Thursday, March 31, 2016
By Vannetta Chapman
Published by Harvest House, February 2016
We meet Joshua Kline and his wayward brother Alton, and follow their travels from their family farm in Oklahoma to Texas, to join a Mennonite disaster relief mission to a town devastated by a major hurricane. Joshua, his family and his Bishop all hope that a change of environment, a busy work schedule and helping those less well off than themselves will provide Alton with an outlet for his energies and less time to get into trouble again.
The Amish contingent find that the Englisch folk also have problems, and that they can be thoroughly decent people - and troubled people too. Both Amish and Englisch are forced to abandon their preconceptions and look at each other with fresh eyes and a fresh appreciation for the insight and blessings they each bring to the other. As the wise Amish Bishop suspected, a total change of scenery and way of life helps the two brothers begin to heal their fragmented and complex relationship with each other as well as discovering possible romantic interests in their female co-workers .
The Englisch folk we encounter re-learn to trust God and each other more deeply and build closer bonds, making the most of each and every day and counting their blessings; friendships are formed between the helpers and the helped. Charlie Everman is a delightful character from beginning to end of the story.
Fresh, funny, and by far the most "Englisch" of Vannetta Chapman's stories, to my mind, "Joshua's Mission" ranks as one of her very best and most enjoyable books to date.