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One Yes Paperback – September 15, 2015
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I can see why Dess chose to name the book "One Yes". Because from the moment she gave God her first "One Yes", God took her on the roller coaster ride of her life. God placed Dess in places and situations that she never imagined and started her down the path to what would turn out to be the journey of a lifetime. Her story reads like a suspenseful fiction novel full of twists and turns. Yet, the entire story is true. I sat on the edge of my seat reading her story and all of the amazing things God was taking her through, the places He was taking her to, and the people He was introducing her too.
I have to be completely honest and give a full disclosure of the fact that I served with Dess for a short time at Friendships. I was initially hesitant to buy her book. Only for the reason that I thought, well I knew some of her story and I thought, what was the point of reading the book. I am so thankful to God that I bought her book as it exceeded my wildest expectations!!! I only served at Friendships for seven months. I frequently ran into Dess as I worked in the galley and she brought us food on a daily basis. However, I never knew all of her struggles that she went through while she was there. She was always so bright and upbeat that you would never have known that anything was going on in her life. To read about how she went through many of the same struggles that I did while she was there, was both enlightening and comforting. I left Friendships quite a while before she did. The stories of the paths God took her down after she left Friendships are absolutely amazing and awe-inspiring!!!!! God took her down some unexpected paths and used her and Joel in ways that leave you breathless at all God did for them and through them.
One of the things that I appreciate most about this book is Dess's complete transparency. Too often Christians write books that gloss over their struggles and make light of the problems they faced and their own weaknesses. I feel this does a dis-service to the body of Christ and weakens their testimony. Many times Christians write their story as if they have on rose colored glasses and paint a "pretty picture" of what it means to sacrifice all and serve Christ. It's as if they are afraid to be too transparent and share the truth of their struggles, the opposition they face, and the sometimes crushing pain they endure in order to serve Christ. What many Christian authors don't understand is that there are millions of Christians going though the same struggles and pain. They need to hear that they are not alone. They need to know that it is okay to struggle, question God, and sometimes feel doubt and pain as a Christian. I believe this is especially important for new Christians. If Christian authors paint a false picture of what true service to Christ is like, then they fail to reach those that are struggling with all of their might to serve God. I have read countless missionary books. The ones that touch my heart the most are the ones where the author is transparent with their pain and struggles and show how God brings them to a place of fulfilment in Him. Dess does an amazing job of being completely transparent in her writing. You can feel the intensity of her struggles and doubts. She doesn't shy away from things that may embarrass her or possibly make her look bad in the eyes of those who may be judgemental. Not at all. She is the complete opposite. She shares so many of her struggles, doubts, and weaknesses. This is the very thing that will touch the hearts of Christians who are struggling. The body of Christ needs people who will be honest about the struggles Christians will face when trying to serve God. Dess does a great job of this and it was my favorite thing about her book!!!!!
Another thing I greatly appreciate about this book is that it is not your typical "preachy" book. What do I mean by that? Unfortunately, too often Christians write books that are simply too, well "preachy". I don't want to pick up a book and be preached to. If I want to be preached to, I will go to church and listen to a sermon. When I read a book about a missionary, I want to be ministered to by being "enveloped" into their life, experiences, struggles, tragedies and triumphs. This is what touches my heart and ministers to my soul. That is exactly what Dess's book does for me. Her book and story ministered to my souls in ways that I had not anticipated. It's ironic that Dess talks about her trip to Israel in her book. I am in Israel now. I started reading her book in Jerusalem yesterday afternoon. I was instantly hooked. I read for about three hours before I had to hop on a train for Tel Aviv. The entire hour and forty minute train ride I was engrossed in her book. I fell asleep last night reading her book and picked it up first thing again this morning. I have literally read her book for about eight hours today and have just finished it. It was such a blessing and brought both laughter to my heart and tears to my eyes. Dess mentions at the end of her book that God had informed her she would write six books. I sure hopes she write a follow-up to "One Yes" about what God has done in her and Joel's life since she moved to Washington!!!
I give my highest recommendation to this book. Father's, give this book to your daughters as it will minister to them about healthy and loving relationships between men and women. This book is great for missionaries or even those contemplating going onto the missions field. This would also be a great book for a women's group and even a teen group in the church.
This book will touch the heart of many and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it!!!!!