Yes. This is another book review but WAIT. This one is rather unique, so please hang in there ((smiles)).
IF YOU HAVE EVER SENT A CHRISTMAS SHOEBOX OR WANTED TO OR SIMPLY ENJOY A GOD DIRECTED ROMANCE.
This book was sent to me by a friend. We became friends about a year ago on a mutual FB page all about sharing Operation Christmas Child ideas. So this book was too perfect.
Josif’s family fled Serbia when he was just 5. He’s now 30, living in TN and running his family’s hotel. Apparently, his mother’s best friend did not escape and her daughter, Mirela has remained in her prayers all these years; until today. This morning Mama Sesely has seen a newspaper from a town just 45 minutes away and she is certain the young woman in the article is her best friend’s daughter. Twenty-five years ago the two best friends promised each other their kids would marry each other. But wait, Josif is dating Sabrina who works at the hotel with him and he has grown content with over the last 3 years. He does not have any interest or time for a modern day fairytale.
Mirala received a Christmas shoebox when she was a little girl. She was told all about the love of Jesus and she was adopted by missionaries. She is constantly thankful and kind to the point of allowing a co-worker, in the daycare she works at, to walk all over her. She is best friends with her adopted sister Ivy and dearly loves her adoptive parents, though it has been 5 years since her father passed.
This story is an adventure of God bringing this couple together, growing each one's faith individually, various characters overcoming misunderstandings, fears and assumptions and all of it for His glory.
I would give it 4.5 stars because there is one teeny part of the story with some side characters – Emily and her 2 kids: Bella and Benny that did not get resolved. I guess there is more ministry work that needs to be done there, but the indication that it was a serious situation should have had a wrap-up. I really, really enjoyed reading it over an afternoon into early evening. God is so present throughout the story and I got choked up several times. It makes me look forward to shoebox season again.
I have been privileged to pack shoeboxes, with my kids, for the Operation Christmas Child shoebox ministry (click here) for over 20 years now and have volunteered at one of the inspection and distribution warehouses several times. See my previous post about the fun here. This ministry is led by Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse if you would like to know more.
Additionally, my dear friend who introduced me to the book creates Joydorables; the cutest, little stuffed animal friends to go into her shoeboxes which she includes an Operation Christmas Child patch on when she can! You can find those here on FB. I really do get excited about this ministry and am so glad Jennifer Collins Johnson thought to include shoeboxes in a romance novel!
It's like 2 bucks! ;)
*Modern day setting* © 2011 Heartsong Presents by Barbour Pub*170 pages Only 19 chapters + epilogue
I received a copy from a friend and this is my honest review.
Read: 2/10/2018 - Reviewed: 2/11/2018
CBD / GOODREADS / Amazon.com / My Pinterest / Author’s FB page
Hugs and a cup of tea to you dear friends. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Would love a wee comment if you have the time!