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Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy by Marie…
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Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy

by Marie Chapian

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According to the back of the book, the author traveled to what was then Yugoslavia to interview Christians whose faith had been challenged during the oppressive times of World War II. The resulting book is the story of Jakob and Jozeca and their children. Their story took place in what is now the country of Slovenia, although it was then just a part of Yugoslavia. We learn of his commitment to preaching the gospel and of Jozeca's conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism. We see Hitler and Mussolini, and the horrors wrought by their regime. We see the fear under which even those who were doing no wrong lived. It was quite easy to be imprisoned and tortured for one's faith and to be seen as aiding the enemy by unknowingly giving housing to someone who might have been working for the other side. We see the economic problems of the time, which were at least, in part, due to the war. We also see the power of prayer. Perhaps the saddest thing for me is the manner in which she was treated by the German missionary who took her husband's place in the church upon his death. I am thankful that her faith was stronger than the persecution she faced so we could hear her story. ( )
1 vote thornton37814 | Sep 28, 2012 |
This book's title comes from the “great faith chapter” in Hebrews, which starts with these words: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Beginning with Abel, the chapter lists the heroes of the Old Testament and the things their faith enabled them to do. The list ends with the unnamed and countless men and women who were destitute, homeless, tortured, imprisoned, and murdered for their faith, and it testifies of their character that the world was not worthy of them. To this number, author Marie Chapian adds Slovenian Christians who suffered greatly during World War II and the post-war years.

The central figure in Chapian's story is Jozeca , the wife of Baptist evangelist Jakob Kovac (not their real names). Chapian writes of the courtship and marriage of this unlikely couple who, despite the 35-year difference in their ages, were drawn together by their shared faith. Although Jakob often worked in the coal mines, evangelism was his primary calling. He traveled throughout Yugoslavia to preach to groups of Christians, who often met in homes. Jozeca became known as the praying woman, and people in trouble called her to come and pray for them when they had no where else to turn.

The war years were difficult in Slovenia. Some Slovenes sided with the Germans, while others formed partisan groups loosely organized under Tito. Control of villages passed from side to side, often ending with the massacre of entire populations in retaliation for assistance provided to the previous occupiers of the villages. Families were split apart by imprisonment or conscription into partisan military activities. Food and shelter were scarce, and work was difficult to find. Things didn't improve much after the war, as jobs, food, and shelter were still in short supply. Jakob and Jozeca's faith sustained them through their years of suffering.

Jozeca prayed about the great problems she faced, and she never forgot to thank God for answering her prayers. Jozeca's example reminds me to be grateful for the small blessings each day brings. Her story is recommended for readers of Christian biography, particularly those with an interest in Baptist missions. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Mar 14, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0871232502, Paperback)

"We must believe with all our hearts and souls that He is with us. He is a God of love!" So shouted Jakob, the evangelist, as the German tanks roared across Yugoslavian soil, and machine guns, motorcycles and Messerschmitts screamed in the hills.

Out of the sky came the Stukas. They nosed over, dropped their bombs and veered off into the cold blue. The wagon in front of them was hit. The donkey was dead, and the driver lay mutilated in the brush at the side of the road.

"This is war," said the gray-clad officer. "The only place you will be safe is in the grave."

Weak and divided, the Yugoslavians fought back. Their ill-equipped guerrillas chewed on the German army like vermin on the flanks of a stallion. They cut phone lines, laid mines, dynamited bridges and blew up armored cars. Their stubborn war cry was, "Better grave than slave!" But, for every German they killed a hundred Yugoslavs were shot in retaliation.

In the midst of this living hell, Jakob, Jozeca and other believers clung to God and prayed for both friend and foe. The enemies of their beloved homeland could burn their cities and towns, but they could not destroy their souls or quench their indomitable spirits.

Marie Chapian went to Yugoslavia and interviewed peasants, gypsies, factory workers, doctors, laborers, and officials of the Communist party. She wanted to know how the Christians' faith was sustained through those terrible years of war, famine and cold. She learned that they had simply clung to God with an almost incredible fait

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:17 -0400)

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