Endorsement by Brad Jersak:"Having watched the Rosen's launch their tour from my little town of Aldergrove, I was thrilled to finally see an account of the whole faith-journey across Canada. If you've ever wondered what would happen if you surrendered yourself to simply listening to God and doing what He says, this is the book for you."
Brad Jersak, pastor of Freshwind Community Fellowship, Abbotsford, Canada, and author of Can you Hear Me? Tuning In To the God Who Speaks.
Forward by Mark Buchanan:A strange irony is afoot in contemporary churches: we have become wary of people who actually follow Jesus. Those rare folk who take Jesus at face value, with all his stark commands and cryptic stories and disruptive influence, seem to us reckless and capricious, like people who run off to join the circus. Somehow, most of us in the church got to equating gospel faithfulness with middle-class stability. We think kingdom righteousness and domestic decency are the exact same thing. Not that decency and stability are bad things. But Jesus had nowhere to lay his head at night. Jesus resorted to tricks with fish to pay his taxes and feed his followers. Jesus sought solitary places and rough company. Jesus had demons running from him and hookers running to him. Surely not just suburbanites with their SUVs and whopping mortgages can lay claim to being his disciples.
I have loved Russ and Sandy Rosen since first I met them, and for many reasons: but maybe most because they are both a rebuke and an inspiration to me. They are those rare folk who take Jesus at face value. And in their case it led them, in a manner of speaking, to join the circus – a five year escapade, exhilarating and grueling all at once, to cross Canada in a convoy of semi-trailers and Winnebagos in order to take the message of God’s love to every nook and cranny of this vast country. On the way, God stretched them, tested them, emptied them, filled them, and used them to heal and to bless. Truly, they and their team, Upstream, were “ambassadors of reconciliation” and “signs and symbols” of the Almighty.
Off The Map is the story of those five years. It is testament of both Upstream’s stubborn faith and God’s enduring, abiding faithfulness. It is a diary, psalm-like, of fear and doubt and hope and wonder, and an anthem of the ways God’s spills his glory in clay pots.
The movie Hidalgo is about Frank Hopkins and his Mustang horse that won a race across the Arabian desert. In one scene, someone asks Frank how he managed to tame Hidalgo.
“I didn’t,” Frank says.
I picture someone asking God, “How did you tame the Rosens.”
“I didn’t,” he says.
Read this book only if you’ve become too tame, too settled, and long to feel again the wind in your face.
Mark Buchanan, Author of The Rest of God