Thursday, May 14, 2015

Guest Post by Author Susan R. Lawrence

Fiction with a Purpose
 
I sat at the dinner table of my friend, Bert, with tears rolling down my cheeks. Bert’s son and daughter-in-law are missionaries in Swaziland, Africa, and they were sharing stories of babies and children they met while ministering there. The AIDs epidemic has devastated this area leaving thousands of orphans with no one to care for them.
When Marcia shared how handicapped babies were wrapped in a blanket, turned to face the wall, and left to die in the hospital, my heart broke. I have a thirty-three year old son who was born with mild cerebral palsy. The thought of someone leaving him to die filled me with righteous anger.
Marcia’s husband, Scott, laid out their vision for building a village of homes for these abandoned babies, to be staffed and directed by Swaziland people. The orphans would be raised in a Christian home-like atmosphere. They’d formed a corporation, Pour International, using Isaiah 44:3 for their theme verse: For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground: I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. The land for the first home had already been purchased. They only needed funds to build it.
But what could I do? I am a retired elementary teacher, working hard at making my way in the Christian fiction world. At that time, I had only two out-of-print devotionals to my credit, and I had far more out-go than income with my current projects, including a novel I was shopping to publishers.
My husband and I left that night with our hearts full of the images of Swaziland. But, as so often happens, when we returned to our daily lives, Swaziland receded back across the ocean of our mind.
I continued work on my novel, Atonement for Emily Adams. I found a home for it at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and began the arduous task of editing and polishing. As the release date drew nearer, I began to realize my dream of a published novel was actually going to become a reality. People would buy my book and I would receive royalties.
And I thought again about the babies in Swaziland. I said nothing to my husband, Gary, just prayed and thought about what I was being led to do.
A few weeks later, Gary called me into the family room where he was sitting in his recliner, one of his favorite “thinking spots.”
“I had an idea,” he said. “Why don’t we take the proceeds of your novel and donate them to Pour International?”
How like our God to give the same idea to both of us! And so began our fiction with a purpose campaign. In all our marketing efforts, we partner with Pour International. I promise readers, a great read for a great cause.
Publishing and marketing in today’s market can be a monumental task. But Atonement for Emily Adams has helped to build a baby home. We’re praying for more copies to be sold, so the home can be furnished and filled with children.

For more information on Pour International go to www.pourinternational.org
To read more about Atonement for Emily Adams click on the link.


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