By Kathi Macias
Published by New Hope Publishers (October 5, 2011)
During Isabella Alcantara’s seventh month of pregnancy, her parents and siblings are murdered in gang- and drug-related violence, simply because their home was targeted by mistake. Isabella knows she was spared only because she now lives in a different location, but she knows too that the same thing could easily happen to her and her husband, Francisco. When her grandfather offers to hire a “coyote” to bring them across the border to America, she agrees. But Francisco and Isabella are abandoned by the coyote and left to die. Francisco then valiantly sacrifices himself to get Isabella to safety. Homeless, nearly penniless, pregnant, and alone, Isabella determines to find a way to honor her promise to her beloved husband.
Living on one of the smaller spreads along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson becomes furious with God and turns from her faith when her border patrol agent husband, David, is killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Though her mother and young son do their best to woo her back from the anger and bitterness that have overtaken her, they make little headway. Two widows—one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge—must make their journeys along different pathways, but with the same destination: a barn full of animals that stands waiting for them on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning that will bind them together in a most miraculous way.
Looking for a warm cozy feel good Christmas story? – It’s not found here! Just like Jesus’ life on earth was not filled with cute fuzzy experiences but what he went through here on earth changed the world forever. It was miraculous and so was the ending of this book. Kathi Macias writes stories with heart and they have a mission. This story is to make people aware of Illegal Immigration. Even at the mention of this topic images and emotions stir, Kathi doesn't take sides. She shows the situation from many angels. I really liked that about her books.
This author looks at two women from different parts of the world - living completely diverse lives. Isabella is in Mexico, recently married and is 19 years old. After Isabella’s family is murdered by drug Lords her grandfather gives the couple his blessing and life savings. He wants them to flee to America in hopes of a better life.
Isabella’s husband Francisco secures a Coyote to help them get to the Promised Land. Instead they find themselves all alone in the desert, with no hope of survival.
Miriam is a widow raising her young son with her mother. Her husband patrolled the Borders and was killed doing his job. Enforcing immigration laws was what he did and she was angry at “those” people! The ones trying to cross the boarder, they were all the same and responsible for her being alone!
The author has you empathize with these women and their struggle, each trying to push past their hurts, fear and walk one step at a time trying to hear from God. Living out the Christian life wasn’t easy for Miriam or Isabella.
This is not an easy read as Isabella goes through a series of unfortunate events. It’s hard to read because I know that this kind of thing does exist. Kathi doesn’t get graphic but gives you a glimpse into their struggle. I like how this author shows the grandfather interceding for the young couple! He knows the power of prayer and does it without ceasing!
This is an emotional, gripping tale that will have you look at this situation with new eyes! Kathi also shows what greed, can lead to and what poverty does to people. In the end and all throughout the story reveals how we can only make it thru impossible situations with God working in us and through us with His love, compassion and forgiveness. When we let God work in us and through us our life and the people in our life are forever changed. I highly recommend this story and Kathi’s Extreme Devotion series; her books are unforgettable in so many ways!
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent