Missionary Maverick
by Robert C. Goddard
Stratton Press

"The highest education I know of is to know God's will through His Word and practice it in our daily lives."

Goddard records his remarkable experiences, from farming on a Nebraska homestead to serving more than forty-four years as a missionary in South America. His early years were spent helping on the family farm, being educated in a small local school, and braving the extreme weather conditions that ultimately drove the family to Montana. Goddard, then a teen, worked at various kinds of employment operating machinery and dealing with crops. During the Depression, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and was drafted into the U.S. military toward the end of World War II. In Nebraska, he met Helen, the girl of his dreams, and married her as soon as possible. The two had experienced Christian conversion and would ally with a mission service to travel to Paraguay to teach, learn from, and work alongside local tribespeople, planting mission initiatives that still thrive today.

Urged on by his children, Goddard composed this moving story by using a computer powered by truck batteries in his South American jungle home. His many memories are notable for their accuracy. His smooth prose makes rural American culture of the previous century—like current, often distressing conditions in rural Paraguay—come to life. He correctly identifies himself and his family as religious "mavericks" who won converts and established community resources based almost solely on their determination and deeply rooted, personal religious beliefs. They suffered and survived daily hardships, accidents, sickness, and the opposition of hostile tribes, some of whom they won over to the Lord. The couple has been honored by missionary groups, and as Goddard's memoir concludes, the two were still gripped by the desire to continue the projects they started. Goddard's book presents a dynamic, detailed panorama of mission work and can inspire those investigating a similar life path.

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