The YWAM series of Christian Heroes is one of my favorites. I remember reading them when I was younger, and I am so excited to introduce them to my son! YWAM’s Christian Heroes series has over 70 titles, and we were given the opportunity to review Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold from the Christian Heroes: Then and Now Series by YWAM Publishing. Many titles also include a Study Guide and this selection was no exception. (Our study guide got lost in the mail, and we didn’t have time to review it for the purpose of this post. 🙁 🙁 I’ll update this when it arrives and we spend some time in it!)
Learning about missionaries is something I want to incorporate into our rhythm of life, because I so admire them, and because we’ve served both with YWAM and Antioch Ministries International for a number of years. Many of our friends live all over the world, in some of the hardest, most unreached places, and I want to help our kids understand what their lives are like. I believe it’s important for them to have a heart understanding of the drive and passion of the Christian missionary, as well as of the sacrifices they make to do to the work they do. It is easy for us (and our kids) to complain about the little things of life, when daily life is MUCH harder in many other places in the world. Books like these help us keep the “first things, first”, ie Jesus, and His passion and purposes for people in the earth. Eric achieved remarkable things that many aspire to (I know I’m not the only one that had Olympic dreams!) and he quickly learned that Jesus is worth far more than a gold medal. I love the example he is to our young students!
Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold is a 208 page book that is designed for ages 10 and up. Super D is 8, and the reading was a bit of stretch for him at times. I incorporated it into his “school reading” time, because he wasn’t picking the book up on his own yet. He loved the story of Eric Liddell, but I think the Heroes for Young Readers version is an easier read for him at this stage. (We already have a copy of that one and he DEVOURS the Young Readers series and begs for more).
Eric Liddell is a famous missionary and the star of the movie Chariots of Fire. He is perhaps most well known for his refusal to run in his best race in the 1924 Paris Olympics, because it was being held on a Sunday. He instead ran in a race he hadn’t even trained for, and won it brilliantly! He spent his preschool years in China, as a son to missionary parents, before going to boarding school in London. After his Olympic victories, he returned to China to serve for 20 years as a teacher and missionary. He died in a Japanese internment camp in 1945.
I expected Super D’s favorite part of the story to be when Eric was running in the Olympics, and he did like that. But he loved the sections about Eric’s life in China, teaching the kids to play rugby. Super D had a great time telling me all about how the Chinese kids tried to play wearing long robes, and how hard it was for Eric to convince them to wear something that wouldn’t rip.
I like that the Christian Heroes: Then and Now Series also has available study guides, and we will definitely utilize these in future readings. They will give us a great jumping off point for deeper study and discussion of some of our favorite heroes.