Tag: corrie ten boom (page 1 of 1)

Do Great Things for God (Series)

One of the bits of writing advice I absorbed during college was “Show, don’t tell.” Show me the character gnashing her teeth; don’t tell me she was angry. Show me the geriatric cat holding his ground against a pitbull; don’t tell me he still had spunk. It’s good advice for writers, but I find that “show, don’t tell” is essential advice for the Christian life as well.

Discipleship is showing, not telling: it is one believer demonstrating for another how to live in this world as a Christian. Telling is important, too, but without giving a disciple a lived example to follow, discipleship becomes—there’s no easy way to say it—hypocrisy. How much more so in parenting? My daughters have learned far more about my habits and loves than I expected them to when they were little and I was certain I could simply tell them how to live. Evidently, they’ve been watching far more than they’ve been listening. God, in his mercy, has now given me a handful of people who will (sometimes bluntly, but most often politely) call me out on my inconsistencies.

Sometimes I’m not clear on which of us is the disciple and which the discipler.

Do Great Things for God: Corrie Ten Boom, by Laura Caputo-Wickham | Little Book, Big Story

But I digress. One of the things I love best about Christian biographies is that they show, from beginning to end, a Christian life lived faithfully before God. My daughters can only look at the thirteen or ten or five years that they’ve known me and glean from that, but with Christian biographies, we can watch together how George Mueller, Phillis Wheatley, or Elisabeth Elliot lived from beginning to end.

Most of the biographies we’ve read so far have been chapter books or were intended for older readers, and I had never questioned that. In many cases, these believers lived through incredible hardship and persecution. I found it hard to imagine ever translating those stories into a form that would both appeal to and be appropriate for a younger reader.

But behold! Laura Caputo-Wickham has done it!

Do Great Things for God: Betsey Stockton, by Laura Caputo-Wickham | Little Book, Big Story

Her “Do Great Things for God” series is written for elementary-aged children. These are short picture books—beautifully illustrated by Isabel Muñoz—that show readers what the lives of Betsey Stockton and Corrie ten Boom looked like. Pause there for a moment. Betsey Stockton: a recently emancipated slave, who gave her life to missionary work in Hawaii. And Corrie ten Boom: a Dutch woman who was arrested during WWII for rescuing Jewish people from the Nazis. Caputo-Wickham simplifies these stories for the sake of her readers, but she aims high, showing readers that God is faithful even through slavery and the Nazi death camps.

And she does not overestimate her readers. My seven- and five-year-old daughters love these books. In fact, Betsey Stockton was the first full-length picture book my seven-year-old read aloud to me. I often find both girls thumbing through these on their own, talking their way through the pictures, and that is the nicest thing I can say about a picture book: my daughters choose these books of their own volition, even when there’s no one around to read to them.

Do Great Things for God: Betsey Stockton, by Laura Caputo-Wickham | Little Book, Big Story

So far there are just two books in this series, but I sure hope Laura Caputo-Wickham is working on more. I am so grateful for these stories that don’t just tell my daughters to do great things for God—they show them what faithfulness looks like.

Betsey Stockton: The Girl with a Missionary Dream
Laura Caputo-Wickham; Isabel Muñoz (2021)

Corrie ten Boom: The Courageous Woman and the Secret Room
Laura Caputo-Wickham; Isabel Muñoz (2021)

Disclosure: I did receive copies of these book for review, but I was not obligated to review these books or compensated for my review in any way. I share these books with you because I love them, not because I was paid to do so.

Light Keepers (Series)

I did not grow up reading missionary biographies. I have no old favorites to pull out for my daughters, no women who inspired me to do great things for God—only books I’d rather they never read. Christopher Pike. That sort of thing.

So I’m thankful for collections like Light Keepers that curate biographies for me, bundling them ten at a time under compelling titles like Ten Girls Who Made History or Ten Boys Who Changed the World. Each chapter in Irene Howat’s series tells a short story about one of ten figures in Christian history. She writes in a simple, narrative style, usually focusing on the subject’s youth (hence the title Ten Girls not Ten Women) and following the story with a brief collection of thoughts on the person’s historical context or on their major contributions to history.

The Light Keepers Series, by Irene Howat | Little Book, Big Story

These books are not meant to be a comprehensive biography of any one person, but serve as a sort of sampler platter that will, I hope, whet my daughters’ appetites for stories of women who were great not by the standards of this world but by the standards of the next. I hope that having met Corrie ten Boom as a child, they will recognize her name when, as women, they come across The Hiding Place. Or that having learned about Elisabeth Elliot as a child in these books, they will go on to read even a few of her many, wonderful books.

The Light Keepers Series, by Irene Howat | Little Book, Big Story

While the world around us tells my daughters to emulate Elsa or some rich, pretty actress, I want to lean heavily on the other side of the scales and fill their childhood with stories of women who loved even when that love came at a great cost, who gave more than they thought they had to give, and who trusted in the One who made them to supply their strength when they felt it failing.

At seven, a princess in a gorgeous dress will probably always have more appeal than a nurse tending the wounded on a battlefield—I don’t expect Florence Nightingale to win out over Elsa now. But I am sowing seeds: when they grow old enough to consider what sort of life they want to live, what they hope their own contributions toward history will be, I hope my daughters look toward Edith Schaeffer, Susannah Spurgeon, or Amy Carmichael. And I hope they have these books handy when they do.

Ten Girls Who Changed the World, by Irene Howat | Little Book, Big Story

Ten Girls Who Made History
Irene Howat (2003)

Ten Girls Who Changed the World
Irene Howat (2004)

Ten Boys Who Made a Difference
Irene Howat (2004)