The past few days have been busy ones for me. On Saturday, April 28, the alumni board at Hope College, my Alma Mater, presented me with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award at their annual banquet. What a huge honor!
Years ago, I chose to attend Hope, a Christian college, because I wanted to build my life and my education on a spiritual foundation. I found what I was looking for there. (And also met my husband—an added bonus!) The education I received at Hope has formed the basis of my writing, and it was thrilling when they chose to honor me this way.
The following Monday I had a great time with the 150 people who joined me for the Dutch Heritage Bus Tour, visiting some of the sites they read about in my novel, “Waves of Mercy.” The novel is based on the true story of the Dutch immigrants who founded the city of Holland, Michigan in 1846. They came to America seeking religious freedom after being persecuted for their faith in their homeland. They tamed the wilderness, endured a malaria plague, and dealt with numerous other hardships including a fire that destroyed ¾ of the city in 1871. The community they built is thriving today and is rated second in the nation for charitable giving. The tour was a testimony to the founders’ faith, courage and perseverance.
I wore my period Dutch costume to serve as tour guide
On Thursday, May 3, I was invited to speak at a fund-raising luncheon for The Bible League, an amazing international organization that provides Bibles and study materials to people around the world. I had a great time meeting new friends and eating delicious food. My speaking topic was “Living Fearlessly”—daring to step out and do the “impossible” with the Holy Spirit’s help.
It’s interesting that the Bible League’s founder, William Chapman, did just that. In 1936, he became seriously ill and ended up in a Chicago hospital. An elder from his church visited him and prayed that God would spare his life and lead him to serve Christ. When he recovered, Chapman vowed to give all of his strength to God. He and his wife Betty purchased 1,000 Bibles and went door-to-door, offering to give one to any home that needed it if the recipients promised to read it. Today, The Bible League distributes millions of Bibles and study materials all around the world.
I have one more fun event coming up this week. On May 10, 11 and 12 I’ll be joining a wonderful group of authors and readers for the first-ever “Fiction Readers Summit” in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This event is sponsored by Baker Book House and registration is open to anyone who loves to read and wants to connect with authors. If you live in the area, I would love to see you there! Go to https://fictionreaderssummit.com/ for more information.