Fletcher Tink on Go as a Way Opens

Go as a Way Opens is not for the faint of heart, but an adrenalized adventure into the way-stations of human pain and need. Swanee and Karen Schwanz are two relentless pilgrims determined to build for the Kingdom of God; about 250 structures in all.  But they construct a lot more than buildings. They build relationships, memories, and a thousand images: a woman singing while she bathes in a pothole, the smell of a dying boy, voodoo priests, vigilantes and armed insurgents. They themselves get bruised and banged up: broken bones, a rusty nail into the foot, an organ transplant.

It turns missions upside down. Isaiah 43:10 says that we are witnesses, so that “we” may know and believe that God is God. This is precisely what happens here. While this couple doggedly pursues God’s mission, they are invariably changed. Placid America annoys them and God becomes intensely more real.

One African proverb sums it up: “Show me your friend and I will show you your character.” This family passes muster. Their love for others and the respect they show to those so different from themselves tells me that they are a cut above in the character measure. This is a dramatic read. Just be prepared for a raucous ride.

Fletcher Tink, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Union University of California