Friday, August 15, 2014

Wherever the River Runs {Review & Giveaway!}

There are books that are educational, ones that are entertaining, and then there are ones that have the power to pick you up, shake you around, and set you back down completely different than you were before.  Kelly Minter's new book--Wherever the River Runs--did just that for me.     

Right away I realized that Kelly has a way with words.  Her writing style is delightful, and I found myself both laughing out loud and shedding a tear or two depending on the way she weaved those words.  The result was a gorgeous tapestry that captivated all of my senses, yet at the same time challenged me to examine my own faith and the way that I am proclaiming the gospel right where I am...(or not.) 

The story begins with Kelly's first hesitant 'yes' to a missions trip down the Amazon.  It then chronicles several more subsequent trips to Brazil, where she and several family members and friends meet many unforgettable people set against the beautiful--albeit dangerous--backdrop of the Amazon River.  There were the jungle pastors, who would row their canoes down the river for several days just to deliver some fish to a poor widow, or lay hands on a sick child, or deliver a sermon.  There was Alexio, the adolescent boy whose childhood had been swept away in the current; with a mom and several siblings to take care of within the constant threat of catastrophic flooding.  The pastors wives, whose chronic pain was due to excessive machete use.  And Clarinia--the woman who spent her entire life in a hammock because of a severe case of cerebral palsy.

All of these and many more served to change Kelly's perspective and open her eyes to the world around her.  But it wasn't exclusively a peek into the way people live half a world away.  She suddenly became painfully aware of the needs and opportunities that were right outside her own front door.

"What 'Amazon' was I missing, practically living on top of, merely because the 'harvest field,' as Jesus referred to it, had blended into the background of my everyday life, just like the river people had disappeared into Manaus's landscape?  For some reason, it took seeing Brazil's mission field before I could clearly see my own."

I appreciate her openness and honesty when it comes to the various ways the Lord convicted her throughout these trips.  This could've easily become one of those books that boasted of the good works she and her group had performed and the various lives she was led to touch...but it was anything but.  There is this rawness within Kelly's story which allowed me to be "lovingly rebuked" right alongside of her.  It had me yearning for a deeper resolve to be God's hands and feet.  It left me on the lookout for a soul within my grasp who I could cover with love and prayer.  And it even gave me a new outlook on tragedy and suffering and our tendency to ask, "Why?"

All in all, I think you're going to like this one.  It's incredibly entertaining at the very least, and has the potential to be the cause of a total paradigm shift at its best.

So...I'm really excited to be able to offer you the chance to win a copy!

It's simple to enter...just two steps.  First, hop on over to Facebook and 'like' the Our String of Pearls page, if you haven't already.  Once you do, leave a comment below explaining why you would like to receive a copy.  It's that easy!  This giveaway will wrap up Sunday at noon, so you have the weekend to both enter AND to share this opportunity with dear ones who may also be interested!

Good luck, and thanks for reading!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”