1900. Germany. Leipzig. Two men engage in a duel to the death.
1902. New York. Manhattan. Bridge over East River. A man decides to end his life.
1905. India. A missionary arrives. Cholera and the bubonic plague have just swept the region, taking many lives.
1914. Europe. August. War erupts. A young pastor volunteers for the Western Front.
1921. Germany. Bremerhaven. The Susquehanna, a steamer that's seen better years. A family of nine climbs aboard, bound for New York. The children eat ice cream for the first time. Later, while in Ohio, they'll try bananas.
2017. Mississippi. Hattiesburg. One of those seven children, John Nau, invites you to his home to enjoy a mint julep and listen to his incredible story.
Which goes something like this:
The stories of some people’s lives read like legends. For some of us names like Stanley Livingstone, T. H. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), Sir Ernest Shackleton, Florence Nightingale, Oswald Chambers, and Louis Zamperini may come to mind. Others may think of Martin Luther King, the Apostle Paul, Abraham Lincoln, Esther (of the Bible). Whoever they may be, their stories have the ability to lift us to a higher plateau, inspire us, thrill us, make us cry, motivate us to search for meaning in our own lives. Nau! Mission Inspired is one of those stories.
This is the story of a man of God, a Lutheran missionary and a college president–not always so. Once a profligate–a gambler, a rebel, a duelist, a horseman–then a desperate man, standing on a bridge in New York, without hope, wanting to end it all. Then, a sudden change of course, like Paul on the road to Damascus. Two men emerge from the darkness, save his life, tell him of the love of God. He gives himself to Christ, walks with Him from the rice paddies and temples of India to the battlefields of World War I, from the school rooms of a Black college in the segregationist South to the bush country of Nigeria. He’s a passionate man, an imperfect man, an impulsive man, a jar of clay God uses to pour out his grace upon the needy.
The brush strokes used to depict this story are bold, sweeping, modern. So vividly are the characters drawn, the atmosphere recreated, the conflict reenacted, the dialogue recaptured, that it seems as though we’re watching a film. This speaks volumes to the success of Author John Nau in bringing this inspiring story to life.