This tragic story of faith, love, and forgiveness tells of Moody Bible Institute graduates Bonnie Witherall and her husband, Gary, who vowed to make a difference in the world by entering the mission field. The couple relocated to Sidon, Lebanon, where Bonnie worked in a clinic with poor, pregnant Palestinian women, and Gary assisted two churches.

The Powerful True
Story of Life
Lived in Radical
Devotion to God

Gary Witherall
Elizabeth Cody Newenhuyse
275 pp.; $14.99

"It was our love for Jesus that drove us to let go of what normal life could offer," Gary writes. "We had counted the cost and knew the dangers. We felt that Jesus lived in the same way, with few possessions, no home, and an itinerary that took him to places where people would possibly want to kill him."

Their dream turned into a nightmare in November 2002, when an unknown assailant incomprehensibly gunned down Bonnie at the clinic. Rather than producing a hagiography, Gary portrays Bonnie as a Christian who experienced her share of doubt.

Journal entries, black-and-white photographs, poems, e-mails, and song lyrics flesh out this slim, passionate memoir.

Related Elsewhere:

Total Abandon is available from and other book retailers.

More information and a sample chapter are available from Tyndale.

Gary Witherall is a speaker with Ambassador Speaker Bureau where they have posted a short biography and video clips.

Weblog commented on media coverage of the martyrdom and anti-missionary feelings at the time of the event.

For book lovers, our 2005 CT book awards are available online, along with our book awards for 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, and 1997, as well as our Books of the Twentieth Century. For other coverage or reviews, see our Books archive and the weekly Books & Culture Corner.

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