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The Lewis Legacy-Issue 83, Winter 2000

Hours of Golden Reading: Missionary Memories Original Article

Kathryn Lindskoog told the following story in 1973 to about 100 people atthe tenth anniversary commemoration of C. S. Lewis death that she had
arranged in Santa Ana, California (reminiscent of St. Anne’s).

“Robert Lehnhart was serving with Missionary Aviation Fellowship in Ecuador when he first got a copy of Surprised by Joy, the autobiography of C. S. Lewis. He carried his paperback copy with him on a three-day mountain trek through mud and rough terrain to check a remote airstrip. A grass roof kept the rain off, a smoky fire helped keep the bugs off, and through that little paperback Bob was transported to cool, clean England for hours at a time as he relished Lewis’s account of his life and conversion to Christ.

“One of the statements that Bob read in Surprised by Joy was “we made the discovery (some people never make it) that real books can be taken on a journey and that hours of golden reading can so be added to its other
delights” (pp. 56-57). In this case hours of golden reading were added to
slogging over mountains through thick brush and bugs. Incidentally, Bob
still has that very copy of the book, and he claims that it still smells
like smoke.”