Living in the highlands of Ethiopia was like living in the Wild West. No one trusted anybody. A gun or a doola was always at hand – and often used. Farming was primitive, and famine was always close at hand. Evil spirits held real power over people’s lives. Theirs was not a good life, and we wanted to help.

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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite

Lauralee Lindholm’s Out of Darkness Into Light recounts her and her husband Ray’s Ethiopian ministry since 1973. Their mobile teaching included literacy classes, medical aid, and Bible teachings, despite initial hesitation toward methods like a film program. Challenges, such as suspicions and accusations, were met with prayer, resulting in miraculous recoveries and spiritual encounters. Initiatives like a rug weaving project fostered economic and spiritual growth despite skepticism. As political turmoil and persecution grew, they continued to address societal issues like alcoholism and premarital sex, emphasizing faith’s transformative power, as seen in the healing of a man with a twenty-year injury. Their Ethiopian journey culminates with farewells and reflection, and this book, in which Lindholm continues in her desire to share the Gospel.

A great deal has changed in Ethiopia since the 1970s, which is why I was drawn to Out of Darkness Into Light by Lauralee Lindholm. It’s a time capsule between two covers, with the added benefit of a memoir that tells what it was like to be a missionary there nearly half a century ago. The most interesting person in Lindholm’s recollections to me is Priest Girma, initially a practitioner of wizardry, who underwent such a transformative journey that he publicly burned his magic books. As far as Lindholm’s experiences go, she describes a scene where an act of warfare in the form of the demonic possession of a man presents itself, and through rigorous prayer that leads to success, she says, “We knew how Elijah must have felt when he challenged the prophets of Baal and won.” The writing is clean and easy to follow, and I think this book will be well received by those who are interested in the history of Christian missionary work in the 20th century, as well as those who are familiar with Lindholm and would like to read her experiences firsthand.

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 Lauralee Lindholm

A high school valedictorian and a college graduate with honors, Lauralee has spent more than a decade traveling with her husband on their Christian missions across Africa. By the time they returned to the United States, they had learned six languages and gained a trove of powerful experiences with God that they wished to share with others.


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