Please, God, Don't Make Me Go!: A Foot-Dragger's Memoir

Please, God, Don't Make Me Go!: A Foot-Dragger's Memoir

by Linda K. Thomas


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What’s a comfortable—and cowardly—suburbanite to do when her husband wants to move their young family to Colombia, South America, so he can teach missionaries’ kids?

Linda K. Thomas has always planned to chase the American dream. Adventure doesn’t appeal to her, and she’s ill-equipped for missions work. She begs God, “Please don’t make me go!” but after months of soul-searching, she hears him say, “Go!”

So, with flimsy faith and wobbly courage, she sets out with her husband and kids on a life-changing adventure at the end of the road in the middle of nowhere with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

When culture shock and tropical heat threaten to undo Linda, she’s tempted to run away and hike back to the U.S. Instead, she fights to settle in and soon falls in love with her work alongside modern-day heroes of the faith disguised as regular folks. God has sent her where she didn’t know she wanted to go.

Once life is under control and easy, she gets a surprise—a request to go to one of the world’s most dangerous drug-dealing regions where hundreds of people have lost their lives. Colombia is perilous in other ways, too. Marxist guerrillas don’t like Americans or missionaries, proving it with bombs, kidnapping, and eventually murder.

Linda won't trust God to help her make the trip, and she can’t trust herself, either. Gripped by anxiety, she longs to stay in the only safe place, the mission center. She prays, “Please, God, don’t make me go!” But once again He urges, “Go!” Thus begins a fierce internal battle.

In this heartwarming, sometimes humorous, sometimes shocking memoir, you’ll walk alongside a young wife and mother as she faces two universal struggles: choosing between her plans and God's, and choosing faith and courage over fear and cowardice.

Please, God, Don’t Make Me Go! will motivate the timid to cancel membership in the Society of the Faint-Hearted, and it will inspire every reader to enjoy God more and embrace new adventures He dreams up.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692196472
Publisher: Linda Thomas
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Pages: 292
Sales rank: 297,729
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Linda K. Thomas, her husband, Dave, and their children lived in Colombia, South America, for three years working with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She tells stories and shares photos in her newest memoir, Please, God, Don't Make Me Go! She shares even more about their adventures at her blog,, and on the memoir's Facebook Page at

After returning to the States, Linda served as Teaching Leader for BSF International (Bible Study Fellowship). Then she and Dave, as empty-nesters, took an eight-year assignment in Africa, again with Wycliffe. Her memoir, Grandma's Letters from Africa, covers her first four years working as a missionary journalist. That memoir received Editor's Choice Award, Rising Star Award, and Reader's Choice Award from the publisher. Readers enjoy additional stories and photos at her blog at, and her Facebook Page for the book at

Fans can follow Linda's author page on Facebook at

Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and blog posts. In addition to speaking, she teaches the craft of writing memoir to community and church groups and through her blog, Spiritual Memoirs 101, at

Natives of Washington State, she and her husband live part-time near their grandsons and part-time near their granddaughters.

Table of Contents


Map of Colombia


Please, God, don’t make me go!

“Strategic times of internal war”

“Terrorism was to affect our lives very significantly. . . .”

Of pescado and jamón and bif, of kind people and cool, damp bedding

Of Andean hairpin turns, vast azure skies, and steaming plains

“Ya wanna see a real, live boa constrictor?”

So much dogged effort

“Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Baffled, bamboozled, and befuddled

Learning from strong people

“Happiness, not in another place but this place. . . .”

And God said, “Let there be critters and creepy-crawlies.”

"From ghoulies and ghosties and long-legetty beasties. . . .”

They lived on the edge—through many dangers, toils, and snares.

Ordinary folks slogging along because of God’s grace

A black Christmas and a life turned around

Wrongly accused—again

Another bomb threat, and a dead pig on the kitchen floor

“Sorting these pieces, finding a pattern. . . .”

A visit from Mom

Airstrip escapades on a trip to Uwa-land

Those were the quirky days the Lord had made.

A matter of life or death

Please, God, don’t make me go!

God your Father knows your needs even before you tell Him.

My choice: The pain of courage or the shame of cowardice

Three vulnerable women, three small children—easy targets

He couldn’t say the words “plane crash” but. . . .

The Whistling Place


Fear is a curious thing.

God, “our last and feeblest resource”

When the going gets tough, you can count on a JAARS pilot.

“We was cripples all of us. . . .”

The mundane, chaotic, unexpected, and seemingly inconsequential

“God’s in His heaven—All’s right with the world.”

Our big decision: Would we stay or leave?

Without young people, how poor our lives would be.

“We’re coming back later and if you’re here, we’ll kill you.”

It’ll be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.

If a man’s gift is teaching, let him teach.

Better, higher, and finer than anything I could have dreamed

At the hanger in The Evangel one last time



About the Author



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