Helen Roseveare: Though Lions Roar -- a book review

Helen Roseveare: Though Lions Roar by Mary Beth Lagerborg

When CLC publications asked me to do a review of a book they published on Helen Roseveare I jumped at the chance for two reasons.  The first was that I love the work of CLC around the world.  Secondly, I fell in love with Helen Roseveare’s story as a result of a quote that I found and used in a service and a subsequent reading of a missionary biography.  

Helen Roseveare: Though Lions Roar is part of the Faith Adventure Series.  As CLC Publications explains, “The Faith Adventure Series is a collection of easily readable biographies of great spiritual giants who dared to live by faith.”  That is one of the things that immediately struck me about this biography by Mary Beth Lagerborg.  I was excited to think how easy it would be for a pre-teen or teenager to read, comprehend and be inspired by this book.   Those who struggle with reading or don’t consider themselves readers will love its simple flow and the size is not at all intimidating considering that it is a small volume of 110 pages, 99 of which are actual reading pages.  It easily fits in a glove compartment, a purse or perhaps even a pants pocket.  

Dr. Roseveare as she appears in the book
In May, I gave a review to Helen Roseveare: On His Majesty’s Service.  Helen Roseveare: Though Lions Roar has some notable differences with that biography.  Already mentioned is the readability of the CLC publication.  Also, Mary Beth Lagerborg spends less time on Helen Roseveare’s early life, picking up her story at the age of 12.  This gives the reader more valuable material covering her time as a missionary candidate for WEC (Worldwide Evangelization for Christ) based in London.  The time spent there was invaluable to the stretching of her faith, her abilities and her character.  Quite a few humorous stories are told from this time of her life. 

As can be expected, the reader is swept into the story of how Helen Roseveare came to know that the Congo was where God was sending her.  In contrast to the earlier book I read, it goes into greater and interesting detail to this calling.  Each biographical sketch of a missionary makes important decisions on what will be emphasized and I think that this was an important portion that the other volume minimized. 

It tells of the journey to the country and describes the adjustments to be made to the climate, the people and customs of that far away land.  Those adjustments received a sudden and disturbing shift when a civil war erupted and rebel forces threatened foreigners and any they saw as collaborating with the government.  Even Helen Roseveare experienced suffering at the hands of those rebels. 

Helen Roseveare is a name that every Christian should know.  Her story is very inspiring, very real and very moving.  I thank CLC for the opportunity to review this book for them that they gave to me in exchange for an honest review.   After reading this volume, if you like it as much as I did, pick up another in The Faith Adventure Series to read next.

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