About the Book
Author: Mabel Ninan
Genre: Christian / Non-Fiction / Spiritual Growth
Release date: July 12, 2022
What is my purpose? Why do I exist? A sense of self and belonging are two questions many of us struggle to answer.
And what if you are a foreigner in another land?
How does one adjust to a new culture? Discover their place in a new society?
For Mabel Ninan, born and raised in India and an immigrant in America shortly after marriage, the search for those answers sent her on a journey that led to an unexpected and exciting discovery.
God revealed she was not only an earthly immigrant but also a spiritual one, created with a unique calling to impact His kingdom. Mabel’s renewed perspective imbued her with joy and hope, urging her to share the message with others.
Drawing from her personal experiences and by examining the lives of biblical heroes, Mabel sheds light on what it means to live as a citizen of Heaven on earth. Far from Home will inspire you to:
- Embrace your identity as a foreigner on earth.
- Make your home with God.
- Find community and common purpose with fellow sojourners.
Explore the intersection between culture, identity, and faith in this new release from an earthly immigrant who gained a spiritual perspective.
Click here to get your copy!
Ninan combines her personal experience and illustrations from the Bible to provide a thought provoking exploration of Christians as foreigners on earth. As an immigrant in the U.S., Ninan learned to find her identity in Christ, rather than her location. She shares her insights on identity, home and community. She is a mature Christian and I greatly appreciated her spiritual lessons for Christians, reminding us we are citizens of heaven.
This is also a book that gives Christians a good sense of what it is like for a visitor, especially one with a different tint of skin than your own, to visit your church. Ninan has provided an Appendix with practical suggestions as to how you can love your immigrant neighbor.
My favorite illustration from Ninan was about her flying back to India to visit her family. It's a long and uncomfortable flight and she would get frustrated and cranky. But then she would remember that every hour she endured brought her closer to home. What a great story to remind us that every day of pain or discouragement we experience is one day closer to heaven.
Ninan has included reflection questions, action steps, and a prayer at the end of every chapter. This is a good book for personal or group use. I recommend it, for the spiritual insight it contains as well as the practical suggestions for welcoming immigrants.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
A contributor to Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures: Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers 2022, Mabel’s writings have appeared in The Upper Room, CBN.com, Leading Hearts Magazine, and (in)courage.me. She hosts a YouTube podcast called Immigrant Faith Stories where she shares testimonies of immigrants, refugees, missionaries, and cross-cultural ministry leaders. She has been serving in various roles in women’s ministry for almost a decade.
Mabel enjoys reading, traveling, and dancing, but nothing gives her more joy than having conversations about the Bible.
Mabel is pursuing M.A. in Theological Studies from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She lives with her husband, son, and Maltese pup in Northern California.
More from Mabel
When the idea of this book was birthed in 2018, I wanted to publish a collection of letters to my son. I wanted to keep a record of God’s faithfulness to me in a foreign country. How He became my all in all when I had nobody to call my own. How He gave me His all when I was empty. I hoped my stories and learnings would strengthen not only my son’s faith but also other immigrants like me. But God had a different plan for this book.
By 2019, the book underwent a complete change in its content and organization. It also targeted a different group of readers. I wrote for those who were coping with changes, those who wanted a deeper walk with God, those who found it difficult to belong or cling to hope in the midst of suffering, and those who were tired of going through the motions. My agent and I replaced the title of the book from This is not Home to Far from Home.
After facing rejecting from almost eight publishers, Far from Home found its home in Harambee Press, an imprint of Iron Stream Media that publishes ethnic writers. I was thrilled!
Far from Home is a nonfiction book but it is also part memoir. I’ve described what life was like growing up in India and I also recount a few experiences as an immigrant in the U.S. What makes Far from Home unique is also that the book introduces the reader to another culture, the Indian/South Asian culture. Some parts of the book read like a devotional while others are rich in biblical character studies and teaching.
Overall, I feel the book reflects who I am—an Indian, an America, an Indian-American, a storyteller, an immigrant, and a Bible teacher—though that was not my aim. I find it fascinating that I could be myself and tell my stories and use all aspects of my identity to declare the goodness and greatness of God.
There is a need for more diversity in our stories. I’m not saying this because diversity is the new buzz world these days. We need diverse voices and ways of worship because they reveal God’s power, beauty, and creativity. Testimonies from other cultures can open our eyes to a new way of experiencing God and His Word. They engage our brains and touch our hearts in a unique way. Reading books by diverse authors can enlarge our capacity for empathy, push back our defenses, and even turn our fear of the unknown into appreciation.
I hope my writing helps you see God from a different lens, a different angle. I hope it makes you want to read books by authors from varied cultures, races, and ethnicities.
And my desire, more than anything else, is that Far from Home convinces you that you’re never really far from home. In the triune God, you always have a home here on earth while you await a better one in heaven. A home that will be shared with people from all nations, tongues, and tribes.
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)