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Counting the Cost

By David and Shirley Donovan
January 2020 | Review by Graham Hilton
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-15271-030-61
  • Pages: 224
  • Price: £9.99
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For 15 years these British missionaries have been at the heart of New Foundations, an evangelical medical mission. They had been serving the Lord giving spiritual and medical help to local communities in the Niger Delta, one of the world’s most unstable and impoverished areas. In October 2017 the lawlessness of that area touched them when rebels broke into their camp and kidnapped the Donovans and their colleagues Alanna Carson and Ian Squire.

‘The General’, a vicious young man who ruled his gang with fear, was responsible for the kidnapping and for the shooting of Ian Squire shortly afterwards. The captivity lasted 22 days, under a mosquito net, sitting on a stinking mattress, on top of a floating platform with no privacy or hygiene.

One of the things the Lord graciously provided through Ian Squire, minutes before his martyrdom, was a Bible, so they were able to read, pray and worship the Lord. Through it all he proved himself to be sovereign, caring, keeping and ultimately their Rescuer. Their loving, Christlike witness towards the kidnappers in sharing their meagre food had many a calming effect and was something beyond the experience of these lawless men.

The book is factual, deeply reflective, perceptive and penetrating, a powerful example of what following Christ can mean. It is a wake-up call, asking the question, ‘where does our confidence really lie: in ourselves or in him?’ For that reason I have no hesitation in recommending this book.

Graham Hilton


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