This book presents the life of David Livingstone in a unique, factual, yet captivating way. It highlights the hardships Livingstone endured on his quest to free Africa from all slave trade, and to open trade routes for English trade goods. His dogged persistence to geological surveys and calculations was amazing. I was fascinated with his adventures, as well as saddened by the flaws in character that most biographies just gloss over.
Mr. Milbrandt tells clearly of Livingstone’s hard work, selfless foot-journeys and meticulous geological observations in Africa. He notes the fact that although Livingstone was sick for weeks and weeks with malaria, he still wrote: “People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege.”
Wow. I have an easy life in comparison, and how often do I complain? What an amazing fortitude and passion! But still, there is the accounts of how he would go for weeks (weeks!) without talking to his boat crew, not even answering their questions! How he was so grumpy and taciturn that his crew deserted him.
I had to think; you can put someone on a pedestal and idolize them and copy their life, but even the ‘great’ missionaries were not perfect. ‘The Daring Heart of David Livingstone’ shows a clear picture of not only the great sacrifices he made, but also the personal quirks, family issues, and the true reason for Livingstone’s journeys to Africa. It wasn’t to convert the natives, either. He had a different reason.
If you love missionary stories, I encourage you to read this one and learn some new facts about his life.
I would caution youth under age 16, as it has some graphic violence in it. (slave trade, you know)
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