne's DIGESTWORLD Issue#122