St. Davids, PA, January 7, 2014: Faculty/student collaboration has produced a new book, Wild and Wonderful: Tourism, Faith and Communities, by Rev. Stan LeQuire and Chantelle Du Plessis. Rev. Stan LeQuire is the instructural designer and an adjunct faculty member in the Eastern University School of Leadership and Development. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in sustainable development. Chantelle du Plessis is a South African who lives in BogotĂˇ, Colombia. She is co-owner of the tourism business Andes EcoTours and is a graduate of Eastern Universityâ€™s master's program in international development
Wild and Wonderful, published by Resource PublicationsÂ in Oregon, is the result of their research over the past several years. On the cover, it says, "After logging thousands of miles in planes, jeeps, dugout canoes, pickup trucks, bicycles, and on foot, LeQuire and du Plessis offer insights into how Christians around the world are using tourism to develop their villages while caring for both creation and culture. Based on a multi-year research project, this book showcases innovative projects that Christian villagers and faith-based organizations are engaging to alleviate poverty through business ventures. Through a unique mix of travelogue and theological reflection, this book concludes with a challenge to the status quo of current short-term mission practice and provides thoughtful alternatives."
Rev. LeQuire was previously director of continuing education for Palmer Seminary of Eastern University and the past director of the Evangelical Environmental Network, a creation care ministry of Evangelicals for Social Action. He has also served as a missionary in Europe, Africa and Asia and as the pastor of churches in Maine and Massachusetts. Rev. LeQuire is certified in online learning and course development through Temple University. He has also published an anthology of sermons on creation care called The Best Preaching on Earth.
These are just some of the endorsements Wild and Wonderful (ISBN: 978-1-62032-868-2) has received:
â€śIâ€™ve long been a fan of Stan LeQuire and his tireless labor to bring shalom to Godâ€™s wondrous, yet beleaguered creationâ€”both people and planet. He and Chantelle du Plessis continue that ministry by bringing critical analysis and insight into the growing field of ecotourism and, even better, connect it to our Christian faith.â€ť Â Tom Rowley, Executive Director, A Rocha USA
â€śIf you are looking for ways to helpfully engage the poor of the Third World that are theologically informed, culturally sensitive, and respectfully creative, you will have to give this book two thumbs up.â€ť Dr. Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus, Eastern University
â€śThis useful book will help you plan a trip with a purpose. Highly recommended!â€ť Â Nancy Sleeth, co-founder of Blessed Earth and author of Almost Amish: Â One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life
"It sounds too good to be true: economic development to reduce poverty in a way that protects the environment and respects indigenous cultures--while offering stunning experiences and spectacular sights for eco-tourists. Â But it is happening. Â This delightful, carefully researched book tells encouraging stories and offers helpful analysis on how to expand and improve this exciting, important development.â€ť Â Ronald J. Sider, Senior Distinguished Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry, and Public Policy (retired), Palmer Seminary of Eastern University
â€śFINALLY a significant, creative, respectful approach for short-term missions. Â Moves beyond charity and good feelings. Â Examples are powerful and compelling.â€ť Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent, The Wesleyan Church Â Â
â€ś...we are given an exciting little volume that is a guide to create sustainable businesses and to present great places around the world where beauty is experienced.â€ť Â Dwight Gibson, The Exploration Group Â
"Finally a book that combines the best of faith-based development and the respect for creation!" Dr. Connie Harris Ostwald, Associate Professor of Economics and Development, Messiah College
"More people have the capacity to travel and short-term missions is not what it used to be. There comes a time and place when we need to step back and reflect on what we are doing and how we can do it with more honor, integrity and power. Wild and Wonderful takes us on a journey around the world, yet without romanticizing the travels or the people or the solutions." Mark Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Russell Media and author of The Missional Entrepreneur: Principles and Practices for Business as Mission
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