Hilary Alan and her husband did what few people have the guts to do. They sold their home and possessions in an affluent community and moved halfway around the world to answer God’s call to serve. It wasn’t easy, and by most American standards, it made no financial sense. But when they obeyed the call, Hilary and her family discovered that God had a valuable lesson to teach them in trusting him.
The book Sent: How One Ordinary Family Traded the American Dream for God’s Greater Purpose is a memoir/biography of the Alan family adventure. I enjoyed Hilary’s story, and was inspired by her strength. The book reveals some of the realities over overseas missions work that many of us in comfortable suburbia forget. The stories were raw, and the author’s emotional connection real.
The one thing I really wanted in the book was a strong takeaway for the reader. The epilogue is the place where it was really addressed, with the question “What are you waiting for?” However, throughout the book, I longed for something in each chapter to take away. I felt like an outsider looking in on the Alan’s life, and while it was inspiring, I really wanted to engage more with the concepts that could be drawn from their experience. I also found the stories repeated a few parts that were mentioned earlier in the book. That made it feel a little disconnected, as if chapter ‘xx’ wasn’t connected to chapter ‘xy’.
The biggest positive about the book is that someone who is facing the decision to do something similar to the Alan’s and serve overseas will probably have a strong sense of connection to the material. It’s also a great reminder of ways that I could be praying for overseas missionaries. Hilary Alan is a good writer, and anyone who really enjoys biography will really like this book. God bless the Alan family on their continued faithful discipleship!