Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Mariah!

It's been a busy week for us between ministry and family. To celebrate Mariah's 11th birthday, we headed for the beach yesterday after school to spend the night and enjoy some family time together. We ended up having a great time playing Rumicub, swimming, and just relaxing, then Luiz and Fernanda joined us for lunch.

Scott and Gabriel were also able to go diving. This was to finish up Gabe's last dive before he is certified. He also had to swim 300 meters to shore and was excited because he beat his instructor to shore!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were spent in the village of Magola where Scott and the Christians showed the Jesus film two nights. While there weren't a lot of people who showed up on Sunday, we were excited to hear that one of the Christians in the village has invited four of the fisherman he works with to the weekly study tomorrow.

And lastly, on the writing side of things, I found out that Blood Ransom will be available as an audio book which I'm really excited about.

I was able to work with the narrator on pronunciation for some of the African names and enjoyed seeing a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes. (Both the audio book and regular book are open for pre-orders online.)

I also found out that Love Finds You in Revenge, Ohio just went into a second printing!



Monday, January 25, 2010

Inspire. Be Inspired.

For years, I had this story mulling in the back of my mind. It was an adventure/thriller set in Africa with a touch of romance thrown into the mix. It was about ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances, and in the process, their lives were changed through their reliance on God.

When I sold this series to Zondervan, I was thrilled, but as I began working on the story, I knew I didn’t just want to present a setup that told about the problems of modern day slavery and other issues facing the people of Africa. I wanted to give a solution as well.

But how?

Blood Ransom deals with the horrific problem of modern day slavery. In researching for the story, I read article after article that broke my heart, and the question remained. How in the world could I make a difference in the lives of these people, let alone encourage others to get involved?

I was with a friend in Houston last fall, still thinking of what I could do—what we could all do. She took me on a tour of a model neighborhood built specifically for foster children. She told me of the thousands of children who needed homes and how she was working to help make people aware of these children’s needs.

At that moment, everything clicked.

The truth is, I can’t save every orphaned child, or rescue every woman locked in the bonds of slavery, or find permanent homes for the hundreds of thousands living in refugee camps around the world (the setting of the second book in the series).

But I can support one orphan in Africa, or get involved with a modern-day abolitionist movement like the Polaris Project or Not for Sale, or become a foster parent or a big brother, or take a meal to a shut in and sit and talk with them. Because there are people right here in my own neighborhood and community who need help and hope.

I can do something.

We can all do something.

One person at a time.

To help answer this question, Lynne Gentry and I, who are currently writing on a medical thriller series together, have started a blog where you can share your stories. Stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things for God. We are looking for stories of people who have inspired others and then in turn, have had their own lives changed.
Do you have a story about yourself or someone you know? Do you have a cause you’re passionate about that you want to share?’

Email us and we’ll let you know how you can share your story, or a story of someone you know, that will in turn inspire others and give a tangible ways of making a difference.

Here are some examples of some of our upcoming stories:

*A courageous woman gave up her sight to deliver her baby. Now she's a right-to-life advocate speaking around the country.

*An American living in Haiti teaching at one of the schools shares her story and how we can help the Haitians.

*Slavery is not just an issue of the past. Be inspired by what people are doing today to abolish modern-day slavery.

*Learn about an innovate solution that is bringing hope to foster children.

What inspires you?

Inspire. Be Inspired.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Colorado Crimes winners!

Congratulations to Virginia, Jeanette, April, and Edna who all won a copy of Colorado Crimes!

If you didn't win a copy, you can still get your own at your local book store or online! Several have told me they've spotted it in stores. And drop by my blog again soon, as I'll have more giveaways next month!

I couldn't resist posting this photo of Scott and Scott, David and Emily's baby. He's getting so big and is really adorable. The other photo is of Scott and Gabriel doing their scuba lessons. Scott was certified in SA about five years ago, but has never made a sea dive until now. They are both loving it! One more dive and Gabe will be certified.

Lastly, please pray for this coming weekend. We have 25 people coming over tomorrow night for a get together of other expats and their kids who live in the area. We want to be able to minister to this unique group of people. Then on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Scott and a number of the Christians will be showing the Jesus film in Elizabeth's village (as long as the rains don't come.)

Be blessed today!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Profound Reminder

For those of you following our ministry, here's something from Scott along with a video.


For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (NIV – Ephesians 6:12)

After worship and a study at the home of Alriza, one of the newly professed believers of Jesus proceeded to cut off the beaded strings on her baby. There were three magic charms, one around the waste, one around the wrist and the final around the baby’s neck. They were purchased from a local witchdoctor to protect the child who had been born prematurely. But the mother willingly cut them off and burned them, saying that she no longer believed in their power to protect, but in Jesus Christ.

A bit later, Alzira approached Fernanda and said, “Sister Fernanda, I have a devil living inside me.” Fernanda ask her how she knew, and Alzira responded, “I just know.” Several hours later, a group of about 15 of us gather down at the bay to baptize Alzira and Ivone. After Alzira came out of the water, Luiz and Fernanda got ready to pray for her, when suddenly Alzira was thrown backwards into the water by a manifesting demon. We quickly began to pray to bind the spirit to have to leave this new child of God, never to return. The evil spirit was powerless to resist and had to leave.

Sometimes in the business of day-to-day activities, it is easy to forget who the real enemy really is. It is easy to forget that we are in a spiritual battle over the eternal souls of men and women who have been in bondage to Satan and his angels for generations. But Jesus said, “I come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV - John 10:10). We praise God that two more have now found that abundant life and have been transformed by Him.

Don’t just pray for Alzira and Ivone, but pray specifically that the strongholds over this land and its people will a broken. Pray for the transformation of whole families and the community. Pray that the Light will go into the area and that darkness will flee.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

School Daze!

With many of the students we work with on holiday, as well as many people in general traveling, Scott had some extra time to put our new school room together this week out in our one car garage. And as you can see, it's fantastic! The kids love having their own school, and I'm glad they're not having to do school in the crowded dining room.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bring on Summer!

I'm now officially ready for summer, because we have working aircons!

Thanks to three wonderful friends from South Africa who came and completely redid our electricity, we now can sleep without sweating at night and cool off during really hot days! (And beside the aircons working, they also fixed some serious electrical issues, so we also feel a lot safer now!)

Here's a few photos from our busy weekend that included a lot of work, but also some fun at the beach and time with the Christians. Thanks again guys! Next time you come, we'll put in a pool!!!

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment with my last post for a chance to win a copy of Colorado Crimes that was released this month!

You can also visit my good friend Lena Nelson Dooley's blog for a chance to win a copy as well!

Be blessed today!


Saturday, January 09, 2010

African Summer

If you've been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably caught on that it's hot here. Very hot! Summer is in full swing with everyone swimming in the bay and enjoying time off from school.

One of the things I love about summer is the flowers, and we are really enjoying our wall of flowers in the back yard. The kids spend a lot of time out there, playing in the sprinkler to get relief from the heat, and we've started eating dinner up on the roof after dark to catch a bit of a breeze.

Most days, not even a fan is enough to ward away the heat, so we are extra thankful for three friends from South Africa who have come this weekend to completely redo the wiring in the house. While the house we moved into has a couple air conditioners, we don't have enough power to run them. So we're hoping that we'll soon have that problem remedied so we can cool down the house.

I'll post some photos of the work that's happening later this weekend. Thanks for your hard work gentlemen! We're forever grateful!!

Be blessed today,


Thursday, January 07, 2010

New book release and giveaway: COLORADO CRIMES

I'm excited to announce that my three book, cozy mystery series is now available in one book! So if you missed out on the adventures of Pricilla Crumb the first time, you won't want to miss her crazy antics as a novice detective.

If you'd like to read the first chapter, click

I'll be giving away four copies of the book this month! All you have to do, is leave a comment with a way for me to reach you, and if you want, tell me why you love a good mystery. I'll draw a winner on January 20th.



Contest is limited to US addresses only. Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

And the winner is ...

Wow, this was tough! You all gave me so many great nick names for my character Timothy, that I struggled with choosing just one. But in the end, one name kept sticking with me and gave me that sliver of background I was looking for.

Here's what Dave wrote:

When Timothy was just a young lad, being blessed with so much boundless energy, he was frequently seen moving about in pursuit of answers to his insatiable curiosity. Sometimes he moved with such abandon that it reminded people of the "Tasmanian Devil". But that being too long for good folk to say, he is fondly known as "Taz". :-D

A BIG thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. I had a lot of fun and hope you did to!

Dave, please email me here so I can get your mailing address and send you your prize.

For the rest of you, there are still more great contests to come!

Blessings all!


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Out of the Ashes

Today in Inhambane, four children from the same family died while swimming in the bay. Several weeks ago we reported that there had been a fire in which eight families lost everything. Pain and suffering seem all too common here in Africa.

After Scott shared on being the “salt and light” to one of our disciple groups, they talked about how they could actively become that salt and light in their community. One idea was to visit these suffering families who lost everything in the fire and see how they might help them. First, clothing was collected and distributed to those in need. Supplies were also purchased to help rebuild their homes. Then several of the disciples went to do the actual construction of the houses. After each work day or visit, those who went would gather around the people to share a message from the Bible before praying for each of the families.

At the same time, David Cuna who is the leader of the house church, moved into a new home where he quickly became friends with a couple young men living in the same compound. When they heard where he was going, they decided to go and help the disciples rebuild the houses. As a result, they too began hearing the good news of Jesus.

Today, three of the ladies who lost everything in the fires were baptized. Casilda, a widow, is 40 and the oldest in the group was baptized along with Ana, her 14-year-old granddaughter. Percina, a 17 year old who has no father and who’s mother left her to care for her siblings while she works in South Africa, was also baptized. Finally, the two young neighbors of David, Erdio and Gito, who are both 23, are also baptized. Before the baptism, Gito, who was a Muslim, cried openly as he freely confessed his sins and faith in Jesus.

Today there was much sadness in the city over the four children who drowned in the water, but there was rejoicing in heaven over the five people were born again as they were baptized. Out of the ash heaps of the fire, came hope, joy, and rebirth.