Skip to content ↓

Book Review – Hostage

Book Reviews Collection cover image

Hostage tells the story of the kidnapping of three American missionaries from a tiny village in the Panamanian jungle. The book is written by Nancy Mankins, wife of Dave Mankins, who along with Mark Rich and Rick Tenenoff was kidnapped by Colombian rebels.

The book continually alternates between the day of the kidnapping and the years of preparation that led the Mankins family to become missionaries to the Kuna tribe. We learn about their call to mission work, the decision to leave their life in America and move to the jungles of South America, and the life they built there. We learn about the trials and challenges they faced in trying to adapt to a culture vastly different from their own. The story culminates, of course, in the events of January 31, 1993 when rebels burst into the tiny village and kidnapped the three missionaries.

As with most missionary stories, it is inspiring to read about Christians who are so dedicated to God’s work that they will leave all the comforts of society to bring the gospel to those who have never had opportunity to hear it. In my view missionaries, God’s most humble and unseen disciples, are the true heroes of Christianity – far above the public figures we love to praise.

My only real disappointment with the book is that it really isn’t a book about hostages at all. The back-story and the story of the day the men went missing fills almost the entire book, leaving just a few pages to tell the little bit their wives know about what happened to the men. Other than that small complaint, I enjoyed Hostage and would recommend it.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 10)

    A La Carte: How the GOP became pro-choice / Forgive, and be forgiven / 10 non-cringy faith-based movies / The practice of arranged marriages / Do I share the gospel now? / How to show Mormon missionaries that the Bible contradicts their gospel / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 9)

    A La Carte: A prayer for my children’s walk with Christ / What really happened and Nicea / The secular creed / The Bible is not boring / It’s okay to fail / How can I read my Bible correctly? / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Together We Pray 2024

    This week the blog is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International. They invite you to join them for an important week of prayer beginning July 22. Our Lord’s Final Command The final command our Lord Jesus gave to all who would follow Him was the command known as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20). The Great…

  • The Three Greatest Enemies of Marriage

    The Three Greatest Enemies of Marriage

    Marriage brings us many joys. But since it exists in this world and not some other, it also brings its share of sorrows. It is like everything else in that way—there are times we marvel at its beauties and times we lament its difficulties. A divine gift that was meant to be only good is…