Missionary Couple Follows God Even in Difficult Circumstances

Watching your child nearly die in your arms, experiencing illness before even arriving at your destination, and facing the difficulties of learning a new language would be enough for most people to question whether God really had called them to serve in a foreign country.

But not Joe and Leona Tarry. They knew that moving with three young children to Brazil to serve as career missionaries was exactly what they were supposed to do. In The Marvel of It All: God’s faithfulness as one couple serves Christ for more than three decades in Brazil, the Tarrys expound on their daily activities and inner thoughts of living in the states of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo in southern Brazil.

Through the difficulties of starting new churches, longing for friends and family back home, learning about a new culture, dealing with customs officials, and enduring car trouble, Joe and Leona saw the protection and encouragement that only God can give. Woven among Satan’s attempts to thwart God’s work in Brazil, the Tarrys in their new book humbly document time after time when God provided just what they needed. Their conversational tone and side-by-side commentary on the harrowing situations allow the reader unique insight into the challenging, but rewarding lives of missionaries.

“This book never is boring. Well-documented and told with courage, the story of the Tarry family is sublime. Their lives, their children, and their labor have been blessings to countless souls that only eternity can measure,” write Jesse and Wilma Kidd, emeritus Southern Baptist Convention missionaries to Brazil.

Joe E. Tarry was born near Lovington, NM, and his wife, Leona, was born in Fort Sumner, NM, but considers Portales, NM, to be her hometown. Joe graduated with a double major and received a bachelor of arts in religion and history from Eastern New Mexico University and a master of divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Leona also attended Eastern New Mexico University, during which she worked at the Portales Daily News; she then received a certificate from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

Joe and Leona are retired missionaries and live in Ruidoso, NM. Joe has written numerous books, including, Did Paul Approve of the Tongues Spoken in Corinth?, Created to be Spiritual: Understanding God’s daily battle with Satan for the hearts and minds of His people, and Jesus Restores True Spirituality: Understanding Satan’s Subtle Schemes to Hamper the Testimony of Christ’s People. This new book, The Marvel of It All, is Joe and Leona’s first co-authored book.


    What Would Jesus Do?

In the classic In His Steps by Charles Sheldon some Christian group members make this motto their guide for daily living. Their lives are set aglow for Christ.

But that was in 1890! Would the same commitment work today? Another group of Christians decides to try it.

Heather, a homemaker, obsessed by her beautiful home, is the central character whose experiences and decisions interweave with those of the other members. A professional baseball player and his pregnant wife; an ambitious car dealer; a beautiful, withdrawn matron in a home for adults who are mentally challenged; a doctor and his sensitive wife; and a brilliant computer expert and his librarian spouse all face inner frustrations and outside obstructions to fully yielding their lives to Christ. Prestige, money, possessions, past sorrows, and personal time have to be sacrificed or at least put in second place.

Only then will they gain the spiritual help, joy, and satisfaction God is willing and waiting to give those who allow Jesus to truly live His life through them.

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Marti Hefley, a prolific freelance writer, was graduated from New Orleans Baptist Seminary and is the author of Strictly Feminine. She has co-authored numerous books including The Liberated Palestinian, Dawn over Amazonia, God's Tribesman, and Uncle Cam. As a 16-year-old she read In His Steps and thought, "Somebody ought to write a version for today." In His Steps Today is the fulfillment of that comment. In His Steps Today by Charles Sheldon some Christian group members make this motto--What Would Jesus Do?-- their guide for daily living. Their lives are set aglow for Christ. is a re-release of a highly popular book by Hannibal Books co-founder Marti Hefley. The original was released in 1976.


    Chicago Tribune Tells Missionary Kid's Story

Mary Anne Phemister grew up in China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam as the daughter of a missionary couple. While she applauds her parents efforts in following Christ's leading to spread the Gospel, she did experience times in her life that were difficult and left her with a need to forgive. In her book, Lessons from a Broken Chopstick, Mary Anne details her childhood and how she has learned to deal with various issues she's experienced.

A wonderful article in the Chicago Tribune by Vicky Edwards gives a glimpse into the book and Mary Anne's life.


    No Turning Back for These Servants

Many American couples today might define their all-consuming passion as the acquisition of things, the pursuit of the good life, the desire to possess more and more. For Jamie and Lea Peters the overwhelming passion that seizes them day-in and day-out is for the continent of Africa and the souls there that do not know Jesus as Savior. The "good life" the Peters pursue is the vision of 1,000 churches to be established on the continent.

As missionaries for nearly two-and-a-half decades the Peters have given themselves without reservation, even when their call has required them and their young children to live through violence that ultimately would kill 300,000 Burundians. When times were tough and even the U.S. embassy was strongly recommending that they evacuate, the Peters clung tight to their "no-exit strategy"-a strategy that reflected their deep sense of calling and desire to do God's will.

In No Retreat-No Regrets, Jamie and Lea share their story-an infectious, well-told account of their time in Africa. In their back-and-forth style that is both transparent and entertaining, the Peters openly relate the challenges of daily life in Africa, the difficult tasks of church planting and caring for the poor, as well as their personal struggles with illness, homesickness, and rearing American children overseas. Yet instead of counting the cost, Jamie and Lea believe they are the privileged ones-blessed to live at the front line of what God is doing on the earth. As Jamie says, "A life lived outside the will of God is a life not lived at all."

Let Jamie and Lea's captivating description of their journey-not just written but lived-motivate you to do God's will in whatever harvest field you are planted and to follow their example and live your life without retreat and without regret.