The Power of Story

Brother Yunby Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International

I was a guest in their home.  I’d brought a copy of Brother Yun’s amazing story, The Heavenly  Man, as a hostess gift.  I always suggest to someone who receives the book for the first time that they start at Chapter 22 where he tells of God’s miraculous deliverance from prison. His dramatic escape sounds a lot like Peter’s in Acts 12, complete with the church’s response when he knocks at the door interrupting their prayer meeting.   Details in both tales are very similar.  It’s like seeing a part of the book of Acts in Asian garb!

The father in the home I was visiting took my advice.  Early Sunday afternoon, after lunch, we all sat around in the living room.  The eldest child was not much over ten.  Dad acknowledged the book as a gift, pulled one of the kids up on his lap and opened to the chapter I had recommended.  He read it through to the end.  We all listened, without comment, and even the youngest, not quite old enough to start school, remained attentive.  I’ll admit that I may be the only one of the group that actually remembers this event.  I believe, however, that our loving Heavenly Father remembers what he tucked into our lives that day to continue building strong faith in his providence.

Those who responded to last week’s, The Secret Garden, shared stories much like mine.  Most related a classroom experience.  A few wrote about something that they remember happening at home.  This latter is what I’d like to emphasize.  I believe reading aloud, together as a family, remains one of the most effective tools God puts at our disposal to build godly character into the lives of our growing children. 

Here are titles mentioned in readers’ comments to add to the ones I listed in my last entry.   I checked and all of them are still available:

  • Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St John. For years this British writer was a missionary in North Africa and some of her many books reflect this.  Otherwise, they are set in England
  • Jungle Doctor Adventures by Dr. Paul White. White was a missionary doctor in East Africa and a prolific writer for kids.  My family loved his animal fables with Toto, the monkey, and other whimsical characters learning valuable lessons to share with us.

Here are several more, all suitable for family reading in whole or by selected chapters:

  • HERO TALES by Dave and Neta Jackson. Each volume contains 15 sets of stories about well-known Christians.  See also the Trailblazer Books – a series by the same authors.  Bethany House.
  • The Other Side of the Sky by Farah Ahmedi – best-selling, autobiography written by a teenaged refugee from Afghanistan.  A compelling read about God’s miraculous deliverances.
  • Out of the Black Shadows by Stephen Lungu – amazing autobiography, full of God’s guidance and protection during Stephen’s childhood, youth and beyond. Primarily set in East Africa

A final word.  A seasoned international worker, who had spent years in China, once visited our missions resource center in Riverside.  I asked her about Brother Yun’s book.  She gladly related that she and her husband had worked in the area where the prison was located and with the house church that joyfully received Brother Yun that day after his miraculous deliverance!!  Sometimes God’s mighty works seem too good to be true.  But, in this case, it brought me joy to recognize a genuine example of his powerful work on behalf of his children.  Feeds my faith in God’s ability to do the same in my life – and in yours.

One generation will commend (God’s) works to another and tell of (His) mighty acts.  Psalm 145:4



3 thoughts on “The Power of Story

  1. Thank you for these suggestions. I read many books aloud to my two children when they were young. Your story and list of suggested books has given me new ideas for doing this with my grandchildren. Thanks for this excellent blog. I know it is designed for parents and children, but it also encourages grandparents!


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