I eagerly picked up this book at our CMS Summer Encounter Conference. Grant and Janna Lock worked in Pakistan and Afghanistan for 24 years, serving the people of those nations in varied ways, including overseeing eye care programs and empowerment schemes for widows.
Over two decades in that part of the world has given them incredible insights into Islam, Hinduism, the wars and the West's involvement; and the political and social problems facing that region.
Following a general chronology from 1984-2008, Lock shares many stories of their time there, their relationships with locals and other foreign workers, and some insights into their own family life through the years. While it is essentially a book of stories, Lock has intertwined them with considered thought as to political, social and religious consequences. While their faith is evident throughout, it gently suffuses the book, making it accessible for anyone - believer and unbeliever alike. You could loan this your neighbour, read it in a reading group and share it with your bible study members.
With his unique view and experience he does not shy away from commenting on the Taliban, the West's response to Islam or the treatment of women in Islamic cultures. I found his outlook helpful, as I knew it is based on long firsthand experience. This is a couple who have lived thoroughly in a culture, love its people and who strived to serve them for many years.
I can't help but be proud. Our organisation has been doing the hearts-and-mind work in Afghanistan for forty-three years. Through all the regime changes, they have kept on serving the Afghan people. Every eye that regains its vision, every small business loan, every micro-hydroelectric lightbulb in remote villages, every Afghan trained. It's only happening one person, one family, at a time, but it's happening, and it has been done on low budgets with every dollar accounted for. It's extremely rewarding to be a small part of all that.
A very encouraging and educational read.