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Meet the Author: Sarah Young Print Email
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Wednesday, 18 August 2010 10:20 AM America/New_York

Young_Sarah_MeetTheAuthorMissionary Sarah Young has written a children’s edition of her best-selling devotional Jesus Calling. Thomas Nelson releases Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids this month.


How did the idea of a children’s version of Jesus Calling come about?

More than anything, we hear that Jesus Calling touches people’s hearts by taking scripture and sharing it in language that helps people experience Jesus’ presence. Children desire that same relational experience with the Lord and that is what I hope we’ve provided in this 365-day devotional. Creating a children’s version allows Jesus Calling to be a family experience so that children and parents will receive the same devotional theme each day.

Was it easy to convey the same messages to younger readers?

Because the devotionals are based on Scripture, we were able to take the thoughts for each day and simplify some of the language and examples. The core of the message remains true to the Bible text and is accessible to all ages.

What led to the publication of Jesus Calling?

In 1996 I followed a two-hour retreat guide based on Matt. 14:22-23, where Jesus calls Peter to walk on the water with Him. Toward the end of this retreat time, I encountered the question: What is Jesus calling you to do that feels as impossible as walking on water? I knew the answer immediately—write for publication. So I made a commitment to do this, even though I had no idea what I would write. Three years earlier I had begun “listening” to Jesus first thing in the morning, writing down what I heard (or saw) in my mind. I began to compile the best of these writings into daily readings. These eventually became Jesus Calling.

When did you first realize it connected with people so powerfully?

I realized this several years before it was published. With my permission, friends made copies of my manuscript and gave it out to others, who also made copies to give out. Then, after Jesus Calling was published, I was astonished to hear people say time after time: “Each day’s reading seems to be written just for me.” These and similar comments came from such a diverse range of people that I realized God’s Spirit was working powerfully to accomplish this.


Have you been surprised by its success?

Yes. I was hoping Jesus Calling would sell steadily for a long time, but I wasn’t expecting it to become a best-seller. I’m thankful and amazed!

Where has your missionary calling taken you?

We have lived and worked on two continents, in two countries and in two cities in each country. In Japan we worked in the Tokyo area and in Suzuka—a much smaller city. The two cities in Australia are Melbourne and Perth—on opposite coasts of the continent.


Where are you serving now and with whom?

We currently live in Australia, where we work with the Presbyterian Church of Western Australia—doing church planting.

Will there be more writing projects?

I am doing a little writing these days, but I cannot commit myself to a writing project until my health improves.

You have been struggling with sickness recently?

Since 2001 I have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease and primary hyperparathyroidism. I’m convinced that the prayers of God’s people have kept me going—and kept me writing.

Which devotional writers and books have enriched your own life?

Streams in the Desert; Andrew Murray’s devotional books in “The Secret” series; The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence; Frank Laubach’s letters; God Calling.