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Reflections On A Pilgrimage by Ted Engstrom

Reflections On A Pilgrimage by Ted Engstrom

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Reflections On A Pilgrimage by Ted Engstrom

Hardcover – February 1, 2003

A sweeping personal recollection of Dr. Engstrom's six decades of ministry, from Christian book editor in the 1940s, to head of Youth for Christ in the 1950s and 1960s, to leader of the international World Vision ministry until the late 1980s. In this memoir, Dr. Engstrom shares the personal excitement and the spiritual adventure of ministering in 136 countries around the world.

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From the Back Cover

About the Author

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Foreword by Dr. James Dobson; What a privilege it is to write this foreword for Dr. Ted Engstrom's new book Reflections on a Pilgrimage. He is one of the most influential and respected Christian leaders of our time, having served quietly and often sacrificially in numerous evangelical organizations. Our ministry, Focus on the Family, is blessed to be among them.

I met "Dr. Ted" in 1980 when he was President of World Vision, US. By that time, Focus was only three years old and consisted of about 25 employees. However, our ministry was expanding rapidly which presented us with the challenges of exponential growth. It became obvious that we needed an additional board member who had the managerial experience that the rest of us lacked. Another member, Bobb Biehl, had worked for Dr. Engstrom at World Vision and suggested that I ask him to participate. I wasn't acquainted with him personally but I had heard about his wisdom and dedication to the cause of Christ. Most importantly, he had been where we seemed to be going. Thus, with some apprehension, I approached the busy executive and asked if he would consider joining our board.

Dr. Ted was very gracious, but said that he was already serving on more than 20 boards and really couldn't take on additional responsibility. Besides, he told me with a smile, his wife Dorothy had made it abundantly clear that "enough is enough." I was disappointed but thanked him for his kindness and considered the matter closed. About two weeks later, however, I was asked to show one of the films in my new series to members of the World Vision staff. Dr. Ted was among those present on that afternoon. AS we sat in the dark watching a film on fathering, he sent a note down the row that simply read, "I accept your invitation." (Dr. Engstrom recounts this story in the book but remembered writing, "Count me in" on the note.) Either way, the Lord had spoken to him while listening to me talk about my father. It was a divinely appointed moment!

This story illustrates Dr. Engstrom's great heart for Christian ministry. Thousands of others have benefited from his willingness to serve without compensation or reward, except for the knowledge that he was doing the work of the Lord. Dr. Engstrom has now served on our board as vice chairman for 19 years, and in all that time, he has only missed two meetings - both for unavoidable health reasons.

I wish I could explain adequately the enormous contribution Dr. Ted has had to our ministry. Time and again when we were uncertain about the best path to take, he pointed us in the right direction. I'll never forget a board meeting in October 1993, two months after we had completed our new campus in Colorado Springs. Our financial reserves were depleted, and there was reason to believe that contributions during the upcoming Christmas Season would be lower than the previous year. One budget, which would have required the cancellation of numerous successful programs and set the ministry back for years to come. At that point, Dr. Engstrom rose to his feet. (He often stood when he felt strongly about a matter.) For the next few minutes, he made an eloquent and impassioned speech about how the Lord had taken care of Focus on the Family through the yars. We should, he said, continue to trust Him to meet our needs. Then he urged us to press ahead with our original plans. We did, and God did, and the rest is history.

Dr. Engstrom offered similar direction and wisdom to hundreds of other Christian organizations. But his contribution to Christendom has extended far beyond his board service. His great passion continues to focus on needy families, and especially, on the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His pursuit of those objectives and his effort to ease human suffering has taken him around the world many times.

Reflections on a Pilgrimage presents a fascinating recounting of the experiences and relationships that span this remarkable life. Above all else, Dr. Ted Engstrom is a godly man who has earned the respect of his fellow believers. His accomplishments and Christian service continue to this day, into his eighties. It is my great honor to call him my friend. James C. Dobson, Ph.D., President, Focus on the Family

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