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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Eat this book

Ezekiel is a good read.  For one, as we live in a world of uncertainty at the whims of political maneuvering and the violence of angry fearful humans, it reminds us that this is not a new situation.  Yesterday news broke in Kenya that a senior official in the independent agency that runs the elections (as in importing ballots, securing polling stations, counting votes) was tortured and murdered.  The unease is palpable.  Yet God's people over time and across the world have almost always lived in less than ideal security situations.  And even in times of invasion, exile, and injustice, God reminds them that the whole world is in His hands.  The prophets continuously not only call for repentance, but also give glimpses of the trials ahead.  Then when those come, people are less surprised and more resilient.  Oh, the temple is being destroyed, but we know the bigger picture, God can still bring about good.

As a book devourer, I can relate to the graphic picture of eating a scroll that tasted like manna, a honey flavored wafer.  Books sustain, warn, enlighten, cast light, show paths, give previews to what may come in life.

And last week, I got the AMAZING TREAT of seeing my own books do just that.  We hosted a family whose hearts God had stirred to explore working in rural Kenya, at a struggling mission hospital, to boost the Kenyan colleagues who are leading the work, to train others, to embody the Gospel. All very inspiring, but they also have an 8 and 12 year old.  How can kids make the transition from American heartland life with its state fairs, soccer camps, school plays, library trips, tight-knit church communities, accessible grandparents . . to life in the Kenyan tea fields with mud-floored schools and donkeys carrying water?

Well, it turns out, eating a book can be a start.  Our first night together we went on a hike down by the lake, and the 12-year-old alertly warned us of mpali, the biting soldier ants, crossing our path.  How did he know?  He'd read about them in A Chameleon, A Boy, and A Quest.  While parents toured the hospital, these kids eagerly went to see various school options in town, all a far cry from their previous experience.  How did they process that?  Well, the schools reminded them of various scenes from A Bird, A Girl, and A Rescue.  A wagtail features prominently in that book, common in Uganda but not often seen around us here in Kenya.  So it was a kind touch from God when one hopped on a wall right behind the 8-year-old as we ate lunch on almost our last day. (By the time I whipped out my phone you can barely see the bird in grass to left . . )

In September, the third book in the Rwendigo Tales series will be available:  A Forest, A Flood, and an Unlikely Star.  It's a good read for the plot, but watching these two kids encounter Africa for the first time gave me a different hope.  If kids can read about Africa in stories that enfold the hard parts in the reality of adventure and hope, if kids can relate to other children grappling with poverty and hunger as likable fellow humans, if kids can recognize what might have felt foreign as familiar . . there is hope for our world to grow a bit more solid, connected, strong.

PS Also available on Amazon in paperback or KINDLE:  Tale One, Two, and Three.

1 comment:

Hahs Household said...

Looking forward to book 3! I have 6 kids. The three oldest talk a lot about serving in foreign countries. They have these ideas because of your books and others we have read. Thank you for helping us give our children a view of the world.