Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mercy Triumphs by Jana Kelley

This is the third book in the trilogy. While it reads well on its own, I would suggest reading the previous books to get a full picture of the life of the characters involved.

The main character is Mia. She and her husband have been in Khartoum, Sudan, for three years. (Previous novels in the series cover earlier experiences.) Her husband works for an NGO while Mia runs their home. Both try to share Jesus with people they meet. Doing so in a Muslim country requires serious discretion. One of the converts from a previous novel is Halimah. She had to flee her home when she became a Christian. She ended up helping in a refugee camp in Kenya, having adopted an assumed name. She has an opportunity for a job in Nairobi and moves to the big city. Her sister, Rania, is another major character. She is studying art in Dubai, staying with relatives. She has kept the fact that she is a Christian from her family. She faces an arranged marriage to a Muslim upon her graduation.

Kelley does a great job of describing the situation of Christian converts in a Muslim country through the eyes of these three women. Converts will probably be disowned by their family and may be beaten. If they have a business, others will refuse to patronize it. They may not be able to get jobs. They may be arrested and detained. It is always difficult for converts as there is not the support system to sustain their faith we see in western countries.

Kelley also does a good job of describing life in general for Americans living in Sudan. We are made aware of the clothing restriction on women. We experience the intermittent electricity. We sweat in the heat. We read of refugees and mistreatment. We are concerned with the possibility of being caught in the uncertainty of an attempted coup.

I recommend this book to readers interested in the living conditions for Christians abroad. You will get a glimpse of modern day persecution and the providence of God. You'll experience the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. While this book is fiction, Kelley is clear that the stories are based on real events. She has also included a glossary for the foreign words she used.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can find other reviews here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jana Kelley was raised in Southeast Asia and developed a love for cross cultural living early in life. She returned to Texas for college and was married a month after she graduated. They were living in a remote African town by their second anniversary. She, her husband and their three boys now live in Southeast Asia after thirteen years in Africa. You can find out more at http://www.janakelley.com/.

New Hope Publishers, 296 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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