She squares her shoulders and decides she will accept the task of opening a new church in a pioneer community--alone. When Emily arrives at her new assignment, she is disappointed to find the church building in disrepair. After many days of hard work fixing it up, she announces her first service and is once again disappointed, this time in the size of her congregation. Is her faith strong enough to stand against the local doubters and myriad challenges that will test her calling? Keels - LibraryThing Prairie settlements are in need of mission workers for local churches, and in Bible school, Emily responds to the call.
I studied my share of church history, but we never quite made it as far as the Canadian West, and my history nerd - bookaholic heart fell in love with this story. Emily is called to be a minister in a time when that is pretty rare for a woman.
In fact, if she hadn't been that far west in the early s, she wouldn't have been accepted. Even though my own tradition has accepted female pastors for generations, I still have wrestled with the call on my life and the fact that some people aren't going to be okay with it.
Fortunately, they aren't in charge. It's not God's call OR the family you want. Planting a church in a little tiny town, going through that battle alone, does not mean that she is choosing to never have a man in her life. And on the flip side, serving doesn't mean just being a pastor's wife which is an awesome calling of its own. This was a sweet story, but for me it also let me connect a bit with my own journey and my heritage as a woman in ministry.
Definitely recommend for those who enjoy historical romance. I kept feeling this writing was a little light.
I was a bit disappointed at first, I had just finished reading the series "Seasons of the Heart" which is a wonderful series with a lot of depth in the telling of the story of Josh through the use of seasons. I should've written that in my review on that series! Anyway, I ended up liking the this book but just not as much as other writing by Janette Oke.
And I believe this is when I heard these books were written for children. I don't know if that's true, because as I continue to read the series, "Women of the West", it doesn't strike me as a children's series. I'm glad I read this book.
There are others of Janette's which I like better though. I've mentioned in other reviews that through Janette's books I have come to see her as a friend and mentor in faith, so I refer to her on a first-name basis at times. How was one to know such a thing? On Christmas break, Emily approached a subject sensitive to her father; she told him about the women at her school who were preachers and helped in the ministry, sometimes with their husbands.
Emily sought God in her prayer time to know if He was calling her into His work. By spring she answered a call for volunteers to help start churches in far-away places. Following her schooling, her strong spiritual commitment to God led her to new places, new people, and new opportunities. Her ministry assignment was a hard two-day drive from her home in her secondhand buggy with her grays. This courageous young lady was obedient to the call of God in difficult circumstances. This is the story of Emily, who believes she's been called by God to serve as a mission worker in a small prairie town.
She doesn't know where she'll be sent, but she's willing to go wherever that may be.
She knows the work is going to be hard, but she's willing to face that, too, if that's where God wants her to be. She admits that she's probably the least-equipped of all the students in her class at the Bible school she attended, but she didn't let that stop her either. She was right about the hardships she'd face, but I don't even think she knew exactly how hard it could be. It's one of those things you could never know until you get there and actually have to start living it. She might have been physically not strong, but she was strong in her resolve to be wherever God wanted her to be and do whatever He wanted her to do, so when the church started out with hardly any members and was slow to grow, she was discouraged, but she didn't give up.
I've loved all of Janette Oke's books that I've read, and this one was no exception. All her books tell a story that gives us something we can apply to our own lives. We may not be able to relate to everything, but as in the case of this story, God often calls us to do things we don't think we can handle, but we follow His lead and He takes care of the rest. We keep persevering, even when we think it's hopeless, and we come out on the other side, as Emily did, knowing she's much happier and a much better person for being willing to sacrifice so much.
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