A memoir about one woman’s life both before and after her calling to be a Christian missionary.
Debut author Vovou begins her memoir with a memory from 1975. She was 16 and attending a church service in Alabama where her father was the pastor. She recalls a voice in her head telling her to go up and pray during the altar call. She heard the voice say “Chara, go! For this may be your last chance!” She believed the sound was the “unmistakable voice of God.” It would be quite a few years, though, before the author began her work as a missionary. First, she struggled through a difficult marriage, served as a nurse in the Navy, and eventually drove from New York to California. After attending a seminary in California, the author’s adventurous life as a missionary began. In her memoir, she describes casting out demons, building a school in Africa, and living in conditions many in modernized countries might find unthinkable. Throughout it all, her steadfast faith saw her through any number of trials. As the author phrases it, “You must just be willing to go where He calls you to go and do what He tells you to do.” Vovou balances the intensity of her devotion with a conversational tone and lighthearted anecdotes, like when she had to ride an elephant through a jungle. She was told to mount the elephant by climbing onto its ear. She refused. As she explains, “I felt like I would hurt the elephant. Well, how would you like someone climbing on your ears?” Many writers may tackle issues of faith, but the author’s ardent and personal style, combined with her less than direct path to her current vocation, give this memoir a unique appeal. Readers looking for actionable advice, however, might come up short. The author’s guidance—“To agree with God is simply to say a prayer from your heart”—reflects the author’s positivity but may be too abstract for some.
A direct, nuanced account of answering a religious call.