Martin Wroe - Greenbelt
· Waiters Union
People of Compassion is a book of 40 short stories about 40 wonderful men and women from all over the world, who lived lives of consistent, gentle, nonviolent service at crucial times in history.
These stories first saw the light of day in Target, a publication of TEAR Australia, a Christian aid agency for whom I work. Each of the stories was received with such enthusiasm, it was decided to publish 40 in this collection.
People of Compassion is a perfect book for 40 days of personal reflection. It is a brilliant resource as for stories to tell groups or publish in newsletters
Dave Andrews, explores the lives of 40 Christians who have left their mark on the world. Ranging from the generous St Nicholas to the brave Helen Keller, People of Compassion unpacks the meaning of love, peace and justice - prompting readers to reflect on their own lives. There are 'suggestions for meditation' at the end of each biography, as well as Gospel quotes to help people consider how they can be the good news. 'When I think of people making a difference in the world, I think of John Wesley and Caroline Chisholm. These great Christian figures were people just like you and me, but they saw a need and they did something about it,' says Andrews
ACSJC Briefing No. 98 — February 2009 p4-5
From the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, the social justice and human rights agency of the Catholic Church in Australia http://www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au
'Ever since I first read Dave's stories about 10 years ago, I've been sharing them with others: my kids in our family devotions, groups of students making decisions for life, groups of pastors and social workers.'
'Often as I tell them, I start crying. And so do others. I must have told the story of Telemachus 20 times to various groups here in India and in Australia, but still I cry. Why is that? Maybe it's because as I tell it and others hear it, in our minds we find ourselves there in the Colosseum with Telemachus, seeing the terrible slaughter, hearing the roar of the crowd's approval and then facing the terrible decision, ‘What will I do about this?' Thus the tears- tears of fear, tears of challenge, tears of love.
'So, too, with many other stories in People of Compassion: the incredible Damien the Leper choosing to go with his friends to the leper colony forever; Simone Weil voluntarily working in a sweat shop; and Florence Nightingale, defying her parents as she goes to serve the suffering. We're inspired, scared, challenged - always coming back to that dreadful question, 'Could I do this?''
'It's my hope that I, and others who read these incredible stories, will find within our selves the courage to (occasionally) do what these amazing women and men did. Lord knows, our world needs it!'
Ever since I first read Dave's stories about 10 years ago, I've been sharing them with others: my kids in our family devotions, groups of students making decisions for life, groups of pastors and social workers.'
Mark Delaney, Servants To Asia's Urban Poor
People of Compassion is a collection of 40 stories about ordinary people throughout history who have embodied Christ's extraordinary spirit of compassion.
'The book is intended as a starting point for group discussion or individual reflection on what it means to follow Christ's commandment to love our neighbour. Each story is short (only 2-3 pages in length), easy to read, and has a few questions for discussion or reflection at the end.'
'The book is no ordinary collection of the saints because, rather than focussing on gruesome martyrdoms, bleeding statues etc, Andrews has presented these people as genuine people who listened to God's word and acted accordingly.
'Andrews has presented a wide selection of men and women from a variety of cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds. I could relate to many of the people in the stories, and found this a source of personal inspiration to act with greater compassion.
'As a mother, my heart was torn by the story of Sojourner Truth, who was sold into slavery at the age of 11, beaten and forced to give birth to 5 children who were taken from her and sold one by one into slavery. When slavery was abolished in New York, she travelled the country taking up the cause for her sisters still in bondage, and so became a national symbol of the abolition struggle.
'While Sojourner Truth suffered unimaginably, her strength in Christ shone through her to make significant change in the world. A quote by Thomas Cahill in the book is apt, "Life would be almost unbearable without such people... Without them, history would be just one horror after another."
'People of Compassion is a little book of hope that we all can make this world a better place. It would be a wonderful book for a minister, for a study group or for individual reflection.
Naomi Waldron Journey Magazine