New Amish Christian fiction and a giveaway!
Today I’m happy to have Suzanne Woods Fisher stopping by. She just released The Calling which is the second book in The Inn at Eagle Hill series. If you haven’t had your daily devotional yet today, you’ll be blessed by her words! Oh, and thanks to Suzanne and her publisher (thanks, Revell!) we have 3 copies of The Calling to give away today! All of the scoop is at the bottom of the post so see you there in a minute!
Can One Person Make a Difference?
“Don’t worry what you could do if you lived your life over; get busy with what’s left.” Amish proverb
Consider Victoria Williams of Richmond, California. Eleven years ago, when Victoria was 77 (did you catch that? She was seventy-seven years old!), she saw a need in her community for a weekly soup kitchen. She knew she was a good cook, but she would need some qualifications to serve others. So she took the required courses for food safety and preparation and got to work.
On Thursday mornings, Victoria—known in her community as Mother Williams—prepares food in her church’s kitchen that she has gathered from the local Food Bank and from donations. On Fridays, she serves lunch.
“For a very long time, Mother Williams worked in the soup kitchen alone,” volunteer Becky Blakey said. “She had a creative system. First she would use her cane to prop open the door, then she would pull the boxes of food into the kitchen with her cane.”
After a video was made about Mother Williams, it was shown at my church. Mother Williams was in attendance that morning and received a standing ovation from the congregation. Becky Blakey went up to meet Mother Williams to ask if she could come and help prep food on Thursdays. Of course! Mother Williams told her.
Becky started to volunteer regularly. Soon, her friends joined her. “Mother Williams has a couple of rules,” Becky said. “She wants those who come for lunch to be served so they don’t stand in a cafeteria-like line. They have a place to sit at a table and are served a plate of food. And before everyone eats, she insists they hear a word from the Lord. ‘Jesus gave you this day,’ she says. ‘He didn’t have to do that, but He did. So now we are going to hear His words.’ And then she’ll read a few verses of Scripture.”
Currently, at age 88 (!), Mother Williams and her team of volunteers serve over one hundred lunches every Friday.
The Calling, book 2 in the ‘Inn at Eagle Hill’ series (Revell), was inspired by Mother Williams. In the novel, though, it took five Amish sisters to do the work of one Mother Williams. It’s a story about a young woman, Bethany Schrock, who feels lost and derailed and not at all sure she wants to remain Amish. Those five sisters scoop her under their wing and get her busy in the soup kitchen. Reluctant at first, Bethany starts to discover that amazing mystery: we find ourselves by losing ourselves.
Can one person make a difference? Yes.
At any age? Absolutely!
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award-winning author of ‘The Stoney Ridge Seasons’ series and ‘The Lancaster County Secrets’ series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone. Suzanne lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area but can be found on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. She loves to connect with readers!
If you live in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina you can meet Suzanne on her book tour next week! Here are her three LifeWay signings and a link to more info on the tour:
January 17 – Sarasota LifeWay with special guest Sherry Gore
January 18 – Orlando LifeWay with special guest Dan Walsh
January 20 – Warner Robbins LifeWay
For your chance to be win a copy of The Calling, leave your name in the comments section of today’s post. Just for fun, tell us about a way that you or your family likes to serve others. Is it by making cookies for a neighbor? Writing notes of encouragement? Visiting those in the hospital? I look forward to hearing from you all!
You have until midnight tonight (Thursday, January 16) to enter. We’ll announce our three winners on Friday.
By entering today’s giveaway, you affirm and acknowledge LifeWay Christian Resources’ official promotion rules here.
Today’s giveaway starts at the posting time of this blog and ends Thursday (1/15/14) at 11:59 p.m. central time. You must be 18 years old to enter and you may only enter once. The winner will be selected at random. For questions about the rules and regulations of this giveaway, please contact Rachel McRae at One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234.