"My father had an ability to see other people for who they were and say what they needed to hear."

In this touching memoir, author Stroud remembers his remarkable father and their lives together in Africa beginning in the early 1950s. Described as a linguist, missionary, and educator, Bronnie Stroud had an inner calling to work in Ghana and the Gold Coast, successfully establishing Christian churches. He, his wife, Annabelle, and their children boldly settled in an equatorial environment where the rainy season could be oppressive, even dangerous, and the sun was so strong that young Stroud would sweat heavily while simply sitting at his desk doing schoolwork. There were plagues of dysentery and malaria and ants that consumed human flesh. Yet Bronnie was able to enter villages, gain the trust of tribal leaders, and plant churches complete with buildings and regular services. He used local languages in his preaching and ministered as devotedly to those dying of contagious disease as those who happily attended his religious services.

Stroud tells his father's moving story in large part through highly descriptive letters sent back home to his parents in America. The author's childhood memories also infuse the narrative, revealing how it felt to be engaged and cheerful with no modern conveniences, appreciating such natural wonders as the stillness of the mornings and simple chores like fetching the family's mail. He attended his father's village meetings, observed native dancing, and saw his mother rush to the aid of women giving birth. He learned real courage as the family encountered deadly snakes and endured sickness and raging thirst while diligently cultivating American foods and flowers that brought delight. Stroud is a sensitive writer paying due homage to his elders. His emotionally charged, intelligent memories will have resonance for anyone who ever lived as he did in a foreign, especially African, clime or who seeks inspiration to follow a calling to mission work.

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