Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review: L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer

A very lovely friend recommended this book to me about a year ago. I'd never heard of Edith or Francis Schaffer, but my friend's description of the book lead me to read it, and I am grateful to her for the recommendation.

L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer

If you are feeling depressed, lonely, and hopeless in your faith, this is the book to read. Edith Schaeffer is one of the most faith-filled people I have ever encountered, and her story of creating L'Abri (french for "shelter") with her husband, Francis is entertaining, inspiring, and humbling.

"In 1955 an American family moved into a chalet on the side of a steep Swiss alp. They did not know exactly why God had brought them there, what He wanted them to do, or even where the money to live on would come from. But He began opening doors, and people with questions about life's meaning began finding the way to their home.
Edith Schaeffer, wife of Dr. Francis Schaeffer, tells the remarkable story of how God led them step by step, as that one small chalet grew into a whole community. It took the name L'Abri (French for shelter). Day by day, God faithfully provided for their family, and eventually for the entire community.
The Schaeffers believed that truth must be demonstrated as well as debated. They wanted to show the world through the transformed lifestyle of a believing community that the personal-infinite God is really here in our generation. In a society losing the ability to distinguish between Christian and non-Christian values, truth and untruth, good and evil, L'Abri equipped people to make that distinction.
For more than thirty years, people have come to L'Abri from all walks of life and from many countries, searching for truth and reality. There they find someone who cares for them personally, who listens carefully to their questions, and who gives them answers based on an uncompromising commitment to Biblical truth. L'Abri now has branches in several other countries and has affected the lives of literally thousands of people around the world."
                                                                                     - book description,

This book helped me understand the importance prayer, not only as a means to communicate with God but also as a way to quiet myself to the demands of this world, demands that I oftentimes placed upon myself with no rhyme or reason. I feel like I could literally turn to any single page in this book and be reminded of God's grace and mercy. Definitely a must-read for anyone working through difficult questions about faith, love, and grace.

Favorite Quote: upon praying for funds for L'Abri: "Over a two-month period of time, about 157 gifts came from very scattered places on the earth's surface. No one could consult with anyone else as to what his or her gift would do in the total. The smallest gift was $1...the largest was  $225. The total came to exactly $7,343.30...within three dollars of being exact!"

Book Club Potential: I think this would be a great book club selection. Edith breaks down the story of L'Abri into very manageable chapters, and has details such as food and hobbies that would be fun to discuss with friends. She also has several other books that would be great extensions of this book, if readers are interested.

Recommended Age: I would recommend 10 and up, simply because of the level of vocabulary. There are some younger characters with whom preteens can definitely connect, but it's also a story for adults.

Buy/Checkout: I would check this out of the library first, and if you like it, buy it. It's also a great one to ask for as a Christmas present!

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