To all my loyal readers, family and friends,
I have been quiet on here for a long time, and the reason is something I can finally share with you. I am so excited to tell you that I have been working on a project that is near and dear to my heart: formatting and editing and preparing my father’s memoirs for publishing! In His Exciting Service officially went live November 18 but it hasn’t had a proper launch, so my dad is here with me to get that underway. It has taken six years to get to this point and I can’t wait for you all to read my dad’s awesome book. Before that though, I hope you will sit back, relax and enjoy the following interview with one of the most amazing men I have ever known. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I do author interviews from time to time and I’ve had authors with some pretty amazing books on here. At least one of those authors has gone on to be a bestselling author. I like to think I had a tiny hand in that. Regardless, there is no interview to compare to interviewing one’s own father. This is definitely one for the books (yeah, pun intended).
So, without further ado, I would like you meet Art Mitchell.
McGuire: Hi Art…Poppa. Not sure what to call you in an interview setting since I’ve never interviewed you before. (laughing) Thanks so much for coming on my blog and telling my readers about your new book, In His Exciting Service.
Mitchell: Thanks for having me. And I go by many names; Pop, Dad, Poppa…Art will do though.
McGuire: Ok. So tell me, for my readers’ benefit, why did you write your life story?
Mitchell: I suppose one reason for writing this is that I can hardly believe it myself. As I have shared parts of my life story, which is really the story of what God has done and permitted in my life, it all seems quite unreal. As a child and as I was growing up I was a proficient liar. I was good at it. I lied to make people believe that I was more and could do more than was true. It’s funny now, as I look back over these 70 plus years, reality has turned out to be a much more fantastic tale than anything that I could have made up back then. So it is helpful for me to recount all that God has permitted me to experience.
But probably the main reasons for writing this story are Isaac, Keirsten, Aaron and Vesper, my precious grandchildren. God has taken me through much, although I know He has more to take me through. He has taught me much, although I know so little. My story is His-story. It is the story of His faithfulness, love, mercy, grace, enabling, provision and long-suffering. It is a heritage that I want to leave for those with whom God has richly blessed me.
McGuire: All wonderful reasons to write your life story. You write a lot of amazing stories of your times in Africa in this book. Was there ever a time you just looked around you, or read over what you’ve written and wondered why God chose you for such an incredible ministry?
Mitchell: I don’t think there is a day goes by that I don’t consciously wonder about that. God could have chosen someone from the “right side of the tracks”, someone qualified, but I think that He just wanted to show people that He could make something out of nothing.
McGuire: In two sentences, how would you sum up your book?
Mitchell: It’s a story of my life from a limited perspective. I am not the hero of my story.
McGuire: In His Exciting Service wasn’t just the title of this book. It was also the complimentary closing of all your newsletters from over 23 years of ministry overseas. Why did you choose that particular phrase?
Mitchell: When I wrote that first newsletter in June of 1972, without thinking a lot about it, I signed it of with “In His exciting service, Art & Willie Mitchell.” I can’t remember exactly why, but I had no idea then the exciting life that God had planned for us.
McGuire: The writing, editing and formatting of your book was very much a ‘labour of love’ and took a dedicated team to get it ready for publication. Was there ever a time you felt like throwing in the towel? If so, how did you get past that?
Mitchell: I’m not sure that I wanted to “throw in the towel” but many times over the last years, I didn’t think that it would ever get finished.
McGuire: Getting this book ready for publication was quite a journey. As you were writing, talking to people about the book and all that, was there anything that surprised you?
Mitchell: The thing that surprised me most was that when people heard I was doing it, so many said that they wanted to read it. In the beginning, I thought that I might try to get a dozen copies made for close friends and family. As time went by and more and more people encouraged me to write, I began to write with more than just the grand kids in mind.
McGuire: Thank you so much for coming on my blog and telling us a bit about your book. Before you go, can you tell my readers where they can get a copy?
Mitchell: Well, if you’re local to me in Sutton, Ontario I would be happy to get a copy to you for $22.95 Canadian. If you’re a little farther away, I do have my book on both Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Createspace is also a good place to order my book. In the not too distant future my book will be available in ebook format for Kindle on Amazon. When that’s updated, there will be an updated link or something like that, right?
McGuire: Yes. As soon as the ebook is ready, I will post an updated link on Facebook as well as here on my blog. Thank you again so much for coming on my blog today. I look forward to getting my own book soon!
Mitchell: Thank you for having me.
Art Mitchell was born in Toronto on July 2, 1942. He has lived more ‘lives’ in his 70 plus years than most have in twice the time. God called him to ministry fresh out of the navy and his passion has always been to reach the lost. As a pilot for first Africa Inland Mission, then The Shantymen and finally Mission Aviation Fellowship, he did just that up until he returned home to Canada in 1990. There he continued to minister to others through counseling missionaries back from the mission field or those being sent out. He also made the first prototype Experimental aircraft (the CH 801) to be used in the Amazon while owner of Flypass. Many Christians and non-Christians have been touched by God as a result of Art’s obedience in following the great commission in his community. Father to three, grandfather to four and husband of one, Art embodies Christ to the world around him. His story is one of struggles, redemption and above all, gives glory to God.
As a bonus, I’m adding a picture my dad just sent me today. It’s a real wonderful moment for an author when they can hold a box of books that they wrote themselves.