If you want the thrill of reading about a real life pioneer who went beyond the bounds of safety and took unbelievable risks because he believed God had called him to carry the Gospel around the world, you will want to read this book. No Olympian runner ever carried a firebrand higher or ran with greater purpose and passion than did the farm boy from southern Ohio. Without hesitation, for a lifetime Ralph G. Finch crisscrossed America and the world holding high the torch of right and holy living. He thrilled with the excitement of the race and always saw victory ahead. He kept his face set like a flint of steel and never veered to the right or left. His fervent, pioneer spirit drove him to always explore new opportunities for ministry. His willingness to go to the hard places never ceased. He had the ability to make any place he went to, glow with expectancy and hope. To him, missions was not just an enthusiasm, however interesting and glamorous, that passed with time, but a fervor springing from a heart aflame with a burden to help hurting humanity the world around, which lasted throughout his whole life.
Y’all know that I’m not much of a biography person, but I’m trying to get more into them and figured I wouldn’t die from reading one about a missionary. After all, there’s not a ton of missionary stories about American missionaries during World War 2.
Imagine my surprise then when I actually started to enjoy it!
This story was written by Ralph Finch’s grandson, Daniel Finch. ” A little biased?” you might ask. Possibly, but he adds to the story. He tells what “Grandpa Finch” wrote in his journal or something and then adds what he remembers of the event as well. That I much enjoyed.
It was pretty cool the things Ralph Finch did in his lifetime. He grew up a farmer boy with parents who were insincere in their faith to a seminary student who could barely feed himself and his wife to then travel the world telling hundreds of thousands of people about God to becoming superintendent of his denomination’s missionary program. He had an attempt on his life, discovered the benefits of airplane use for missionary work, and traveled the world with his family more than once. Amazing huh?
However, when we got to his life during WW2, I found out that 1) he and his family were conscientious objectors and 2) he was too busy preaching and running revivals to write about everyday life. Both of those were slightly disappointing, but I soon got over it as I kept reading.
If you see this book anywhere, I would highly suggest picking it up. Ralph G. Finch was a true pioneer for Christianity and a very inspiring read. He’s unfortunately not that well known, but I hope that changes.
Happy reading, y’all!