Robert Maxwell was promised for ministry seven years before he was born, and his life work would take him to British India in the half century leading up to its independence. Maxwell spent his life keeping his father’s promise to enter the ministry, and he would be a formative part of the missionary movement that shaped the Presbyterian Church in today’s Pakistan.
In A Promised Life, author Elizabeth Paige Maxwell McRight tells the story of her grandfather Robert Maxwell and his role in the missionary movement, all through the lens of her family’s part in it and with many wonderful letters and correspondence left behind. Tracing his life from a farm in Upstate New York to a world strange and new to him and his bride—a world where he spent forty-two years in mission service—this chronicle both tells of the joy and the sacrifice in his family life as well as documents Maxwell’s mission work in the first half of the twentieth century, which would lead to the growth of the Presbyterian Church in Pakistan today.
The Maxwells felt a sense of duty to raise sons and daughters who would make their own contributions to their communities, and their story is part of the larger tale of the spread of the gospel far beyond their own households. They are not particularly remarkable on the world stage, yet their story points beyond themselves to represent the countless others who devoted their lives to being Christ’s witnesses.