Love Mercy: A Mother and Daughter's Journey from The American Dream to The Kingdom of God
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Zondervan / 2010 / Paperback

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Love Mercy: A Mother and Daughter's Journey from The American Dream to The Kingdom of God

Zondervan / 2010 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW284772

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Product Description

In Love Mercy, Christy award-winning novelist Lisa Samson and her eighteen-year-old daughter, Ty, experience a life-changing, soul-rattling journey on a mission trip to Africa. Having lived a plentiful life in suburban America, Samson and Ty thought they were headed off to minister to the African people while chronicling the AIDS crisis devastating the continent. Confronted not only by the AIDS epidemic, but with child prostitution, preventable illness, poverty and death so prevalent it leaves no time to mourn their journey takes a decidedly different tack.
Offering two unique perspectives, Lisa and Ty share the questions they encountered on their journey and tell the stories of those they met along the way - from the children themselves, to adult AIDS victims, to the compassionate mercy-givers who seek each day to alleviate their suffering.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 0310284775
ISBN-13: 9780310284772

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Publisher's Description

In Love Mercy: A Mother and Daughter's Journey from the American Dream to the Kingdom of God, having lived a life of plenty in suburban America, Lisa Samson and her eighteen-year-old daughter, Ty, thought they were traveling to Africa to minister to the people and chronicle the AIDS crisis devastating the continent. Their trip, they assumed, would be missional, merciful, giving. Instead, they experienced a life-changing, soul-rattling journey. As mother and daughter are confronted with incidents of child prostitution, preventable illness, poverty, oppression, abuse, and death so prevalent it leaves no time to mourn … their journey takes a decidedly different tack. Love Mercy confronts us directly with the AIDS crisis in Africa—in particular Swaziland, which has the highest AIDS rate in the world and where the average life expectancy is thirty-two years of age. Offering two unique perspectives, Lisa and Ty share the questions they encountered on their journey and tell the stories of those they met along the way—from the children themselves, to adult AIDS victims, to the compassionate mercy-givers who seek every day to alleviate their suffering. Smiles in a place of aching sadness. Mercy in a place of heart-wrenching poverty. Two people transformed by God in ways, and places, they never expected, discovering that even in a land riddled with heartache … Christ’s love and redemption are ablaze.

Author Bio

Lisa Samson is the author of over twenty-five books, including the Christy award-winning novel Songbird. Her novel, Quaker Summer was Christianity Today's novel of 2008. She is coauthor with her husband, Will, of Justice in the Burbs.
Ty Samson loves art, literature, playing upright bass, and baking bread. She enjoys working with children and serving at the East Seventh Street Center in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

Note from the Author

When the call that would change my life came from my agent, I had no idea that’s what it was.

“Lisa, it’s Don. A friend of mine wants to write a novel. He’s a great guy, it’s a great story, but he needs some help. Can you talk to him on the phone?”


When Tom Davis, the president of Children’s HopeChest, phoned a few days later, I was sitting with my friend Leigh on her screened porch. I was in Maryland for a summer visit, and it seemed justice was following me back home, and an opportunity to help a budding novelist would turn into something far more life-giving to me than it would ever be to Tom.

We discussed his story, engaging right away in talk of the need for conflict, the importance of the setting, and the keys to developing memorable characters. Sometimes, you talk to someone, and you just know they’re your kind of people. Immediately I felt a rapport with Tom, and soon, due to the fact his novel was about an icon found in Russia, we began talking about his work with orphans. Children’s HopeChest has been providing much-needed care and service to orphans in Russia for several years. It was obvious he loved the country and its people.

“We’re heading to Swaziland,” Tom said, telling me about the need in Africa.

We soon began talking frequently about his book, and when he was offered a book deal for a series of books about orphans, he visited for long editing sessions, food provided by my husband, Will, of course.

One day, Tom told me about a vision trip to Swaziland. “You should come.” Tom surrounds himself with people – a well-meaning entourage – who aren’t afraid to see the hard things of the world, people capable of looking beyond their borders and taking their faith to the whole world, no matter how hard that might be.

I thought about it. Thought about how much it would cost. Thought about how much our seventeen-year-old daughter, Ty, would love a trip like this.

“Let me get more information,” I told him, and a few days later the emails began to arrive. Swazi culture. Fund-raising tips. The great work Children’s HopeChest was doing, and wanted to do, in the tiny kingdom of Swaziland.

Hmm. Maybe I could make jewelry to sell. Maybe I could dip into the kids’ college fund. Maybe, maybe, maybe…anything! But don’t ask me to raise support. I’m a proud woman, unfortunately, and sending out letters just isn’t me.

Meanwhile, Tom kept asking, “We have a trip coming up next January. You in?”

“I dunno…”

“Oh, come on, Lisa! You’ll love it.”

Of course I would.

A lightbulb eventually went on. I called Tom. “What if I put together a book proposal? I could write a book about the trip, and the advance would pay our way and the rest could go to Children’s HopeChest.”

“That’s a great idea! Not only would it get you here, but your book would raise awareness.”

I immediately put together a three-page proposal and sent it off to my agent, and he began shopping it around. A book. Nonfiction. A new way of writing. Could I do it? And Africa? Really? I’d been to England, but that was it. I wasn’t a well-traveled person at all.

Tom’s excitement grew. “This is going to be great. A lot of trips concentrate on going to our carepoints where we feed the kids, but I want you to see as much as possible. This will be a vision trip more than a mission trip. You can see what the people are going through and tell others.”

It sounded like the perfect plan. If only I could find a publishing house that would take a chance. Lisa Samson writes novels. She does not write about her life, about trips to Africa with her daughter. In this day of bottom-line sales, would someone catch the vision, see the possibilities? We could only hope and pray.

Obviously, you know what happened.

Product Reviews

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  1. Michelle Sutton
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 17, 2010
    Michelle Sutton
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    I am not much of a non-fiction reader, however, there were parts of this novel that read like fiction, so they interested me the most. I also loved the illustrations and spiritual lessons that the authors applied to their lives. Lisa has a cute way of saying things at times that really speaks to my heart. I thought this was a good effort on both mother and daughter's part to show the world what they learned from their experiences as they followed the Scriptures about true religion, which is taking care of the orphans and the widows. A few spot in this book were slow and dragged a bit so I skimmed them. The font was a bit hard on my eyes as it was small and the cursive was a bit difficult to read at times as well. Overall, this was a good effort for communicating putting love into action. I learned something from this book that made me think more about what is important. I also thought it was neat that Tom Davis was part of this book as well as Claudia Mair Burney. I really, really, really loved Tom Davis's novel, Scared. There were some illustrations in this book that were familiar already because I recalled reading them in Scared. The poverty in Swarziland is horrific, and thankfully Children's Hope Chest is an organization that is doing something about it.
  2. Andrea Schultz
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 15, 2010
    Andrea Schultz
    Part One of this book describes the spiritual journey of Lisa & her husband Will, and their children. The family was living in a large home in suburban Baltimore, and living the American Dream. Over time, they discovered that Jesus commandments & the American Dream were not necessarily compatible. Lisa was also discovering that God loves her regardless of her to-do list. Lisa & her husband, Will, felt that God was leading them to move to Lexington, KY; they eventually did just that, making their house downtown a house of hospitality, where people of all types were welcome. Lisa also realized that she needed her life to be devoted to the Lord:I look at my whole life as a mission from God. My life isnt divided between church and the real world, so everything I do ought to further the kingdom of God here on earth. Its a bit like thinking of yourself as a missionary/relief worker in your own hometown. (p. 55)Think of what a better world we would have if all Christians lived that way!All of these revelations from God were leading Lisa & Ty to a trip to Swaziland with Childrens HopeChest. Part Two of the book takes us on their journey. One of the real-life heroes in this book is Pastor Walter, whose flock has been decimated by all of these plagues. Here's how Lisa describes the work of a pastor in this land:Pastors in Swaziland dont have the luxury of worrying about saving souls instead they worry about keeping hungry, undernourished, and disease-wracked bodies alive for another day, another week. Pastor Walters field of corn was a church building project worth supporting. (p. 101) I was so touched & blessed reading about the journey that Lisa & her family are on these days. They truly are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20). It is encouraging to see their obedience, & it makes me strive for the same, & to live the life that the Lord has planned for me.This book was provided by Zondervan for review purposes.
  3. Cafe Lily Book Reviews
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 12, 2010
    Cafe Lily Book Reviews
    Lisa Samson was cozy, content and settled. Though she didnt consider herself rich, she was living a life of comfort, luxury and self-absorption. Ty Samson, (Lisas daughter and co-author for this book), had plans to live in New York, become an architect and wear all the latest fashions. She dreamed of glamour and romance. Both women were used to living in a nice house and driving nice cars. They ate well, traveled and shopped. Ty describes their life before Africa as a shiny bubble that kept us unaware of any trouble in the world.And then God dropped a bomb. According to Lisa, God snatched her out of her consumerist Christianity and compelled her family to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and reach out to the less fortunate. Lisa and her husband felt drawn to be a part of the intentional community (emerging church) movement which eventually led the Samson family to give up their large home and move to downtown Lexington in 2005. After volunteering with various community outreaches, Lisa and Ty were given the opportunity to travel to Swaziland and from that trip, this book about social justice was born. If you are interested in serving your community you dont have to travel as far as Lisa and Ty did, to be the hands and feet of Christ. There are plenty of opportunities.
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