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A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger

A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger

4.4 9
by Kathi Macias

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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


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

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
When pregnant Isabella Alcantara loses her parents and siblings to gang violence, her concerned grandfather offers to help her and her husband, Francisco, cross the Arizona-Mexico border. On the journey, Francisco is killed, leaving Isabella alone and afraid. On the other side of the border, Miriam Nelson still reels with anger after the murder of her husband, a border patrol agent, by drug smugglers. Both women question God and their faith until they meet in a barn on Christmas night. VERDICT The story is a bit too sappy and predictable for this reviewer, but the topic is timely, and it may attract readers who enjoy the inspirational Christmas stories of Richard Paul Evans.

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New Hope Publishers
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Meet the Author

Award-winning author Kathi Macias has written more than 30 books, including the award-winning devotional A Moment a Day and the popular “Matthews” mystery novels. Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, 2008 Member of the Year from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association), and the grand prize in an international writing contest. With women’s ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.

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A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Susanosb More than 1 year ago
A Christmas Journey Home is a very special nativity story that shows the presence of our Lord in the most difficult of circumstances. Isabella and Francisco Alcantara flee from their home near Ensenada, Mexico, when Isabella's parents and siblings are murdered in gang- and drug-related violence. Isabella is pregnant with their first child. However, the circumstances that greet them across the border turn out to be worse than what they left behind and make them question their decision. Miriam Nelson, whose border patrol agent husband was killed by drug smugglers, is filled with bitterness and anger. Through a miracle only God can perform these two women meet on Christmas Eve and discover the true meaning of Christ's birth. This book is thought-provoking, and Kathi Macias has provided an excellent read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
while trying to remind you of what is going on in the other two stories, the repetition gets tiresome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Connecting with the characters and their difficulties was reflexive for me in Kathi Macias¿ A Christmas Journey Home. I found myself wrapped up in their lives and rooting for them from the get-go. What an amazing story of the difficulties on both sides of the illegal immigration issue¿yet all surrounded by the grace of God and His amazing power to heal and rebuild lives. A super read! What a great Christmas gift for a friend. Or a gift for yourself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
A modern day version of the Christmas Nativity is brought to life on the pages of the latest book by Kathi Macias, A Christmas Journey Home. Two families lives are weaved together by God's answer to pray and to promote the healing that each of them need at Christmas. Isabella Alcantara's life has been disrupted by the recent gang violence in Mexico. Her entire family, brothers and sisters, mother and father will all fatally killed when a gang filled their home full of bullets one night. The only reason Isabella is still alive is that she is married to Francisco, and they now live in a different home. Fearing for their continued safety especially now that Isabella is seven months pregnant, her grandfather, gives her enough money so that her and Francisco can escape Mexico via a "coyote" who promises them a way across the border. Living on a 30-acre ranch that runs along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson's life is shattered when her husband, David is killed during his line of work as a Border Patrol Agent. Leaving Miriam and her young son, Davey alone, her mom, Caroline soon joins them to keep the ranch from being sold as they struggle to find a way to make ends meet. As the story progresses, we will soon see how the lives of each of them are transformed and completely changed forever as each of them struggles during difficult circumstances to hold onto what remaining faith they have that God does answer prayers. I received this book compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review and loved the parallel between the Biblical version of the nativity and the miracle that happens on Christmas Eve in this story. A true inspirational story for anyone struggling with the answer of why bad things happen to faithful believers and how God does answer our prayers, just not in the way we would like to see them answered. A true 5 out of 5 stars and a definitely must read. Kathi Macias is climbing her way to the top of one of my favorite authors of all time.
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Francisco and Isabella leave Mexico at the urging of Isabella's Grandfather. Drug and gang related violence took the lives of Isabella's family. Isabella's Grandfather gives her and Francisco his life savings to hire a 'coyote' to get them across the border to Arizona. Miriam Nelson owns farmland in Arizona and is raising her six year old son Davey with the help of her Mother. Miriam's husband David, a Border Patrol Agent, was killed in a fight with drug smugglers at the border. Will Isabella's Grandfather's intercessory prayers keep Isabella and Francisco safe until they reach their destination? Can Miriam let go of her anger toward God and renew her love and faith in Him again? This story made a hugh impact in my life. As a Christian I have had some issues to work through. I realize that through faith and prayer God can soften our hearts, bring us to forgiveness and yes, give us wonderful miracles. I want to add that over lunch I was telling my husband what this book was about and how it touched my life. I broke down in tears many times while telling him this story. I've learned that I need not be so judgemental but I need to open my heart to forgive more. We often don't know the circumstances why people do what they feel they need to do whether it is right or wrong.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
What an eye opening story. Isabella and Francisco leave Mexico to get away from the violence, after her family is murdered. All she has left is her Grandfather, he helps them financially to leave. The other main characters are Miriam, her Mom Carolyn, and her six year old son Davy. During the past year they have lost David, a boarder guard, and Miriam blames all illegals for the death of her husband. Isabella is seven months pregnant, and her husband is very worried about her. All he needs is a job and he can find a home for her and the new baby. Throughout all the terror you find a strong faith in God, constant prayers are being said. The trials for this about to be born baby are many, and at times you wonder if he will survive. What a wonderful, although very sad at times, story. This is not a warm touchy-feely story, you will need tissues nearby! I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author's interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services.
susy_m More than 1 year ago
Very Inspirational to read!!! i will defenetily read other books by Kathi Macias.....reading her story it was watching a movie i really couldnt stop reading til i finish all the book in 1 1/2 days ....