Pilipinto's Happiness by Valerie Shepherd (the only daughter of the martyred missionary, Jim Elliot, and his wife, Elisabeth) is a very unique and interesting read. Though written for children, it is eye-opening for adults to read about a missionary child's everyday life in the Amazon. Set in a remote tropical location, the author tells how she spent two years of her childhood with her mother living among an unreached people group. Her mother's purpose in living there was to learn the language of the people and to share the Gospel in that language.
It is amazing to imagine the faith Elisabeth Elliot had to live with the tribe who murdered her husband, Jim Elliot! Not only did she have faith enough to trust God to keep her safe, but she trusted God to keep her little 3-year old safe (Valerie Shepherd). Shepherd recounts her days of simple childhood joys in the jungle, where toys were knives and animals, where food consisted of bugs and rodents, and where home was a simple blanket under a thatched roof. I cannot even imagine how her mother kept her clean! Her life was so different than what we experience today in America.
I feel blessed to have read this book—it is a good one. It is about keeping up the faith, calling us back to simplicity, and remembering that God is good. – Jennifer Joneleit, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Valerie Elliot Shepard was 10 months old when a primitive tribe of Ecuadorian Indians made a martyr of her 29-year-old father -- Jim Elliot -- and his four Wheaton College classmates. But that didn't stop Valerie and her mother Elisabeth from moving to live with those same savage Auca Indians to complete the Elliot family's evangelical mission: to eclipse the tribe's savagery with the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
Pilipinto's Happiness relates this amazing story of redemption through the eyes of the Elliots' only child, Valerie, who shares her memories as a young girl growing up in the Amazon jungle with the Quichua and Auca tribes. Read in colorful detail how the Indians, their language, and even the dangerous jungle elements created a delightful playground for Valerie to learn to trust God's hand and respect the simplest of His gifts.
More than just a picture-book, Pilipinto's Happiness is a powerful tool to familiarize young people, college students, and adults alike -- too often starved for Christian heroes and heroines -- with powerful models in the faith who demonstrated reckless abandon for the Kingdom of God.