Our Family’s Book of Acts: An Honest Review
Graham Smith recommends “Our Family’s Book of Acts”(Graham is a columnist with the Acadiana Catholic)
I’m reading a remarkable story, “Our Family’s Book of Acts”. It’s the second installment by Genie Summers in the chronicle of her family’s life as Catholic Lay Missionaries, a journey that began for her and her husband Frank back in the early 1970’s.
Those who have read Genie’s first book, “Go, You Are Sent!”, will know that she and Frank had a powerful encounter with Jesus that led them to leave their pretty typical middle class life in Abbeville, live by faith, and go where God would call them. Since then, their lives and the lives of their children have been extraordinary.
If you get an email from Genie, at the bottom you’ll probably find a signature that says “Always say ‘Yes’ to Jesus!” Read either of these books and you’ll find that signature lived on a daily basis. Every time she and Frank came to a point of decision, they straightforwardly asked for direction from the Lord, and each time it was given. Where He said to go, they went. What He said to do, they did.
It’s easy to read about the miraculous back in the Book of Acts in the Bible. Two thousand years separate us from all that. I can sit in my easy chair where I’m tempted to treat it almost as reading an adventure novel instead of the real history of God’s people doing mighty deeds in the name of Jesus. It’s quite another thing when those miracles are happening now and involve people I know well.
Like “Go, You Are Sent!”, “Our Family’s Book of Acts” is a faith-filled recounting of God moving powerfully. He heals, He gives hope, and He changes lives. Entire neighborhoods are transformed by God’s love flowing through Frank, Genie, their children, and others who share their labors.
Sometimes the miracles are not as big, but just as obvious. On one occasion, ten hamburger patties get cooked, but when it comes time to serve there are eleven – just enough to feed another guest who’s joined them for lunch. On another, there are four kids and three lollipops, but when they’re handed out there are now four – one for each kid! Those may sound trivial, but a God who knows when the sparrow falls and has numbered the hairs on our heads (Mt. 10:29-30) knows how to take care of His children, and that’s what we are.
My wife Donna and I have been privileged to know Frank and Genie Summers for over twenty-five years. They, along with Doug and Imelda Touchet, were instrumental in our becoming committed, baptized in the Holy Spirit followers of the Lord Jesus, and I am forever in debt to all of those wonderful people. They also were founding members of the Saturday Night High Praise And Intercession Prayer Group where we made a joyful noise and saw many prayers answered for over a decade.
Frank and Genie still travel internationally as missionaries, but they also founded Family Mission Company to give others that opportunity.
We don’t need to be cultural historians to know that in our time, Christian faith is disdained and discouraged. The message that we often hear in the public square and the mass media could have come straight from Isaiah 30:11: “Out of the way! Out of our path! Let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel!”
But my heart is drawn to a passage about Phillip, who went to Samaria and proclaimed Jesus:
“With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8 NAB)
When God moves, people are set free and the darkness of doubt is driven back. That’s our mission, to proclaim Jesus in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Mk. 16:15-18)
If you’re feeling in need of a spiritual recharge for that mission, let me invite you to get hold of “Our Family’s Book of Acts”, find a comfortable chair, start reading, and say “Yes” to Jesus at every turn of the page.
What could happen? Anything and everything!
And it will all be wonderful!Button