Author: Natalaie Vellacott
Natalie Vellacott took a two-year break from her job with Sussex Police to join the Logos Hope Christian missionary ship. She was forever changed when, the ship having repeatedly broken down in the Philippines, she unexpectedly encountered and fell in love with a group of street teenage boys addicted to a solvent called "rugby." The dirty, wild, miserable, rabble were accustomed to hostility. Their curious approach in order to investigate the foreigners was cautious and sometimes abusive. Local Filipinos watched from a distance, fascinated yet fearful. These were the “rugby boys”--untouchable and invisible, even dangerous and definitely not worthy of time, attention, love and care. But now a small group of highly regarded foreigners seemed intent on drawing attention to them.
A true missionary story about Christian hope being brought to the hopeless in the Philippines...
Reviewer: Jessica G.
I picked this book because the subject is something that interests me – I’ve long had a heart for reaching out to others, especially the underprivileged. In They’re Rugby Boys, Don’t You Know? Natalie tells her personal story of reaching out to street kids in the Philippines.
The number one thing that kept me reading was: it has heart. I could see myself in the situation; I felt for the boys, I understood Natalie’s perspective and dilemmas. I wanted the best for all of them. The author did well in conveying all the details with genuineness and honesty. She doesn’t shy away from talking about failures, or her questions and doubts. I really appreciate that – it makes the story real, the people real. In my opinion it conveyed an accurate picture of the Christian life and missionary efforts. It’s not easy, but the Lord makes it worth it.
Some readers may find the writing style hard to enjoy – it is casual, and nonprofessional. But for me, that added to the book. Each chapter felt like a journal entry, a little window into someone else’s heart and life. It was easy to read and follow, and I read it in a couple of sittings.
I would recommend They’re Rugby Boys, Don’t You Know? to anyone interested in reaching out to others, to anyone who has a burden for third world countries, to anyone wanting to know more about the Christian missionary/evangelist life, and to anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of God’s grace at work in people’s lives today. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Reviewer: Mary Hosmar
Natalie Vellacott took what was to be a two year leave of absence from her job as a police officer. During that time she served aboard the Logos Hope, a missionary ship visiting various countries in the East, a story chronicled in her book The Logos Life.
It was during this time while the ship was in dry-dock in the Philippines for an extended period of time that Ms Vellacott encountered and, subsequently, developed a heart for the rugby boys. These boys, ranging from age 7 to 18 or 19, were the forgotten and often invisible street children who, as often as not, were high on solvents, sniffed to ward off hunger pangs. This book tells the story of the nine month stay in Olongapo, the Philippines, and the work done by Ms. Vellacott and other crew members to try and help these children. The heartbreak of finally having to leave them, and the joy of being able to return a short time later when the ship again had to be in dry-dock, is evident in the story. This return solidified Ms. Vellacott’s resolve to come back to the Philippines after her time on the ship was over.
The last part of the book is the account of that return and the continuation of her work.
The story is told in Ms. Vellacott’s matter-of-fact style: no grandiose claims, no boasting, and no glossing over mistakes and shortcomings. While this may not make great literature, it does present the reader with a truthful account of what life is like for the street children of the Philippines as well as the joys and sorrows of working with them.
Although this book was written before Logos Hope, I read Logos Hope first and am glad I did. It helps to understand some of the difficulties and thought processes encountered in Rugby Boys.
My only criticism of the book is that sometimes the story is hard to follow as Ms. Vellacott will interject background details and other information during the describing of an incident.
I appreciate the follow-up material on each of the boys mentioned in the book.
This is a must-read for anyone wanting to do mission work, especially in the Philippines.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.