Through rich storytelling, Miriam Charter ushers us into the mysterious world of international work. She captures the imagination through harrowing tales and then infuses them with theoretical perspectives from history, missiology, and theology. Story and theory work together to assist and challenge the reader in working through dilemmas anticipated by those who will be working in hard places. With generosity of spirit and risky vulnerability, she shares stories that read like an informal conversation between a seasoned international worker and the next generation of internationally curious students. Further conversations will be ignited, especially among those who are considering going to hard places.—Pam Nordstrom, Ph.D., Provost, Vice President Academic, Ambrose University, Calgary
The author spent an intrigue-filled decade working in communist Romania. An unexpected and invaluable outcome of that solid contribution is the amazing yet simple discipleship model that was put into motion. While many churches today struggle to find and then implement an effective way to disciple believers, Dr. Charter, although working in a hostile environment, managed to set in motion a self-perpetuating disciple multiplication model based on 2 Timothy 2:2. Seeing this astounding result, along with her ever-developing and doctrinally sound convictions, makes this book a truly compelling and instructive read.-Ron Brown, D. Min., former international worker with CMA-Canada
In a masterful way, the author draws you into a missional drama that reads like a spy novel. Secret meetings in secret places with a sacred agenda—how to reach people with the Good News of Jesus in very dark and challenging places? On the loom of the written page, the author delicately weaves together theological truth and compelling stories that both intrigue and inspire. She artfully creates space for deep reflection and at the same time releases fresh imagination.
This is a powerful and prophetic call to courageously step into the hard places of this world to bring access to Jesus. Do you feel the tug to engage? Lean in and let the adventure begin!—David Hearn, D.Min., President of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada
This book reads like a spy novel, yet Miriam Charter experienced it all. She vividly recaptures the years she regularly crossed the border into communist countries to serve the underground church by teaching the Bible. But reGeneration is much more than a great story. Miriam challenges a new generation to take God’s Word to hard places in our world. Her experiences and her honest questions open surprising concerns requiring careful Biblical analysis—an analysis which does not disappoint. We recommend this book as an essential read to educate missionaries who will in turn commit the Word “to faithful people” (2 Timothy 2:2, NET) in other cultures.—Duane Elmer, Ph.D., and Muriel Elmer, Ph.D., educators and cross-cultural trainers; Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL (retired); authors of The Learning Cycle: Insights for Faithful Teaching from Neuroscience and the Social Sciences (IVP, 2020)
If you are a citizen of the world with a heart for the nations, and love a good story, you are going to thoroughly enjoy reading this book. Miriam Charter (Distinguished Alumna of 2012) has gathered these stories from her life in China and Eastern Europe. The stories are riveting, reflecting the real-life tension of building the Kingdom of God in hostile environments. As an added bonus, Miriam unpacks and attempts to resolve some of the ethical dilemmas that naturally occur in that context. May you sense the heart of our loving Father for the nations of the world as you read this record of his work in enemy territory.—Mark L. Maxwell, President, Prairie College, Three Hills, AB
reGeneration is an inspiring collection of stories about men and women standing for the gospel at a time in the twentieth century when they could have been imprisoned, tortured, and even killed for their faith. Written by a person who was actually there, this book is a must-read for those drawn to cross-cultural communication and mission. Dr. Charter demonstrates the necessity of mission with over against mission to another people. She is candid about her difficulties in “becoming one” with the people of Romania, and humble in the recounting of God’s extraordinary protection—even the unmistakable intervention of angels.—Linda Cannell, Ph.D., Academic Dean (retired) at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
I met Miriam in 1986, in a small apartment in Romania. A group of seven or eight Christian women were there. It was a dark, cold, winter evening—but the first time such a group of women had gathered to study. We were so excited! Miriam opened a window for us to see the garden of our faith, beliefs, and life principles. And now this book brings back that view, seen through the window and from walking on the path of the garden. A great journey!—Mirela Rădoi DeLong, Editor-in-Chief, Logos Publishing House, Romania
Not many Christians make history and then write history. As a passionate historian of Protestant missions in Romania, I am really pleased to read Miriam’s stories of leadership training behind the Iron Curtain. She returned to Romania after 1989, not only to continue to work, but to evaluate the results of that risky investment, and also to document the history of the underground ministry in which she was involved. This kind of work must be brought to light, not only because it is still almost unknown and undocumented, but it has a powerful motivational potential for a church brutally thrown, in just a few years, into a society dominated by materialism, consumerism, and denial of Christian values. reGeneration is a well-documented and well-written book which should be on the reading list of those who are passionate about the Great Commission, looking for inspiration to see how to get involved in ministry in an increasingly hostile environment for Christian witness.—Mihai Ciuca, journalist and church historian, Romania
In a sense, there are no “easy places” for mission outreach today. Every area has difficult challenges in our unsettled world. Miriam Charter has served in the hardest places and has seen how God does the unusual in hostile places. This book will instruct and inspire a new generation preparing to serve, and will be a valuable resource for cross-cultural teaching and learning. It will be an encouragement for experienced missionaries as well. Here we have the opportunity to learn from Miriam’s rich experiences as a missionary, scholar, professor, mentor, and minister.
Dive into it!—James E. Plueddemann, Ph.D., Chair of the Missions Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL (retired); International Director of SIM (retired); author of Teaching Across Cultures (IVP, 2018)
When asked to list Scripture verses that deal with the Great Commission, many—maybe most—Christians would list Matthew 28:19–20, followed by an embarrassed silence. Yet, from God’s covenant to bless all nations through Abraham to Jesus’ last command to go into all the world and preach the gospel, the “Great Commission” runs like a spinal cord through Scripture.
Miriam Charter’s book, an exquisite combination of theology and practice, concept and story, joy and sorrow, local and global, individual and corporate, is a worthy companion for any pastor who wants to fulfill his call to build a global impact church that faithfully engages in this Great commission.—Sunder Krishnan, Pastor of Rexdale Alliance Church (Etobicoke, ON) for thirty-six years (retired); author of Hijacked by Glory: From the Pew to the Nations (2014)
reGeneration is written for everyone who is called by God—male or female, married or single, young or old—to accomplish God’s purpose in this broken world. We call it missions. In this book, Dr. Charter unfolds her stunning story of missions in the communist world with valuable lessons learned from her own experience. Her insights provide not only an understanding about the reality and complexities involved in the life of international workers in hard places, but also challenge the reader about the necessity of entrusting the body of faith to the next generation.—A.N. Lal Senanayake, Ph.D., Director/President, Lanka Bible College and Seminary, Sri Lanka
Modeling the power of story, Miriam addresses important and perplexing issues in modern missions. Her incredible, faith-building tales from communist Romania—including efforts to outwit the secret police by flushing away a memorized travel itinerary, encounters with angels, and eye-witness accounts of unbearable suffering for followers of Jesus—challenge the reader to take seriously the church’s mission to take the gospel to hard places. The book is a valuable tool for those who “feel the tug of the nations”—those who will go, and those who will walk with them in support—as they, together, pass their faith on to the next generation.—Lisa Rohrick, Canadian Pacific District Mission Mobilizer, Christian & Missionary Alliance in Canada
Miriam is a great storyteller. Her content is fascinating! Amazing stories about God’s presence, protection, and provision among his people who served in a hard place—communist Romania in the eighties. There is always hope even for the darkest situation. God keeps working through his servants who are willing to obey his calling at all costs! These inspiring, firsthand stories presented with solid theoretical foundations will bring strong encouragement for those who are called to serve in hard places of the world, local or international workers alike.—Sutrisna Harjanto, Ph.D., Principal of Bandung Theological Seminary, Indonesia
My generation, the millennial generation, is often seen as primarily driven by purpose. And while this book is a must-read for everyone regardless of age, it is especially imperative for all millennials and Gen Zers—from those who may be searching to know their purpose to those who need to be reminded of the unique design with which God has created them. We know God’s grander plan to reconcile the whole world to himself, but we sometimes struggle to see exactly where or how we fit into it. Miriam’s wisdom and captivating stories will help you along the path to discovering your piece of the puzzle and how it fits into the “hard places” where God lives, and where he invites us to join him.—Matt Chan, postsecondary advancement professional, University of Calgary
Today, international mission work is promoted through slick videos, understood (poorly) through two-week short-term engagements, marred by colonialist labels, or considered an endeavour reserved for the radical. Miriam Charter’s book instead makes mission personal and honest. Her deeply reflective stories of living the gospel truth in the challenging years of communist Europe in the 1980s will help you, and those you may be coaching toward a cross-cultural mission life, understand that while the commitment to crossing culture is definitely challenging, the God who crossed into the world through Christ is already there at work. She’ll help you see just how possible it is for you to join Him.—Harv Matchullis, Director, Candidate Recruitment & Development Office, The Alliance Churches of Canada
This book is a testament to God’s work in the “hard place” of Romania. We feel Miriam’s passion for the unreached, the wide-ranging impact of a clandestine disciple-making program among women, and her heart for the next generation to whom she passes the baton. Our world has significantly changed, but now with more opportunities and unique challenges. Many hard places remain. Miriam’s stories enlarge our vision for mission and will serve as a beacon and inspiration for present and future international workers!—Joanna Feliciano-Soberano, Ph.D., Academic Dean, Asian Theological Seminary, Manila, Philippines; Overseas Council Regional Director for Southeast Asia
This book will be a helpful resource for professors of mission, pastors of mission, and all who are involved in preparing the next generation of international workers for challenging places in the world. I would especially recommend this book to women who are willing to face down danger for the sake of the Kingdom, and to churches who will affirm, resource, and walk with them as they take the gospel to those places where it has yet to be fully been established, through discipleship and leadership development.—Mary Cloutier, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies, Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
This book is a reminder of the grand mission of the church to reach the least reached and unreached for Jesus. As a seasoned educator, pastor, and international worker, Miriam speaks a fresh authentic word to which the church does well to listen. Well-told stories and missiological principles clearly expressed. Should be read by every serious follower of the Way!—Gordon Fowler, Lead Pastor during the 1970s at Foothills Alliance Church, Calgary
Could what happened forty-two years ago, when church elders identified Miriam’s calling to unreached people, be the norm today? Foothills Church has designated this book as a Legacy Project, a written record of our vision to mobilize the next generation of international workers, and those who will serve the churches here in North America who send them. This book will be a helpful tool for local churches like ours to use in equipping the rising generation of IWs. It will deeply inspire all who embrace the call of Jesus to the nations.—Ian Trigg, D.Min., Lead Pastor, Foothills Alliance Church, Calgary
God has established his church in the world for the purpose of making Christ’s disciples of all peoples. He calls individuals to this work, sends them to places near and far, and sustains them when they face hardships. Are you worried about security and safety in times of uncertainty in your participation in God’s mission? Read Miriam Charter’s book and you will find encouragement in her stories and lessons. A significant contribution.—Tite Tiénou, Ph.D., Research Professor, Theology of Mission, and Dean Emeritus, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL