Josie Meyers and her 2 young children: Jacob and Susanna are homeless. To be homeless is frightening. They have no home to sleep in at night, no home to feel protected in, no home to feel a sense of belonging to. There is shame involved in not having a place to live. Josie spends every moment worrying about where they will eat, where they will sleep, what if one of them becomes ill, whom can she trust, how will the children be able to attend school, will the weather turn cold or rainy or snow. Josie blames herself, she blames her late husband, and she ignores the One she once loved and worshiped. Rick an older man is a homeless Veteran. The Meyer's family met Rick in a shelter. He became their friend, and unknowingly to them, their prayer warrior.
I love this story!
Reading An Unexpected Christmas Hero opened my eyes to the plight of the homeless. It disturbed me to envision a single woman and small children without shelter and living on the streets without a safe place to live. There are cruel malevolent people in this world that would harm an unprotected woman and her children.
Homelessness is the outer-layer of Josie's story. Josie harbors unforgiveness, hurt, grief, bitterness, shame, guilt, abandonment, and insecurities. This story touched on issues that have affected all of us. We may never have been without a place to live, but we have dealt with insecurities, hurt, or unforgiveness.
This story through the character of Rick, demonstrates Christ's extravagant love. To look at Rick's outer appearance he's seen as a dirty, homeless, vagrant. His inner person is one of love and understanding and kindness.
While writing this review it dawned on me that Unexpected Christmas Hero is about seeing people through Christ Jesus' eyes. We must look past their outward appearance, we must put aside any judgment or misconception about a person, and instead see their wounded spirit and need for Christ's love. We must love them and display it with the Spirit of Christ who lives in us.
Thank you to Kathi Macias, Christian Speaker Services, and New Hope Publishers for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review!
With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays arriving soon, many of us have families to gather together with and a home to return to after the get-together. Josie Meyers had the same plans for her family, until tragedy struck and her husband had passed away. Leaving the family in financial ruin, Josie and her children, Jacob and Susanna, find themselves homeless. Josie receives some money from social services, which she has to stretch to last through the month for shelter from the cold, wind, rain, and snow and for nutritional food.
Josie prays, but thinks that God is not answering her prayers. How could God let this happen to her and her children? Yet an elderly homeless man, Rick, a homeless Vietnam vet, helps to look out for her and her children, working to keep them safe in shelters as much as space is available. People from church help her out as much as possible, yet their family eventually has to return to the street. Little does she know that she will meet an unexpected Christmas hero, and what it will mean for her and her children.
Kathi Macias's story, Unexpected Christmas Hero, depicts the life of the homeless eking out a `life' on the streets, hoping for a warm meal and a place to sleep. It's a life depicted in all its pain and sickness. It's heart-wrenching to `see' all the people suffering and looking for food and shelter. Yes, in your mind's view, you can `see' the long lines of huddling people waiting with hope. Your heart breaks when you realize some are turned away because the shelters are full. The aching of Josie for her young children wrenches your heart.
This scenario is repeated in city after city here in the US. Many families are only a month or two from this same dilemma. How can we personally help others in this position of homelessness? Kathi opens our eyes to ways of assisting the homeless.
Let Kathi's book stir your heart and be led by God to assist where possible in your own communities. Read it with an open mind and heart.
The man on the cover--whose name is Willard Parker--readily agreed to pose, and then explained that he truly was homeless and hoped having his picture on the cover would somehow help him find his family, particularly his grown daughter. We are doing our best to stay in touch with Mr. Parker and also to spread his story across the Internet and on radio/TV in hopes of fulfilling his dream to be reunited with his family. If anyone looks at the picture on the cover and/or recognizes the man's name (Willard Parker) and knows the whereabouts of any of his family, we would truly appreciate it if they would contact me at ezyrtr(@)ca(.)rr(.)com so we can take the necessary steps to try to make this reunion happen.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CSS Virtual Book Tours in exchange for posting the author's interview and/or book review on my blog. No monetary compensation was received.
Kathi Macias has done it again, another book that makes you think..."There, but for the Grace of God, goes I". Such a tough subject of being homeless. You find yourself in their shoes, walking and feeling the cold. Hungry, and trying to get into shelters.
Kathi brings to life the "Street People", ones who maybe less than a year ago were living the "American" life. Then the rug was pulled out from under them.
We met a Mom...Josie Meyer's and her children Jacob, 7, and Susanna, 5. Her husband has died, and left her with nothing. They had to leave their home with just the clothes on their backs.
Along the way they met other people in the same predicament, some befriend them...Like Rick, a man with his own demons, and very sick.
We meet people like the Lunds, who don't have a lot, but open up their home and give all that they have. Also Nancy, who's love of the Lord compels her to help wherever and whenever she can.
The story takes place over the Holidays, and once you start you won't be able to put this book down...I couldn't!
This book makes a wonderful gift, and makes you appreciate all that you have been blessed with.
I received this book from the Publisher New Hope, and was not required to give a positive review.
This latest book by Kathi Macias is a fictional story of a family who suddenly have found themselves homeless and the hardships they face trying to stay warm and fed. The action takes place beginning as they are preparing to eat Thanksgiving dinner at a local shelter, and meet a homeless Vietnam veteran named Rick. For the next few weeks, we share the highs, lows, difficulties and blessings Josie and her children encounter as they meet new friends who want to help but whose hands are also tied. Josie also has gone from apathy toward God to bitterness for the way her life has turned out. The kindness of others slowly melts her cold heart, and watching the way Rick has survived his own situation with a steadfast faith, shows her that God is ever watchful and caring no matter how big the storm is that rages within and without.
This is one of those books that I did not want to put down once I started reading it, and the characters quickly became dear to me. It also made me think more of what I can do to become part of the solution. The needs of the homeless are many and sometimes the resources are limited or unavailable. There are also many faces and stories that get untold when it comes to those who find themselves homeless; I hope this gives more readers a desire to see how they can do something to help others during this time when many of us are struggling. So, a story that captured my heart and imagination...and gave me something to think about. Well done!
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author's interview and/or book review on my blog. CSS Virtual Book Tours are managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).
"The late November sunshine was thin and tepid, but a welcome interruption to the gray skies and constant drizzle that usually hung over the small Washington town of Riverview for the better part of eight or nine months each year. Josie Meyers shivered as she stood in line behind her two children, waiting their turn for a free Thanksgiving meal.
Tears bit her eyes at the memory of past Thanksgiving celebrations, particularly the most recent one the previous year. Though they had all been grieving the passing of Josie's mother, they still managed to turn the day into a festive occasion, as the four of them gathered around the table to give thanks for the spread that awaited them.
Sam, she thought. You stood there that day, offering a brief prayer of thanksgiving to a God I'm not sure you even believed in, and never let on for a moment that you hadn't a clue where our next meal would come from or how we'd make the mortgage payment that month. How in the world were you able to carry it off for so long? If you hadn't gotten sick, would you finally have found a way out of the mess we were in - or would you be standing here with the three of us now, begging for a hot meal and wondering where we'd sleep tonight?" (pg 9).
So now Josie is forced to take things one day at a time as she tries to find enough food and a place that is warm enough each night for herself and her young children Jacob and Susanna. There is a waiting list for government assisted housing so for now she kills time at the local library and mall until the shelters open each night. Occasionally she can save enough through food vouchers and her monthly checks to stay in a modest motel but more often than not, she's on the streets trying to stay warm and try til something better comes along.
In Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias, we find out what it's like to live through the eyes of Josie Meyers who had everything until her husband Sam died from cancer and left her owing more money then she could ever imagine. When their home was repossessed, there was no family members who would take her in and her pride kept her from calling on her friends to ask for help. She had hoped that some how, some way, that she could figure out a way to secure them all permanent housing but never realized that it would turn out like this. Now when she meets a homeless Vietnam Veteran by the name of Rick who offers her son Jacob the last piece of his pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, her life will be changed in unseen ways by the God she has abandoned in her search for hope.
I received Unexpected Christmas by Kathi Macias compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and New Hope Publishers for my honest review. Even though this is a Christmas story I can see the message that it contains being shared throughout the year. After reading this one, I felt like I had just witnessed a true Hallmark moment, like the movies that come out this time of the year. What an ideal movie this one would make and the impact to people seeing it would really spread the message of hope and faith in God no matter how dire the situations are in your life. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 Christmas Stars and have now added this one to my permanent shelf to read every single year. This is soon to be a classic in my opinion.