Friday, March 28, 2008

A Sheltering Heart by Terri Reed

I loved the setting of this book... Africa. For one thing, it is somewhere unknown to me... well of course I know where Africa is and I have read about it and seen pictures, but I have never been there. I was able to see Uganda through the author's eyes instead of viewing it through my own memories and familiarity. Also, I don't recall reading a Christian Romance novel set in Africa before.
While this is no doubt a romance story, there is more to it than that. Gwen Yates is a Physician's Assistant who works with Healing Missions International. Gwen is excited to be returning to Uganda with Dr. Harper and their team, but she isn't so keen on the idea of Harper's son, Derek, tagging along. However, she isn't worried about him getting in her way. After all, he will be shadowing his father while she does her work or will he? When Dr. Harper breaks his leg in an accident right before the trip, he appoints Gwen team leader and tells Derek to learn from her.
Derek has lived a comfortable life in his comfortable world never really thinking about those less fortunate than him. He has also resented the time his dad spent away from home to minister to others. All of that is about to change as Derek comes face to face with the harsh reality of life in Uganda... poverty, civil unrest, sickness, death... it touches everyone there from the youngest to the oldest... but Derek also comes face to face with grace, mercy, compassion... people loving others with the love of Christ.
A wonderful read that not only provides the back drop for a sweet romance, but also challenges the reader to look beyond their cozy lifestyle and see how they can be Jesus with skin on.

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