Introduction to An Open Door
Over the years as I have recounted my stories, many people have asked if I have written a book to share these stories of God’s deliverance and undertaking.
I have always answered “no” because I want God alone to receive the glory for all that I have experienced and accomplished in my life.
“But you can give Him the glory if you write them down” I was told.
Hence the reason for this book, to give glory to our wonderful Lord Jesus, as I have quoted in the book, ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’ (1 Corinthians 1:31)
Only He and His Promises have carried me through the many difficult circumstances in my life.
The Living Bible paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 12 : 9,10 ‘I am with you, that is all you need’ has been His Word to me many times when I was at my ‘wits-end’ on several occasions in Africa and Northern Ireland.
Over the years a few authors offered to write my story, but finally the Lord confirmed to me that Jean Gibson should be the one to write it down. I am very grateful for all the hard work she has put into deciphering my prayer-letters and interviews to record my story in this book.
Introduction to Journey of Hope
In June 2011, my husband Brian and I set out on a trip through Malawi and Kenya. Having worked in theological education in Kenya for eight years while our children were younger, we were interested to return to Africa and in particular to meet local people who had faced specific challenges in their lives. What we discovered was one person after another confronted by difficult and sometimes tragic circumstances, unbowed by their situation, strong in faith, and determined with God’s help to create a better future for their family and community.
In this book, the story of our journey runs alongside the life journeys of those we met on our travels. For both them and us, hope emerges as the theme, as together we look beyond present circumstances to see God working out his plan through his people.
As you read, I pray that you also may experience this hope.
All the stories in the book are true, although in a few instances, names and details have been changed to protect identities.
Introduction to Seasons of Womanhood and Joyful in Hope
When I started writing the stories that eventually found their way into the book Seasons of Womanhood, I had no idea how they would be received. I knew that the women who had agreed to tell their stories were courageous in their vulnerability and I hoped that other women whom I had never met would recognise the source of that courage and find him for themselves.
Since the publication of Seasons of Womanhood and of its companion volume, Joyful in Hope, my heart has rejoiced with each letter received and each person who has been in contact to say they identified with the women in these books. Many realised they were not alone in their situation, that others had been there before them and that the God who reached out to others was reaching out to them. This had been my vision for the books before they ever came into being.
And so I am delighted to introduce a new omnibus edition of these stories. The situations they explore are common to many; the truths they contain are timeless. I pray that this new edition will find a new audience and bring encouragement and hope to all who read.