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About the Book:
This is the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. After the accident, the couple turned to their Amish community for comfort, but they remained haunted by the thought that they might not see their girls again in heaven. Would their deeds be good enough? Eventually Ora-Jay and Irene learned that grace—not works—was enough to ensure their place in eternity. But with that knowledge came the realization that they could no longer live in an Amish community that didn’t share this precious belief. Could they sever their connection to the Amish family they loved? This is the story of their journey to the hope that is heaven, a hope stronger than the loss of children, family, and a way of life. Fans of Amish fiction will appreciate such a real-life look into the Amish community, co-written by bestselling author Tricia Goyer, and readers of all kinds will resonate with this tale of courage, resilience, and the redemption found in the grace of Jesus.
I enjoy Amish fiction, any search of my blog will clue you into that, however I also enjoy Amish non-fiction and while Irene and Ora Jay are no longer Amish they were baptized into the Amish church and married Amish. I’ve also been fascinated with Montana and the Amish out there since Tricia’s series that takes place out West – so I knew I had to read this book since it included about life as an ex-Amish person as well as taking place in Montana. The story of the Eash’s begins one night upon leaving a family gathering with their two daughters asleep in the back of their buggy when both parents fall asleep resulting in a catastrophic accident with their buggy. That leads the Eash family wondering is there more? Most don’t know that most Amish don’t believe in a true salvation of believing upon Jesus and the assurance of that salvation – they can only hope that they’ve lived a good enough life and that the Lord will be pleased with their Amish life. To be Amish and be sure of your salvation in Jesus is not looked lightly at among some Amish groups and that is what Irene and Ora Jay found as they began reading the Bible for themselves and asking questions.
Traveling to Montana and only intending to stay for a year opened their eyes to the truth that is found in Christ – and as one action led to another including their eviction from their rental house to live in the basement of the house they were building including also no longer being allowed to associate with their Amish friends and family – the Eash’s knew they could not turn their backs on what they new to be the Truth even if it meant losing it all. The story flowed fairly well although some details should have been provided sooner – one of their son’s received 2nd and 3rd degree burns and the only thing that the read knows is that they didn’t go to the dr until later in the book where in a letter written to friends and family, they did say they called the doctor and he said there was no reason to take him to the hospital and gave them silvadine cream for the burns. At first I was incredulous as to how someone wouldn’t take their injured child to the dr but as I read on and more was explained I released it wasn’t a case of neglect.
There is much searching and faith in these pages, including faith that God can and will heal us and that is what makes this book a great read for a Christian, either a struggling one, one who is going through a trial or even just to read another testimony. It shows real faith to pick up and move across the country, leaving friends, family and church behind as you search for the Truth that will give you assurance of the life to come, life with the King. It switches between Irene and Ora Jay’s view point and it’s interesting how to see how they each responded differently to the Lord’s calling and their trials they went through as they left the Amish, as it gives a more well rounded view of how things are handled in view of church discipline of the Amish when one leaves the flock.
(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws