This book comprises of fifteen separate accounts of the lives of Christian servicemen throughout history. It is a very diverse collection of testimonies with stories ranging from the seventeenth-century right through to the present day.
A different author has written each chapter, and therefore each has a different feel to it. Some, such as the account of US Army Major Jeff Struecker, are a gripping read, highlighting the danger and fear of modern conflict and the ever constant dependence upon God and the peace that only he can bring into the darkest of situations. Others, tell of servicemen whose focus was evangelism among their fellow servicemen. We read of Surgeon Vice-Admiral of the Royal Navy, Sir James ‘Doc’ Watt, a naval surgeon who founded the Naval Christian Fellowship. There is also a chapter about D. L. Moody and his efforts to evangelise the sick and dying soldiers in the American Civil War. Using Moody’s diary accounts, the author transports us back into history as we read of his tender care to dying men, telling them of the love of God and leading them to faith in their last hours.
Some chapters focus on a soldier’s conversion, such as the thrilling account of James Gardiner, an eighteenth-century captain, who met with God in his room one night after picking up a copy of the Christian Soldier by Thomas Brooks. Suddenly, he was convicted of his sin and as he experienced the mercy of God his life changed dramatically. He went from being a womaniser to a dedicated captain, spending an hour in prayer each day and caring for his troops in a completely counter-cultural way. We see a glimpse of how his faith affected not only his work and his character but those around him too.
Each story is taken from a different period of history and is a great reminder that the Lord saves people from all backgrounds, and uses them in their individual situations. The accounts are easy to read, with a good mix of historical facts, gripping stories and personal details. Running through each chapter is the presence of God, saving lives and changing people often in the darkest of situations. I enjoyed the variety, and my heart was encouraged to read of those who lived out their faith in dangerous and difficult situations and of the God who saved them and kept them.