Author: Natalie Vellacott
Natalie Vellacott took a two-year break from her job with Sussex Police and joined the Logos Hope Christian missionary ship. The ship, staffed by volunteers from sixty-five different countries, was sailing the waters of Asia. Natalie began by serving visitors in the mayhem of the International Café before moving to the isolated recesses of the ship’s dangerous freezers as store-keeper. Having fallen in love with a group of street teens addicted to solvents in the Philippines, she ended her commitment as administrator of the largest floating book-fair in the world. Join Natalie on her often hilarious adventures amidst an inevitable multitude of cultural catastrophes as she attempts to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people she encounters along the way.
This stirring memoir tells the story of her remarkable recovery--including her triumphant return to Boston two years later to run part of the race and her participation in the trial of one of the terrorists--and explores the peace we experience when we learn to trust God with every part of our lives: the good, the bad, and even the terrifying.
Reviewer: Gee Dixon
Denine touched my heart. As a mom of a special needs son it gave me courage to keep holding on through the rough times when you feel you just cannot do it.
It was heartwarming seeing the baby steps that Chris took to become one of trusting The Lord and giving all to him. Trusting through the good and not so good.
Ken, Chris’s husband has a hard time dealing with the disabilities that Denine has and distances himself, later though becoming a Christian.
Denine will really touch your life. She touched mine. It will make you cry so get your kleenex out. You will know Denine through the eyes, words and Denine’s life through her mother.
Thank you Chris for sharing your precious Denine. I do hope your story will touch others the way it has touched mine.
Reviewer: Mary Hosmar
It was the description of this story which initially attracted me.
Chris Forster tells the story of her eldest daughter, Denine, in a factual, apparently dispassionate, manner. Yet there is no doubt of her passionate love for her daughter. She is honest in relating how having a ‘severely disabled child’ affected her, her family, her marriage and her trust and faith in God. She admits to bouts of sorrow, depression and despair but also the joy of realizing God had chosen her to be a mother to a special child . Yet this is not a depressing story. Chris’s great love for Denine comes through each page and incident. And when she finally realizes that she needs to give everything over to God, Chris, herself, experiences God’s love and peace.
Never having had a disabled child, I knew I could not understand the trials and trauma that parents of a special needs child undergo, so reading this story was, in part, to educate myself. The other reason for reading the story was to learn more about God’s mercy and grace. I was not disappointed on either count.
Is this book great literature? No. Is it worth reading. Definitely.
Reviewer: Mary Hemlow
An endearing autobiography by a woman struggling with the human condition; that of feeling different from everyone else. Growing up in post Second World War rural Canada, northeast of Toronto, the author engages the reader with her down to earth humour and candour . Her social distinction as a Mennonite being raised by strict parents is accompanied by her many physical challenges and seemingly unusual physical characteristics. Her faith and trust in her Saviour in facing her many challenges is uplifting, including the challenges she and her husband faced in their marriage. Once past the first few chapters, it was difficult to put down. Overall, an entertaining and encouraging read, however, in this reviewer’s personal opinion, a lot of stories did not relate to the main theme. Eliminating them from the book would give it more cohesion and make it even more enjoyable. Random individuals were also introduced making it difficult at times to connect their significance to the plot. The book felt like starting out on a journey with a stranger, but who, by the end of it has become a close friend.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Gathering Courage: A Life-Changing Journey Through Adoption, Adversity, and a Reading Disability by T.A. McMullin is sure to inspire anyone who has known adversity.
The author takes the reader from the very beginnings of her young life, when as a baby, she was placed in an orphanage by her birth mother. It wasn't long before she was adopted into a family who, for all appearances, loved her and wanted her. She found as she grew up a special affinity for animals, in particular horses and they would become instrumental in her life, from giving her unconditional love to helping in her healing after a tragic accident.
It is evident that God's hand was on the author's life from the moment she was born. Her grandmother and others who came into her life prayed for her and encouraged her to trust God in all things. It is remarkable therefore, when at an early age, the author was sent to live in a foster home by her adoptive parents because she was failing in school. Her terror at being abandoned is evident in her writing, making the reader feel her pain, sorrow and confusion. At the same time her commitment to trust God in all things was astounding for one so young. Clearly, God had His hand upon her.
If you enjoy reading the testimonies of Christians you will enjoy this book. The author's ability to recount events in her life, and her trust in God when some of those events were more than anyone should have to bear, left this reader wondering if my life reflected God's glory. To have been called stupid by her parents and then to go on to graduate with varying degrees in the educational field is proof she was anything but. Terry McMullin was abandoned at birth, rejected by her adoptive parents because of dyslexia, endured numerous trials, including a horrifying accident in which she had every right to be angry and bitter over. Instead, she gave it all to God, earned two degrees from Texas A & M University and used her adversities for His glory. If you are looking for an encouraging book, look no further because this one is it.