If it wasn’t for the Lighthouse – Bill and Irene Ridgeway

Paperback, 112 pages. Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St West, Port Colborne, Ontario, L3K 6A6. ISBN 978-1-927521-56-4

If you want to know if missionaries have the same anxieties as we have, the same fears when confronted with the unexpected, the same doubts and worries, then you will find this book captivating; written in a very conversational style, it can easily be read in one sitting.

Bill Ridgeway’s start in life could reflect so many, with disadvantage and lack of opportunity having the potential to drag him down. He stood on the threshold of reform school, until God, in His infinite grace and mercy, laid hold upon him.

Amidst a wave of patriotism, as America joined the Second World War, this young man, now born again, had a desire to serve with his brothers, fighting in the forces. His heavenly Father, however, had a different plan. He was to serve One ‘who sticks closer than a brother’, first becoming an electrical engineer with the Coastguard. There he learned a skill that would later help him ‘fight the good fight’, as he sought to bring light to the villages of Ecuador, in more ways than one!

The foreword, written by Bill and Irene’s daughter Cookie, gives a flavour of the book and draws the reader into the narrative of a moving and exciting read, right through to the epilogue.

Chapter 2 recounts the Lord’s overruling in bringing Bill and Irene together, their love blossoming and growing throughout the chapters that follow. Already with missionary interest at heart, the news that five missionaries had been martyred in Ecuador brought a response from Bill and Irene, ‘Please Lord, let us take their place’.

With Ecuador as their home, now with a young family, it soon became clear that their work was to bring light to darkened villages and bring the light of the glorious gospel of Christ to the lives of a people they came to love, fulfilling the scripture ‘for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’.

This is a good, challenging read, demonstrating that God can, and will, use personal talents and skills for His ultimate glory.

Thanks to Bill Brady, Killamarsh, England, for this review


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