We are told to pray without ceasing, specifically “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), I thought this was something everyone strived for, I thought I was someone who did this. After reading The Son In My Eyes by Mai Spencer I have found I have so much more to learn.
I was first introduced to Mai’s story as a poor Buddhist girl in Viet Nam, her life there during the Viet Nam war, and subsequent life in America as the wife of a U.S. soldier as just another book review. My father had served as part of the 101st Airborne in Viet Nam during the height of the war and it is a time and place which has so profoundly affected his life that I had wanted to read Mai’s story to try and understand a little of what he had seen during this time. You see my father never speaks of Viet Nam. Sure he will make flippant remarks here and there but it is never any real story, you never hear about the real people. The ones like Mai, that had to live in the middle, that suffered before and after the war because of their own country’s policies.
Mai recounts with amazing memory her years as a young Vietnamese girl and the things she had to do to survive. After she meets and leaves Viet Nam with Dennis Spencer her American husband she feels called to help her native people. She endures trial after trial and eventually answers God’s call which she has been hearing all her life but never knew it.
This a heartbreaking, yet poignant tale of how we as humans can endure so much yet God never is far from us whether we know him or not. Mai has had it all and gave it all away to follow her Lord, she has lost 3 children but has worked tirelessly for all children in Viet Nam. Through out her story Mai uses scripture to point us to God’s goodness in her life. Even before she knew him she has recognized his love and has passed that onto others by introducing them to Christ and by being a step on their journey to know the Lord.
As Mai’s tale takes us back to Viet Nam where God first touched her heart we see he is using her to do his good works there. As founder with her husband Dennis of Jesus In Viet Nam Ministries, Mai works tirelessly for her Savior and the heart of Viet Nam.
I really enjoyed this book, it broke my heart to see all that this woman has endured but I rejoiced as she did with the blessings God has given her. I truly understand what it means to pray without ceasing and to rejoice in all things. Perhaps God’s mercies come with pain, tears, and suffering for without it we may miss his love.
You can find this book at Deep River Books, retail price is $14.99.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bring It On! Communications for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.