Into the Book

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Mountain Rain – Eileen Crossman

Recommended
When my mom gave me this book to read, I must say I was rather dubious. The account of a missionary in China, and the book looking very much like an Old Out Of Print type of thing. However, I must say that I read the book, gave it a chance and heartily enjoyed it. It is the story of James O. Fraser, and it is actually very interesting.

The story begins with James running from a Kachin tribesman in Lisuland, Southwest China. Then the book jumps back almost to the turn of the century, to 1906, when James was a young student in England. It tells of how he went to China and how he ended up in Tengyueh, ministering to the Chinese people.

Then, James feels a real burden for the Lisu tribes-people of the mountains. He relocates and begins ministering to the Lisu. The book tells of how, for about ten years, Fraser worked in this area completely alone, and saw very little fruit for his effort. During this time, he invented a script for the Lisu people, called the Fraser script. For Lisu sounds not found in English he turned the Latin Alphabet letters in different ways. For sounds that were the same he simply left.

The book then recounts how, gradually, Lisuland experiences the harvest, and hundreds of Lisu families come to Jesus, and tear down their demon shelves. Especially what impacted me in this part of the book is how child-like the faith of the Lisu was and how much Fraser had to travel, not to convert more families, but to teach the new converts more about Jesus.

Gradually, more companions come to aid James and after his furlough he returns to Lisuland (after a short time in Shanghai) only this time as the District Superintendent. The book continues relating the harvest until the war, when all of the missionaries were kicked out and had to flee for Burma, and then back to their home countries. In closing, it relates the story of the Lisu in Burma and how strong the Lisu church is ‘today’ (Note that today was approximately 1978, so it isn’t exactly accurate with present time).

By that time James Fraser died, and he was buried in his beloved Lisu territory that he loved so dearly. His wife and two children left with the other missionaries, who had all felt leaderless after his sudden death.

The book is very well written, and probably the best parts to me were the ones that related James’ fits of depression and rebellion against God in some area of his life. Some biographies or autobiographies make the subject out to be a superhuman person who never suffers problems but only blessing. “Mountain Rain” does not do that. It tells very clearly the problems that James had.

All in all, “Mountain Rain” by Eileen Crossman is a very good book. It is only about 250 pages, but will take a while to read because sections of James’ diary (in older English) are included and they are harder to read. I rate the book 4.75 stars out of 5, however, and really encourage you to read it, if you can find it.

Andrew J. is the founder of Into the Book and keeps the site up and running. He is an avid reader and loves to write as well as read new books. He is a part of the Rebelution movement, a teenage rebellion against low expectations.

1 comment:

  1. I know Eileen Crossman and have read the book. She has an amazing story as well. I loved the book and am glad to know you did as well. Did you know that while they were in China, they were captured and taken to concentration camps? Eileen was able to stay with her mother. She has amazing stories about being in line in firing squads and people dieing around her. She has so much Faith.

    -Carly

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