The first book in the “Hidden Heroes” series of missionary stories has recently come out. The second has just been accepted for publication. This seems like a good time to tell you the philosophy behind the writing of these books.
First and foremost, they aren’t supposed to be about “exciting adventures in another land” or “strange coincidences” or even “life lessons from a tribal people.” They’re not about guilting people into mission work. They are about the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Second, I would like for each book to start with a missionary from a Western culture, who will be the common thread through all of the individual stories. This is because my primary audience is families from Western cultures, and if the children are anything like I was as a child, they’ll want to read about someone that they can relate to, from a life similar to their own, who leaves that life for the glory of God.
But thirdly, and this is a huge BUT, I emphatically do not want that Western missionary to be a “hero” any more than any of the other Christians in the book are heroes.
Which leads to the next point: I want to emphasize as much as possible, the great national Christians, the ones who will never write books, who most often will never even speak outside the boundaries of their own land. I want to show their own sacrifice, their love for God, their burning desire for others to know the great truth of the gospel.
My primary audience is children. But in designing the books as family read-alouds, with questions at the end of each story, my audience really goes beyond the children to include the parents. I’m writing for families who want to be pointed together to the glory of God.
I unabashedly want amazing stories. Because we serve an amazing God. And we need to be often reminded of that great truth.
The heroes are “hidden” in the sense that they aren’t household names, they haven’t already had a dozen books written about them, their names may be known to only a few. But in Glory, as they and we throw our crowns at the feet of Jesus Christ alongside Hudson Taylor and George Mueller, which heroes will really be hidden?
Every one of us, my brothers and sisters. Every one of us.