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Book Review : : The Triumph of John and Betty Stam

The Triumph of John and Betty Stam was a very challenging, moving and encouraging book. John and Betty Stam were missionaries to China during the time of the Chinese Civil War while Communists were in control. Betty went over to China in 1931 and two years later in 1933 John also went over to China. They were married on October 25, 1933 and on September 11, 1934 their little daughter was born, Helen Priscilla Stam. On December 8, 1934 while still both in their late 20's they were both executed by the communists. Miraculously their little daughter Helen was rescued by a Chinese Pastor.

This is such a wonderful book. It shows why Betty and John went over to China. It tells about their life beforehand and how they were able to face everything.

One lady, when she heard of of the execution, said, "Oh, why did they go there?" Mr. Stam answered, "Because the Love of Christ constrained them. We were glad to see them go and would gladly have let them go again, because we look not at the things that are seen. They were not after money or comfort but after souls."

John and Betty Stam knew that this life is not about comfort and happiness for the flesh but that they needed to serve the Lord. They knew that their life was not their own. There is a cost to following Christ and they knew that. Because of their supreme sacrifice God used it to inspire others to follow Him in the same way. When the world heard of the execution they said "What a waste." But was it really a waste? God does not waste his people. He uses us for his glory and he used the Stam's for his glory. It is not a waste to use our life for our glory and the Stam's sacrifice was not a waste.

Below is a poem written by Betty at the age of 18:
Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes,
All my own desires and hopes,
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all
Utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt.
And work out Thy whole will in my life, at any cost,
Now and forever.

John included this poem in a letter to his father. Though he did not write the poem it still expresses his thoughts:

Afraid?  Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid—of that?
Afraid?  Of what?
Afraid to see the Savior’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid—of that?
Afraid?  Of what?
A flash—a crash—a pierced heart;
Darkness—Light—O Heaven’s art?
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid?—of that?
Afraid?  Of what?
To do by death what life could not—
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid?—of that?

Below are some quotes of John and Betty Stam's:

“I think, sometimes, we excuse ourselves when we fail, because we realize that the flesh is weak. If we could really see sin as God sees it, what a fight would be put up!” ~ John Stam ~

"It’s as clear as daylight to me that the only worthwhile life is one of unconditional surrender to God’s will, and of living in His way, trusting His love and guidance.” ~ Betty Scott Stam ~

“When we consecrate ourselves to God, we think we are making a great sacrifice, and doing lots for Him, when really we are only letting go some little, bitsie trinkets we have been grabbing and when our hands are empty, He fills them full of His treasures.” ~Betty Scott Stam~

“We do not know where they (the soldiers) are going, but we are going to Heaven.” ~ John Stam ~
This book was very moving and it brought tears to my eyes but it was also eye opening. I would highly recommend this book.

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Lily Marie said…
I would love a good tear-jerker book. :) Thanks for the review, it's great. I need to read it!
Rosie said…
Oh, John and Betty Stam are two favorite missionaries of mine! That book sounds wonderful! Thanks for the review on it -- do you have any ideas for where I could get the book?
Mary Hill said…
Sounds like a wonderful story. I want to read it too.
Bekah said…
Hi Carrissa Rose,

This was a lovely post. I've heard of this couple before and their faith in our precious Lord is very encouraging and inspiring.

I wanted to tell you that I read and loved your article in KBR. I got my very first magazine from them today and I love what I've read so far.

Keep up the good work for Christ!

His Princess,

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