Life’s Great Dare by Christa Hesselink

Mark PetersenBook Reviews

The thing that drew me to Christa Hesselink, at first, was knowing she walked 800 kilometres across Spain alone.   This is something we have in common.  Having experienced the pain and joy of the Camino de Santiago binds us together, even though we walked at different times in 2014.  Since then, we’ve become friends, and are now partners on an innovative project to offer small grants to young social entrepreneurs through The Spark Initiative.

Her new book is appropriately being released around Easter.  Life’s Great Dare: Risking It All for the Abundant Life, articulates some of the qualities that make her a risk-taker, pilgrim and leader.  It’s not what you might expect if you’re looking for a leadership book.  Many books that help us enhance our leadership discuss organizational skills, priority and goal setting, time management, and the like.  Christa does not. Instead, she takes us back to foundational principles that lead to a life of abundance.  And they aren’t what you might think.

Instead of having it all together, she suggests surrender, vulnerability, and death are along the pathway.  She recounts he own personal experiences of facing death and deep grief that forced her to rethink her concept of faith.  She states:

“My pain was too big for the God I had come to know.  I could no longer have a relationship with that version of God.  I needed to deconstruct my understanding of God to rebuild a more durable, more accurate understanding of who he actually was…” (page 90)

Christa doesn’t leave us in the pit.  She demonstrates in her book how she moved from a deep hole of pain to rebirth and freedom through the long process of time and learning to reinterpret life’s experiences through new criteria.  Her vision of God’s love for humanity became much broader than that she was raised with, and it becomes clear that unless we embrace this bigger picture, our lives will be impoverished in comparison.  These are the sorts of lessons one learns while walking the Camino of life.

100% of profits from her book will be directed to support vulnerable children through the work of World Vision Canada and Mennonite Central Committee.  Learn more and purchase this book at