Reaching for the Goal: the Life Story of David Adeney: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Mission

Reaching for the Goal: the Life Story of David Adeney: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Mission. Carolyn Armitage. Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1993.

Considered “a poor risk” by a doctor who examined his physical strength prior to going to the mission field, David Adeney proved to be just the opposite after nearly sixty years of ministry to the Chinese people. This biography documents his life, from his birth into a ministry-minded family in Bedford, England, to his continued ministry of speaking and writing even through illness in his later years.

The theme that ties the story of David Adeney together is that of Christ’s power made perfect in weakness. Never very physically strong, David was nevertheless able to serve as a missionary in China before the advent of communism after World War II, with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship during the war, in Hong Kong with the International Fellowship of International Students, in Singapore as the founder, dean, and professor of the Discipleship Training Center, as well as teaching part-time at New College for Advanced Christian Studies.

This biography tells of the ups and downs of David’s life, including many anecdotes from David himself; from his wife, Ruth; and from various other people that he encountered throughout his extensive ministry. The lessons that David learned about God’s will and guidance, and His strength for those who trust in Him, are valuable lessons for any Christian. The nearly first-hand account of such a dedicated missionary with a great heart for the people to whom he was called should be an inspiration to any reader, whether called to overseas missions or not.

For those readers particularly interested in the Chinese, this book provides valuable perspectives into the Chinese mind and culture with the various stories of the extensive interaction David was able to have with this group of people over his years of ministry. The way that David learned from his cultural blunders is a true example of a humble servant of God and man. His biography is an inspiring story, and can be enjoyed by any interested reader.