Book Review- By Canoe and Dog Train: The Adventures of Sharing the Gospel with Canadian Indians
By Canoe and Dog Train: The Adventures of Sharing the Gospel with Canadian Indians (Updated Edition. Includes Original Illustrations.)is the memoirs of Egerton Ryerson Young. He was a Canadian pastor in Hamilton, Canada. He was appointed by the Methodist Church as a missionary to the indian tribes in the Canadian wilderness in 1868.
This book is a vivid first-person account of his eight years of ministry among the largely unevangelized indians. I have always enjoyed reading missionary stories. This is one of the best that I have ever read.
The indian tribes that Young was sent to evangelize lived in the most remote areas of Canada. There were no roads and no railways. All of the travel was done by canoe during the warm months and by dog train during the snowy winters.
Young almost lost his life several times during his winter travels. It would often take several days to reach the tribes that Young would visit and spend a week with. During these days of travel, the missionary and his companions had to make camp in temperatures of fifty degrees below zero. It was not uncommon to wake up in the morning, covered by a fresh twelve inches of snow.
The indians that lived in these remote areas had had very little exposure to the Christian message. They worshipped idols, practiced polygamy, and in many cases, were cannibals. These tribes were often controlled by the witch doctors who used their dark arts to control the people.
Young provides a number of great stories of those whose lives were changed by the power of the Gospel. In one powerful account, Young visited a remote tribe and preached the good news to them for the first time. He spent several days with them teaching and preaching about Christ and what He had done for them. Many of the indians gave their lives to Jesus and were baptized.
At the end of his time with this tribe, Young asked the chief what he thought about Jesus. "Turning towards me and looking me in the face, he said, in tones that thrilled me, “Missionary, what you have said today fills my heart up and satisfies all its longings. It is just what I have been expecting to hear about the Great Spirit. I am so glad you have come with this wonderful story. Stay as long as you can; and when you have to go away, do not forget us but come again as soon as you can.” Loud expressions of approval greeted these words of the chief."
If you like exciting stories, testimonies of how people found Christ, and even a little history and geography thrown in, check out By Canoe and Dog Train: The Adventures of Sharing the Gospel with Canadian Indians (Updated Edition. Includes Original Illustrations.). Even in the 21st Century, there is still a need to take the Gospel into all the world. Great books like this challenge us to do whatever it takes to make sure everyone has the opportunity to hear that message.
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