Mamane's Journey

Sue Eckert

Mamane's Journey, a short and easy read, is the story of a young child growing into manhood and his increasing hunger for a faith that will set him free.

A true story set in the Niger Republic, in West Africa, this biographical account of a youth finding Christ is rich in parts with local colour. With the additional help of frequent illustrations we are given an idea of the oppressive environment which alienates Mamane, leaving him determined to become a Christian whatever the cost. In deed it is the story of a sensitive yet strong willed individual, who is prepared to fly in the face of custom. He meets with rejection and even physical abuse from those closest to him. Yet his driving purpose is to have his name written in the Book of Life.

Throughout Mamane's spiritual journey he encounters Jesus in vivid dreams, which spurs him on. He takes the gospel he hears preached to heart not simply because it is in his own language and shared in love, but because it is authenticated by his dreams.

With other local, more mature believers, he sees how the promise of salvation is for all people and there for him to accept. He is drawn by the warmth of their fellowship and the embrace of their hospitality, as well as the sound biblical teaching he receives. In this environment Mamane's Journey is an example of effective discipleship, to inspire and encourage others in this field.

Many will admire the book's other "hero", the American evangelist, who goes to considerable lengths to gain the respect of the local community.

Written in simple English, we suspect that Sue Eckert has faithfully recorded, with little artistic licence, his testimony, as it was told her, first hand. Perhaps for this reason the story does not always flow well, but it is rich in honesty and humility, and holds our interest throughout.

Along with the themes of oppression and freedom, rejection and acceptance, we are presented, as Mamane is, with the challenging truth that in Christ we are rich in our poverty, and secure only in our dependence on Him.

Reviewed by Nathalie

Nathalie lives with her husband and children in N.Africa and has a good understanding of the difficulties and challenges for the messenger and the hearer of the gospel in this context.