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A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter Paperback – July 1, 2003
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From the Back Cover
A Passion for the Impossible
This is the story of the woman whose life of faith and devotion inspired the hymn "Turn your Eyes Upon Jesus". Although art critic John Ruskin enthusiastically proclaimed Lilas Trotter's potential as one of the best artists of the nineteenth century, her devotion to Christ compelled her to abandon the life of art, privilege and leisure she could have enjoyed.
Without knowing the language and without the sponsorship of any organization, Lilias left her London home of comfort for a modest dwelling in Algeria, where her love of literature and art became dynamic tools for evangelism, and where her compassionate heart captured the hearts of the people. For forty years, despite frail health and many obstacles, Lilias devoted herself to missionary service among the people of Algeria through her lifestyle of love and encouragement.
"(Christians') works do follow them." wrote Lilias. In writing of this truth, she prophetically supplied a perspective of her own legacy--and the legacy of all who invest in the kingdom of God.
"I am astounded by...the beautiful expression of who Lilias was and what her legacy teaches us. I couldn't put (the book) down, as they say, and I read it--devoured it--carefully, gladly, and with great blessing...a "drop everything book"! --Elisabeth Elliot, author and speaker.
"Miriam Rockness (has done) a painstakingly superb job of researching original documents. Her book is (filled) with quotes that will challenge the reader's faith and obedience to God...a fresh look at another one of England's distinguished missionary pioneers..." --Jim Reapsome, review for Evangelical Missions Quarterly
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Top Customer Reviews
In a 1960s book, RUSKIN TODAY, Sir Kenneth Clark mentioned Trotter as someone lost to history. But Clark hadn't turned over every leaf, as has biographer Miriam Rockness, who discovered Trotter through bequeathed volumes of her out-of-print illustrated books.
A bright, talented daughter of a prominent stockbroker in London, Lilias Trotter (1853-1928) was comfortable in the company of privilege. At age 21 she was among guests, including George MacDonald and Bishop Wilberforce, invited to a religious retreat, the forerunner of the Keswick Conferences.
Spiritually stirred by this and the preaching of Dwight Moody, Lilias grew discontent with the in-vogue "charity from a distance." For more than 10 years in London, she devotedly worked to help establish a hostel for working women, the forerunner of the YWCA.
During this time, while on vacation in Venice, her meddling mother asked Ruskin to look at Lilias's watercolor paintings --- a request that led to art lessons, weekend invitations, and extended conversations and correspondence between the Miss and the Master, who claimed she could be the greatest painter of her generation if she would "give herself up to art.Read more ›
Lilias spent several decades of her life doing the "basics" in securing the beginnings of a life long ministry among a people hungry for deep spiritual lessons, but finding ways to do this required much patience, thought and forgiveness. And on top of all this, she is dealing with a new language, both spoken and written.
The majority of this book is taken from Lilias's copius journals, letters and writings where she kept records of what she was involved in day by day.
I learned a lot about what the foreign missionary effort entails, and especially when you're the first to go into an area with some brand new ideas where life is so different. But she won them over slowly with her love. As time went on, she had much help from other women and men who worked with her in this cause.
The last couple of decades her health was not good, but she just kept on plugging away, even writing from her bed the last two years.
She wrote some beautiful booklets that have profound lessons of faith and obedience in them. "Parables of the Cross" and "Parables of the Christ Life" are just two of them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Until a friend lent me her copy of the biographical movie, I had never heard of Lilias Trotter--her courage, her artwork, her passion for God, or her mysterious connection to John... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jan
It's an incredible story of a woman who gave up money and fame to help those less fortunate than she. Read morePublished 3 months ago by norm kersten
A great story about an amazing lady who trusted God and worked tirelessly to make him know. I loved her story.Published 4 months ago by Amy Patterson
The legacy left by Lilias Trotter can truly not be measured! I first heard of her through several of my heroes of the faith referencing her as THEIR hero. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jeremy
I knew nothing about this remarkable lady. She was a missions pioneer and single when women were to be at home.Published 5 months ago by Diana Ferrell
This is a good book to learn about the beginnings of short term missions.Published 5 months ago by Cheryl Rees