Identify this missionary kid

Who’s the taller one in front, the ten-year-old?

One evening last summer Tim and I were both lounging in bed, both reading. Suddenly I said, “Hey, look at this.” I covered the caption of the picture and showed him. “Who do you think that goofy (but loveable) looking ten-year-old boy is?”

Tim barely looked up from his engrossing novel. “I have no idea.”

“No, seriously!” I said. “Look at him! Can’t you tell who it is?”

“Am I supposed to know?”

“Yes! You should be able to tell!”

He sighed. “Give me a hint. What year is it?”

“It’s 1973.”

Tim squinted at the picture and acted like he was going to turn back to his book again. Honestly, I couldn’t get his attention away from it for two seconds.

So I reminded him that I was reading this book as part of my research for Witness Men. Then I showed him the cover. It was Torches of Joy, by John Dekker, a missionary.

“All right. Now, who’s that boy?” I raised my eyebrows in anticipation.

“Is it Ted Dekker?”

“That’s it! Ted Dekker at ten years old! Remember, his parents went to work among the Dani people in Irian Jaya, I mean Papua, and he says that growing up in that jungle is part of what gave him the background for his. . . .”

But Tim had already turned back to his gripping novel. I think he didn’t even hear me.

What was that compelling book that drew him like a magnet?

Oh, yes. It was Obsessed.

By Ted Dekker.

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