“Tales of the Not Forgotten” by Beth Guckenberger

Tales of the Not Forgotten is a set of stories of children from five different countries written by missionary Beth Guckenberger.  Each one features a child facing an impossible situation when God shows Himself in a big way.  The publisher describes the book this way:


Follow these real-life stories as they take you on a journey to faraway lands and unknown faces. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver writing endings you’d never imagine!

Joel dares to ask for what he can’t have. Seraphina sacrifices what she can’t afford to give. Ibrahim looks for an answer buried out of reach. Christiana, saved by a mission, searches for her own.

These are the tales of the ones the world doesn’t see . . . the tales of the not forgotten.
In this collection of four real-life stories written for preteens, a compelling storyteller paints a picture of God’s dynamic movement in four foreign cultures, inspiring children to trust that God is weaving a story in their lives as well.

This resource will shrink the macro picture down to approachable, individual stories of real children and teach about fundamental survival issues. The stories address some of the challenging questions that kids have and weave God’s promises to orphans into each one.

The Tales of the Not Forgotten Leader’s Guide is a 6-session kids’ missions resource (sold separately) that walks adults through an easy-to-follow guide for making the abstract real and for designing an action plan to help others.

Preteens will be challenged to answer the questions:How do I pray? What can I give? Where can I go? Who will I serve?

The stories in this book are amazing.  I’ve always loved reading about how God works things out in just the perfect way, as only He can, but when He shows up for children who have so little, the stories can be difficult to read.  The cover of the book contains a warning under the author’s name that states that “These stories may change the way you see the world,” and it’s true.  I read this book on a lazy afternoon while watching my children play with friends, and I kept thinking that they were all going to wonder why I was crying over a book on a gorgeous summer’s day.  After reading these stories, it’s difficult to see the world as ‘out there’ instead of ‘next door’ and impossible not to want to help more children like these.

That’s where the leader’s guide comes in.  The leader’s guide is absolutely perfect.  Somehow I missed the boat and expected a video-like teaching series that could be part of a study, but what the CD actually contains is so much better.  It’s not a DVD at all but a data CD that contains everything you would need to turn this book into a series of mission lessons for kids.  It is a simple set of Word documents set up in a systematic hierarchy containing skits, memory verses, pictures of real kids to serve as visuals, recipes, math problems, activities to send home for families to use, and simple mission projects that the kids can do to take action within their own communities.  With this guide, you won’t need to search for ice breakers, printables, or ways to involve families, because it’s all here.  The research and planning has been done for you, so you can gather your children and begin.  It’s truly perfect for young youth groups, homeschool groups, Sunday School classes, etc.

That’s exactly what we’re going to do.  I knew after reading this book that it would be great to share these stories with my family for a few reasons:  they make great lessons of God’s faithfulness, and as a homeschooling family,  the format of the book is wonderful.  Each story is a separate chapter, and notes are spread throughout the book disguised as postcards and stamps that define foreign words and terms and help clarify customs that we might not understand.  In this way the book itself is very educational, but combined with the lessons and activities in the leader’s guide, it’s a complete class.  After sharing this information with my pastor, we’re meeting today to determine how we might use this resource best within our church.  I’m excited that our children will be doing this with their friends, but if that hadn’t worked out, we’d be doing it at home as a family.  Guckenberger has made it that easy – and it’s that important, too.

I read many great books, and some stick in my head for a long time afterwards.  Some I’m eager to share with my friends and family because I don’t want them to miss such a great read, but never before have I had plans to share a book with so many others within days of turning the last page.  As the cover states, your worldview will change as you read this book, but you also can’t help but want to be a a part of someone else’s story – to have a hand in helping them see that the God of the Universe has not forgotten them.

This book will show you how.

For more other reviews about Tales of the Not Forgotten, visit the blog hop here.  To go ahead and purchase your own copy of this book, click here.


Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries (based in Cincinnati, OH) which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Back2Back Ministries connects willing workers to open hearts through international and local ministry opportunities. Their ministry is currently caring and providing for orphan children and needy people in Mexico, Nigeria, India and most recently, Haiti.

Beth travels and speaks regularly at women’s and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services. Her topics include orphan care, missions, parenting, marriage/intimacy, and faith. Her story-telling style captures audiences, and she draws from her field experience as a missionary and parent for illustrations to biblical concepts. In addition to her latest release, Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing 2012), Beth has writtenRelentless Hope (Standard, 2011) and Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008).

The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico where they have hosted thousands of guests on their ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted additions to their family, Beth and Todd are raising nine children.

Learn how you can join Beth in ministry at www.bethguckenberger.com or www.back2backministries.org.


I received a free copy of Tales of the Not Forgotten from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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