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Sent: How One Ordinary Family Traded the American Dream for God's Greater Purpose Paperback – February 19, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Sent

“There are people who talk a lot about going on adventures with God, and then there are people who actually go. The Alans are part of the latter group. In the years I’ve known them it has been an honor to watch their story unfold. I’m thrilled that now you will get the chance to hear their story as well!”
— Jon Acuff, Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job and Stuff Christians Like

“What kids really need is not the best of everything—clothes, education, opportunities. Our kids need parents who become heroes to them by following Christ into difficult situations where ‘success’ is not the goal. They also need relationships with young adults who are completely in love with Jesus. That is so much more important than having
them in a youth group with kids who are at least as clueless as your own. I wish every American parent could read Sent.”
— Kathy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York, NY

Sent chronicles one family’s journey from the comforts of America to the challenges of going to the nations. You will be blessed and convicted by what you read. The Alan family’s story can help change you for the glory of King Jesus!”
— Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Having spent years leading the largest missionary-sending agency in the world, I never ceased to be amazed at the parade of young families that turned their backs on the comfort, security, and affluence of the American Dream to take the gospel to unreached nations. Sent is the inspiring testimony of one of those families. Be prepared to face the challenge of making the same radical choice.”
— Jerry Rankin, president emeritus, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

“What do you do if you discover that the American Dream is not God’s dream for you? Sent is the gritty story of an ordinary American family—a family just like yours—that gave up comforts and careers in exchange for God’s call. Compelling, transparent, and convicting, this book will open your heart to the possibility that God has a different
dream for your life.”
— Brian Fikkert, coauthor of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself

About the Author

HILARY ALAN, a former public relations professional, is a wife and mother of two children. Hilary and her family moved to Southeast Asia in the aftermath of a tsunami that destroyed villages, homes, businesses, and hundreds of thousands of lives. Today, the Alans continue to advance the work of Christ internationally in their involvement with a church in North Carolina as they prepare for another overseas assignment.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030773157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I whole heartily agreed with what JD said in his foreword, "It is impossible really to believe the gospel and remain the same."

I think Hilary communicated this throughout the entirety of the book and left the reader with a clear picture of what this looks like. I underlined many, many thoughts and paragraphs-my goal being to go back through and turn some of these highlights into action steps-not only for myself as I lead my family, but also for the people I pastor.

It was a pleasure to spend time with the Alan family as we get a raw, real life, behind the scenes look into their lives and how God used one ordinary family to tell the greatest news in all the world to a people halfway across the world for God’s greater purpose.

I am a raving fan...go and buy multiple copies!
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Format: Paperback
I understand that we are not dealing with Dickinson, Bronte, or Austin here, but one cannot help but wonder if this book ever passed through the hands of an editor. While there is some charm to a book written as a chat where thoughts are thrown in at random as they are remembered, the repeated refrain of "this was our pursuit of the American dream and we thought we had it made, but then..." gets a little annoying after a while. Alan often indicates that she found remarks like "you gave up so much" offensive or irritating...so why keep bringing it up ever so often? One is tossed back and forth from here to there and this type of choppiness can make one sea-sick at times.

And then there is the tacked on sermon in chapter 30. Does Alan really think that a non believer or even a nominal believer would have waded through all the previous chapters so that they could be convicted of their sin in the chapter before the epilogue? And the tasteless Roman Catholic bashing is so unnecessary! While begging Americans not to judge all Muslims by the actions of some, Alan dismisses all RCC members in a few sentences as people who have no clue as to the message of the Gospel. Are we talking about glass houses here or what? On page 237, she says: "I grew up in an incredibly dysfunctional home with infidelity, divorce, drugs, alcoholism, abuse, and broken relationships. I was taught that education, position, and money were the keys to success and that religion was an obligation." Perhaps the finger pointing, if there ought to be any at all, should start and end here...

This is so sad, because this story could have been life changing for so many.
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Format: Paperback
This is the account of a very normal family who are living the American dream and who consider themselves to be committed Christians - until things begin to change as they start to hear God's whisper of a different way. In their 40s, Hilary and her husband consider a call to mission in an island in South-East Asia which was devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami. Yet it is not just their lives which they are about to uproot. It is also the lives of their children, aged 10 and 14, which will change forever. Friends don't understand what motivates them as they sell off all their possessions and prepare for a total change of cultures but this family decides to go anyway! Told from Hilary's perspective, this book recounts the story as it affects each family member, the spiritual opposition which they encountered along the way and the joys they experience as they follow God's call.

I enjoyed this book very much. It was an easy and engrossing read, which held my attention for the couple of hours which it took to read it. If you like the stories of real people following their God, you will enjoy this one.

I received a free copy of this e-book from Waterbrook Multnomah in return for a fair review.
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Format: Paperback
Somewhere along the line, we have lost the willingness to be different and put everything on the line for God. We are afraid of being teased, unpopular or having people gossip about our unusual behavior and choices. Frankly, I am not even sure we would know what putting everything on the line for God would look like in our comfortable American lives.

My favorite thing about the new book Sent: How One Ordinary Family Traded the American Dream for God's Greater Purpose, by Hilary Alan is that it tells the story of a family who was willing to take a chance and give everything to God. The Alan's were a family living the American dream - great jobs, nice home, good kids, good schools. They would have even described themselves as faithful, involved Christians. They attended services regularly, helped in the work of a local congregation and made sure their children attended youth events.

Their story isn't about their "perfect life", though. It is about how this family woke up out of the trance of "having it all" and gave up everything to serve God in southeast Asia. Ms. Alan not only goes into detail about how they were moved to turn their lives upside down, but also the consequences of their decision to give up the comfortable life they had in exchange for the uncertainty of going where they believe God sent them.

There are several excellent books on the market today about how to live a life fully for God. If you are someone who loves non-fiction writing, they are great for delving into the nitty gritty of scripture analysis and tips for how to put scriptures into action. Some people, however, prefer the storytelling style of a novel.
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