While May felt like a slow month for us, it also flew by. We spent time outside: going for walks and working from the back deck, surrounded by trees. We watched a family of hawks grow from adolescents learning to fly to adults hunting on their own. We welcomed friends from abroad and showed them around our beloved New York City. And we cooked good food and made memories with friends and family.
In the midst of that, reading didn't happen as often for me. I tried to finish up some reads left lingering from months prior while also digging deeper into some non-fiction books (one you'll see below). I realized that while I love learning and exploring facts and research, there's nothing like ending the day with a good story. That's why I needed the balance of both of these books this month.
Seeking Refuge by Stephen Bauman, Matthew Soerens, and Dr. Issam Smeir
"The richest places in the world are refugee camps... because everyone is created with a purpose, with gifts, and with talents. Refugee camps are full of people who are full of potential, but who cannot use their potential. Maybe some of the problems that the world is facing right now, the solutions are in those people who are stuck in refugee camps." - Come Nzibarega
Why I read it: I was given a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I picked this one to review, because of the work we're looking to do in Turkey.
What it's about: In this important book written for the American church, the authors begin by explaining the global crisis and why it matters to Christians. They start with Jesus' experience as a refugee and then they unpack the fear statements they've heard (I've heard them too!) in the local church - and why we need to turn from fear to love. This book explains the legal process for a refugee coming to the States (and briefly touches on the process coming to Canada and Australia) and elaborates on the emotional stress and need for friendship. It's a call to the reader, and to the Church, to be involved and welcoming.
Why I enjoyed it: This is a very practical book filled with facts and stories - from the authors' lives and also from their work with World Relief. I found this book helpful to understand the process involved in having refugee status and also understanding more of the community dynamics that take place in a family who undergo such traumatic experiences. (Note: As the world is constantly changing, I imagine there could be even more information and stories added to this book now that it is two years past publication.)
Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle
"...and thank you, God, for my good dinner, for the meat and mashed potatoes and gravy and 'sparagus, oh no, God, I forgot, I don't like 'sparagus, and thank you for the milk and rolls and butter. Amen."
Why I read it: Because, how many Madeleine L'Engle books can I read before I leave the proximity of a library?
What it's about: Vicky Austin is the second of four children in the Austin family and she tells the story of this season of their lives. It's one of change and grief and lessons learned for all of them as they open their homes to a young girl who comes from quite a different background.
Why I enjoyed it: This story was delightful and light. It was simple and beautiful and I loved finding rest in the pages. I particularly enjoyed watching how the Austin parents helped the children process through grief and change in their family.
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