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Trailblazer: A Visionary’s Journey

post written by Emma Filbrun

Trailblazer: A Visionary's Journey by Rachael LofgrenTitle: Trailblazer: A Visionary’s Journey
Author: Rachael Lofgren
Major Themes: Amish, Costa Rica, Mennonites, Missionaries
Synopsis: Sanford Yoder led a life of adventure, from a farm boy in Oklahoma to a missionary in Costa Rica.

We have read a lot of books by Pablo Yoder out loud together. Most recently were his books for children about his childhood, Home on the Rock Pile and Home on the Blue Ridge. Now, I’ve come across Trailblazer: A Visionary’s Journey, about Pablo’s father, Sanford Yoder. I found it quite interesting to read the same stories from a different perspective.

Sanford’s earliest memories were of the prairie in Oklahoma, where his father was trying to farm. The family moved several times, however, ending up in Kansas and then in Virginia. Young Sanford became a rebel, and joining his family’s Amish church didn’t do anything for his heart. God was faithful, however, and soon the rebel yielded his life to Jesus. And off he went on a life of adventure!

If you’ve read any of Pablo’s books, you will know about the family’s life running a children’s home in Virginia and then moving to Costa Rica to evangelize through colonization. Their story is fascinating—but I do feel for Sanford’s wife Martha. Being married to a pioneer is not easy.

I could especially relate to Chapter 18. Soon after the Yoder family moved to Costa Rica, a volcano erupted close to their home. The thoughts and feelings they experienced made me think of our own life. We moved to a new country several years ago, and have also lived through natural disasters, earthquakes in our case (which the Yoder family also experienced a few years later). Some of their challenges with their children also struck a chord with me. I appreciated seeing how Sanford tried to raise his sons as God would want him to.

The life of Sanford Yoder is a challenge to anyone who wants to live for the Lord. Though not a perfect man, he was sold out to Jesus and poured out his life to bring others to salvation. Trailblazer is a beautiful picture of a Godly man.

No warnings!

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults


Links to buy Trailblazer: A Visionary’s Journey:

Amazon: Paperback | Audio CD

AbeBooks: View Choices on

Other Places: Christian Light Publications—Paperback   |   TGS International—Paperback • Audio CD


Amish, Costa Rica, Mennonites, Missionaries

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