Facing Terror by Carrie McDonnall with Kristin Billerbeck is the twenty-first century's Through Gates of Splendor, celebrating David McDonnall's exuberant life and his commitment to the Lord, to Carrie, and to the Arab people. Warm, poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, this book will inspire you and touch you.
On March 15, 2004, terrorists surrounded the vehicle that David, Carrie, and three other missionaries were traveling in through Mosul, Iraq. They opened fire with automatic weapons. Larry and Jean Elliott and Karen Watson died within minutes. Carrie was wounded twenty-two times by bullets and shrapnel, but David seemed relatively uninjured though he had been driving. Without the help of 911 services, he managed to get Carrie into the hospital through the help of kind Arabs and a taxi. Then David's condition worsened.
With just the right touch to keep the book from becoming morbid or self-centered, Carrie tells of their work with Journeymen in the Mideast before they met, their meeting, their courtship, and their short marriage. The story glows with the young couple's love for the Lord, each other, and the Arab people.
Carrie’s story is written in the first person in a warm, intimate style that makes you get to know her and David. You feel David's death with an ache, but Carrie does not question God's will. This young woman in her prologue says, "I will never be the same, but I believe, by the grace of God, that I will be better." So will everyone else who reads Facing Terror.
The foreword by Beth Moore sets the tone immediately so that you know you are reading a book of spiritual depth. Carrie and Kristin carry that tone all through the book to the final word of the epilogue. This is a must-read book, one particularly important for young people to see demonstrated a total commitment to Christ and a godly love between a man and a woman. All of us living in a shallow culture can benefit from such spiritual commitment.
Maps and photographs would enhance the reading experience, but the writing is well done. Facing Terror concludes with a song that God allowed Carrie to hear in her mind during her long, difficult recovery, titled Lord I Praise You.
Shortly before the fateful encounter between the missionaries and the terrorists, David wrote in his journal: “Yes, it's dangerous. Yes, we could die, but Paul faced the exact same dangers, and he faced them boldly, keeping his eyes on finishing his race with joy and being obedient to his call to share the Gospel. This kind of boldness is exactly what I need. Lord, give me the boldness to carry Your name to those who may wish to do me harm. Give me wisdom, but more than that, give me courage, strength and boldness to simply be obedient to hear your call.” (p.191) -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
David McDonnall lived a thrill-seeker's life as an international relief worker performing humanitarian service in northern Sudan and Jordan. Carrie Taylor McDonnall discovered her love for the Arab people by working with Palestinian children in Israel. Together, they found love and a shared mission that took them into the mysterious, embattled land of Iraq.
On March 15, 2004, Carrie and David prepared for a day of surveying refugee camps with fellow relief workers Larry and Jean Elliott and Karen Watson. The day ended in tragedy, with three Americans killed instantly in an insurgent ambush and two struggling for life. David's love for his wife, and his sheer force of will to see her to safety in the face of his own death, gives us a glimpse into their shared faith and love for God and the Muslim people.
"God is faithful to His nature. We can always lean on His Word and His promises, because He is faithful to fulfill His promises. We shouldn't doubt, because if He has said it - He will do it." - David McDonnall.