The Over 50 Writer

WELCOME AUTHOR JEANETTE WINDLE
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 by Patti Shene

FEATURED BOOK: All Saints

AUTHOR’S NAME: Jeanette Windle, Rev. Michael Spurlock

PUBLISHER: Bethany House Publishers

GENRE: Non-fiction True Story

STAND ALONE OR SERIES: Stand Alone

TARGET AGE: General Audience

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR JEANETTE WINDLE TO THE OVER 50 WRITER. JEANETTE SHARES THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY OF ALL SAINTS, NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE.

 

Jeanette Windle’s latest book release, All Saints, is the inspiring true story of Karen Christian war refugees from Myanmar, a dying Tennessee church, and the miracle God wrought in bringing them together. The book accompanies the Sony Affirm movie by the same name, which released nationwide August 25th, nationwide. Affirm is Sony’s Inspirational branch that has released such movies as Courageous, Fireproof, War Room, Miracles From Heaven. Check out the movie trailer and nationwide list of theaters showing the movie.

 

The story centers on newly-ordained Michael Spurlock (played by John Corbett in the movie), whose first assignment was to pastor a Smyrna, TN, congregation of less than 25 remaining members while negotiating the sale of land and closing of church in order to pay off a crushing mortgage debt of almost a million dollars. Enter 75 Karen war refugees, mostly farmers in their own country, seeking a new start in America. What could one insolvent church about to close its own doors possibly do to help? Then God gently reminded Michael he’d not only provided All Saints with land, but just sent them experienced farmers. The ensuing quest to save All Saints and help the Karen holds all the drama, outright miracles, and roller-coaster ups and downs any action plot could ask for. In the end, it was not All Saints that helped the Karen nor the Karen who saved a dying church, but the coming together of the body of Christ from opposite sides of the planet into one community under God that became the salvation of both and the true ultimate miracle of All Saints.

 

Jeanette shares why she felt called to write this story: As a missionary kid growing up on the mission field in Colombia, I read the biography of Adoniram Judson, the first overseas missionary from North America, whose first Christian converts were in turn the Karen people of Myanmar (then Burma). Most fascinating were the tribal stories of the Karen themselves, which centered around an all-powerful Creator named Y’Wa, who like the biblical Yahweh placed the first man and woman in a beautiful garden. There they were tempted to eat forbidden fruit, thereby bringing sin and death into the world, by the Corruptor, who had once served Y’Wa, but been cast from Y’Wa’s presence for disobedience. Along with other biblical stories, Karen legend even spoke of a holy book, taken from the Karen but one day would be returned, leading the Karen to a better future and freedom.

 

While not all Karen became Christian, a large percentage did. I had followed the story of the Karen, from their courageous role in fighting for the Allies during WW2 to the genocide unleased on them when Japan’s puppet regime took control after the Allies pulled out, as well as their stubborn war of resistance and refusal to renounce their Christian faith. By the 1990s, an estimated half-million were displaced or living in refugee camps, mostly in Thailand. When I received a call from Bethany House Publishers, asking me to write the story of Rev. Michael Spurlock, All Saints, and a group of Karen Christian refugees now living in the United States, I was delighted and excited to investigate and write this story.

 

What I ended up discovering was far more than a simple story of refugees receiving a welcome by a Tennessee church. The stories of Ye Win, Father Bu Christ, and other Karen, the impact of the Karen’s faith on this Tennessee community and church, the journey to faith and ministry of Rev. Michael himself and his wife Aimee, the miraculous workings of God, even through tragedy and loss, in ways too implausible for any fiction plot, and the coming together of a community of faith that continues to impact lives to this day deeply touched my own heart and life even as I strove to capture this story in words.

 

What I found also inspiring and exciting is going back to North America’s first overseas missionary Adoniram Judson, whose ministry brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Karen. A ministry that has come full-circle with the Karen coming to North America and blessing our nation in turn with their faith and testimony of courage and steadfastness under brutal persecution.

 

I count it a great privilege to have been part of telling this story and even more so the ongoing relationships with members of All Saints, Karen and Anglo. As I’ve followed one after another of the Karen in Smyrna receiving their American citizenship, including Ye Win’s own wife just this past month, I am also reminded that we are privileged as a nation to have such people as new citizens of our country, the latest in a long heritage of refugees and immigrants adding to the strength of our nation.

 

I cannot recommend enough the message of this story, both in movie and book, for the body of Christ in North America and globally, but for all of us as human beings called to show compassion, love, and welcome to the stranger among us and to provide sanctuary to the orphan, widow, war-torn, hurting, and displaced, above all, those whom God brings by his own great love and mercy to our very doorsteps.

 

Jeanette Windle, an award-winning novelist and investigative journalist, has lived in six countries and traveled in thirty-five-plus. Those experiences birthed 16 fiction titles, including bestselling Veiled Freedom (ECPA Christian Book Award/Christy Award finalist) and Freedom's Stand, (ECPA Christian Book Award/Carol Award finalist), and such non-fiction titles as ECPA Christian Book Award/Christian Retailing Best Awards finalist Forgiven: The Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace and All Saints. Visit Jeanette’s website.

Reverend Michael Spurlock served All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Tennessee, for three years. He is currently on the clergy staff at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, NYC.

 


Comments

Jerolyn From Las Animas, CO At 9/13/2017 1:32:43 PM

I have seen advertisements for this book and movie. Reading your blog post made me sure that it is something I'd like to read/see.

The Over 50 Writer


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Patti Shene
4/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA K. KLINGEL
Patti Shene
4/17/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
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4/2/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
Patti Shene
3/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DARLENE FRANKLIN
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3/4/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MICHELLE GRIEP
Patti Shene
2/20/2015

NEGOTIATING THE LEARNING CURVE
Patti Shene
2/6/2015

WHEN ENCOURAGEMENT COMES YOUR WAY
Patti Shene
1/30/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SANDY NADEAU
Patti Shene
1/14/2015

I AM A WRITER--OR AM I REALLY?
Patti Shene
1/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GEORGE DUNCAN
Patti Shene
12/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR MARTHA ROGERS
Patti Shene
11/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR EDITH EDWARDS
Patti Shene
11/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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10/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
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10/2/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR FRANCES SUSANNE BROWN
Patti Shene
9/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
Patti Shene
9/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
Patti Shene
8/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA TONEY
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8/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS
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7/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR & PUBLISHER TRACY RUCKMAN
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7/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET SKETCHLEY
Patti Shene
6/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
6/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA CAREY LYLES
Patti Shene
5/15/2014

DARK BIOLOGY BY BONNIE DORAN
Patti Shene
5/1/2014

BY THE WATERS OF KADESH BY CAROLE TOWRISS
P
4/17/2014

WHERE HOPE STARTS BY ANGELA D. MEYER
Patti Shene
4/3/2014

THE CHARM BRACELET BY SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
Patti Shene
3/20/2014

Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
3/5/2014

Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley
Patti Shene
2/20/2014

WELCOME WRITER DELORES LIESNER
Patti Shene
2/5/2014

The Heartbeat of the Novel by James R. Callan
Patti Shene
1/15/2014

Don't Let Bible Contradictions Rob Your Faith
Patti Shene
1/2/2014

Welcome Author Lilliann Duncan
Patti Shene
5/30/2013

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
Patti Shene
5/9/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
Patti Shene
4/24/2013

Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
Patti Shene
4/18/2013

I'm back
Patti Shene
4/11/2013

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
Patti Shene
2/14/2013

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
Patti Shene
2/7/2013

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
Patti Shene
1/30/2013

Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
Patti Shene
1/23/2013

Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
Patti Shene
1/17/2013

The Value of Social Media
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

A Glimpse Into the Future
Patti Shene
1/2/2013

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
Patti Shene
12/20/2012

Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
Patti Shene
12/14/2012

Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
Patti Shene
12/7/2012

Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

A Writers Journey Part IV
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Whose prophecy do you believe?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
11/13/2012