There is nothing more relaxing than being on holiday, sitting in the sun, and looking forward to some good reads! It could well be that this year the first two are not an option, but wherever you find yourself, create a little space to escape with a great book. These three stories are all inspirational, of overcoming impossibly difficult circumstances. They tell of those who in the middle of a civil war, extreme poverty, injustice and severe opposition, testify to God’s faithfulness and miraculous answer’s to prayer.
Good Reads: The Night The Angels Came by Chrissie Chapman
This story is set in Burundi, a small country in Africa, and is primarily a story of one woman’s faith. How she responds to the need in front of her, by doing what she can and then seeing God do the impossible. Chrissie is a qualified midwife, who goes out to Burundi to open a maternity clinic, and dispensary, in a rural area of the country.
When she has been there for only three years, the government is overthrown and a coup is declared. The country descends into civil war, which has a devastating effect on the poverty-stricken population. Chrissie responds, to the overwhelming need around her, by providing a home for abandoned babies.
“We are called to be extraordinary and because of Jesus we can walk in the fullness of the life He has called us to live, and be the people He has called us to be.”Chrissie Chapman
Out of the bleakness of abandonment and loss of hope, comes CRIB (Children Rescued In Burundi). This is a powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness to those who are willing to step out and live the gospel. This book deserves to be in my top three good reads for this summer, it is emotionally moving and at the same time spiritually powerful.
Recommended as an inspiring read. Available from Amazon click on the link to see more.
God’s Hostage – Andrew Brunson with Craig Borlase
Andrew Brunson is an American Pastor who, along with his wife and family, worked for over twenty-one years in Turkey as missionaries. By 2016 his children are young adults and back in the USA. Meanwhile, he and his wife had just applied for permanent resident status in Turkey. Then, without any prior warning, he was arrested by the Turkish police! They accuse him of espionage, relating to an attempted military coup.
He was eventually charged with an attempt to overthrow the government. The mandatory sentence for that crime, is life imprisonment with solitary confinement. He is held in jail for 735 days, during which time he descends into a state of anxiety and distress. In the book he is open about sharing his confusion and anguish. He struggled to come to terms with what was happening.
You are drawn along the story, concerned for how he will survive this imprisonment! The epilogue is a wonderful testimony of those lessons that we learn in times of severe difficulties. God’s faithfulness, loyalty and love are never under question, it is our faithfulness, trust and love that are being tested. Andrew states that he had to learn to stand in the dark, to persevere apart from his feelings, perceptions, and circumstances.
“Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and lean on his God.”Isaiah 50:10
Recommended as an engrossing read. Available from Amazon
Defying Jihad – Esther Ahmad with Craig Borlase
This is a story of a young girl growing up in Pakistan, in a Muslim household. When extremists start to influence her father, the affect is felt by the whole family. At the age of eighteen Esther volunteers for Jihad, to kill for radical Islam. In her view this will bless her family, and earn the love of her own father.
“If you truly love Allah, you will die for him.
Your death will mean much reward for you and your family in heaven.
Only death will prove your love.”
Two nights before she was due to leave to be trained as a Jihadi, she had a dream which changed her life for ever. The outcome is that she converts to Christianity but leaving Islam means the threat of a death sentence. Led by her father, she is challenged to a series of public debates against the town’s Muslim clerics. If Esther loses the debate, she must renounce her faith.
This book is a powerful testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness in a time of great difficulty and trial. Eventually Esther was able to escape from Pakistan to a new life, first in Malaysia and then in the USA. Finally free to worship God.
“I love the way we Christians can engage with and debate about the Bible – it is strong enough to withstand our questions. And searching for truth is exactly what we are encouraged to do.”Esther Ahmed
Recommended as a gripping read. Available from Amazon
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