Told largely in 36 letters written between 2000 and 2018, Courage For My Journey is a mix of travelogue, devotional and memoir, with splashes of world history thrown in.
Yvonne Riddick’s mother prophesied, when Riddick was only seven years old, that she would be a missionary. She didn’t begin mission work until age 50, however, leaving her Department of Defense work to train at Calvary Pentecostal Tabernacle Campground and later traveling the world training missionaries and spreading the gospel. Through her work with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and Mercy Ships (MS), she visited Israel, Egypt, Malaysia, Australia, Guyana, and many other places.
The book begins with biographical information and seemingly random recollections about her travels, then offers the letters, each beginning with a greeting, as in: “To my family and friends, I welcome you to my mission adventure in Puerto Plata (PP), Dominican Republic.” She then tells her unnamed audience of her adventures in each locale, in present tense. Throughout, Riddick often references scripture, praises God, and includes “reflection and revelation” sections.
Most of the narrative comprises stories of people she knows and how they are blessed, the people she meets on her travels, and the suffering she sees through her work. While genially written, with lively anecdotes, the story jumps between time periods without warning or context, and there’s no attempt to impose a central narrative on the information.
Due to this, and hundreds of unnecessary details and history (the book opens not with a description of the campground where she began her work, but with stats of the town’s square mileage, founder’s name, etc. Likewise, a description of a U.S. trip stops to explain in detail who Samuel Adams and Paul Revere were), general readers will find the reading challenging.
Including poor grammar, repetitive language, and haphazard capitalization, this book would likely struggle to find an audience outside of the author’s immediate family and friends, for whom it might well comprise a loving memory-book keepsake.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.