When you think about the ordinary in the midst of the extraordinary, what comes to mind? Is there glory in the amidst the mundane? Does God truly use unassuming misfits to accomplish great things for His Kingdom?

I am honored that ChinaSource highlighted my new book, The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary in their recent blog. Here’s why: I have found that God does indeed delight to use the unassuming to cast His light into places that would otherwise never know it.

Here’s what ChinaSource had to say about my new book:

 

memoryspace-bookcover-printready8-26-smallThe Space between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary by David Joannes. Within Reach Global, 2016, 288 pages. ISBN-10: 0692757074, ISBN-13: 978-0692757079; paperback $14.99, Kindle $9.99 at Amazon; iBooks $9.99 at iTunes.

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David Joannes is a self-proclaimed “missionary,” trailblazer, and ragamuffin whose newly released memoir, The Space Between Memories, chronicles twenty years of pioneering work among the minorities of Southwest China.

At once a travelogue, a love story, and a profound reflection on the evangelistic task, David’s memoir narrates an intense odyssey of the heart. In the process, he captures a pivotal time in China’s recent history as paddy fields gave way to skyscrapers and a fledgling persecuted church matured into an outward-looking movement with a heart for the nations.

David’s journey, from the streets of Hong Kong to the jungles of Yunnan and beyond, brings you face to face with the unvarnished realities of frontier evangelism as the gospel breaks through geographical, cultural and political barriers. He relates in poignant detail the joys and struggles of ministry among the Yao, a hitherto unreached people group in which David witnessed God’s sovereign work despite many apparent setbacks. David’s missiological reflections go beyond textbook theory and probe deep into the question of what it means to have a heart for the unreached and a lifestyle to match.

The intensity of David’s arduous journey is offset by his determination to seize the “space between memories” and enjoy the moment, whether in picking flowers to be lovingly pressed and sent to his future wife, pausing to take in the urban drama unfolding on the busy streets of Kunming, or, more recently, watching his young daughter skipping across the lawn in a neighborhood park. He confesses his own tendency to dwell on former glories as he recalls, during a particularly difficult time of transition, his realization that, “God had greater things in store for us. He would bring us from glory to glory, His spectacular purposes revealed along our journey in even greater measure.”

David’s vivid descriptions of people, places and events are peppered with insightful observations growing out of his own rich and varied life experiences. Here are a few nuggets:

Poverty, like an onion, has many layers. And every layer, from its flaky outer shell to its sweetish center, will make you cry….Yet, something strange started to take place within me as I spent time among the marginalized. Compassion began to bud and grow inside my heart. The more I focused on the poor, the more I loved them.

The kingdom of God was everywhere, all around me, coursing through the city streets; down unfrequented back lanes; up hidden stairways, and into the alcoves and crannies at dead end alleyways. And I began to understand a deeper truth: that wherever my feet strode, there, too, went the kingdom.

I was like a blind man playing Pictionary with a group of distinguished painters (describing his experience as the only non-Asian in his Chinese class).

Though I felt strangely at home in Southeast Asia, the acute clashing of cultural differences brought with it the cognizance of my sheer foreignness. It was a poignant reminder of how I was simply a sojourner on the earth, longing for a more permanent eternal home.

[O]ver six-thousand distinct ethnic people groups remain untouched by a Christian presence. The Buddhist, animist, Hindu, Islamic, and unaffiliated blocs of the earth’s population are there, waiting at the other end of our obedience.

The Space between Memories is both inspirational and informative, a personal narrative that speaks to the heart and an in-depth look at God’s work among the peoples of China during the past two decades.

See original post at chinasource.org

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
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