Author Darcy Wiley has had an experience that few of us will have the chance to enjoy.
She had the opportunity to co-write a book with Luis Bush, including fascinating stories about believers around the world.
Darcy says that listening to and learning from the stories was transformational.
Although we might not get such an in-depth opportunity to immerse ourselves into the stories of such a diverse range of people, Darcy is swinging wide the door of invitation.
She’s inviting us to join her on a journey through the book together, so we can learn, grow, and be challenged and encouraged.
Will you accept the invitation to be transformed?
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In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis wrote, “In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.”
He used these words to express the qualities of human friendship, but I see something similar at play in our relationship with God and each other. When I surround myself with a diverse group of believers (i.e., friends of God), I notice, understand, and appreciate more of the fullness of God’s character.
After co-writing and releasing The Yes Effect: Accepting God’s Invitation to Transform the World Around You, a few friends have expressed that this isn’t normally the kind of book they’d pick up to read. Sure, they want to support me in my writing, and they know the subject material is important, but they see the world map on the cover and assume they won’t be able to relate.
One of those friends did open the cover to look inside, and once she did, she kept reading and reading. When she finished the book, she came back to me amazed by how refreshing the stories are, and how applicable they are for her daily life in suburban America. “I needed this,” she said.
When we look at our distance on the map and the difference in the ways we live out our days, we may assume the stories of believers in other nations aren’t relevant to us. Their scenery, their styles, their speech, and their systems are all so unfamiliar. Maybe we’re intimidated; maybe we’re indifferent. It may comfort us to know that the Church exists all around the globe, but we feel content living our separate lives.
But if we only gravitate to the familiar, we deprive ourselves of a more robust faith, a more wonder-filled life.
If we pass over the stories of these friends of God in other nations, we miss out on noticing, understanding, and appreciating new facets of the Savior we share in common.
In my early years of travel on mission, I helped conduct a kid’s club and share The Jesus Film in Swaziland; I helped disciple Coptic Orthodox students in a personal relationship with God; I helped communist students imagine the possibility that there just might be a Creator; I watched underground believers take bold steps to share their faith.
On each adventure, as I worked with a mix of local leaders and expatriates, I tested the tenacity of my faith in different contexts, grew in confidence and ability to share the hope that’s within me, and expanded my sense of wonder as I saw evidence of God’s transforming work. And because of those relationships and experiences, I came back to my home turf better equipped to live an intentional life of faith and service.
As I conducted interviews and co-wrote The Yes Effect with mission strategist and 10/40 Window catalyst Luis Bush over the last few years, I was, in a sense, being mentored by this dynamic group of believers from around the globe who listened to God, worked alongside Him to do hard things, and saw the most beautiful transformation stories unfold.
That’s what I want for you, too.
If you lean in and listen, you’ll hear the story of a Chinese house church pastor who courageously brings his church above ground to care for weary and depressed people in the hub of society, the story of a group of adoptive parents in Ukraine who turn the heart of their hard-hearted country toward the cause of the orphan, the story of garbage dump residents and other believers from Cairo who help bring peace and reconciliation in the dangerous environment of the Arab Spring.
If God can bring that kind of transformation under those daunting headlines, imagine what He can do in your spot on the map.
Hebrews 1:1 says, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways.” When we take time to listen to how God has interacted with brothers and sisters in different generations and locations, we get to know Him more deeply and are better equipped to carry His goodness to people in our own communities.
Whether the map on the front cover of The Yes Effect makes you want to pack your bags and hop on a plane, or whether you like keeping your feet on your home soil, you’ll find this book will give you a fresh take on how to live a vibrant life of faith where you are.
Right now, you have the opportunity not only to pick up a copy of this transformative book, but also to take part in an energetic group of people who are reading through it together.
Darcy will be leading The Yes Effect Book Club on Facebook January 29-March 31.
Each week, she and a different guest host will walk you through one of the “invitations” in the book. Through the book and the group interactions, you’ll learn from our family of faith worldwide and gather fresh ideas to build on the skills, interests, and resources you already have to bless the places and people you love.
Doors are open now, so click the link to join!
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Darcy Wiley is co-writer of The Yes Effect: Accepting God’s Invitation to Transform the World Around You, recently released with Moody Publishers. As a youth, she took part in praying for the unreached people groups of the world, and then traveled to observe movements of God and serve on mission in more than a dozen nations.
These days, teaming up with her husband Craig, Darcy’s primary mission is to raise her kids to be curious and compassionate citizens of the world as they interact with people from diverse backgrounds in their city. At DarcyWiley.com, she writes about spiritual formation, relationship building, and what it means to be a reflective follower of Jesus in a conflicted culture.