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After tragedy strikes the family of young Naomi Miller, her friend Rebecca Bachman does all she can to help. But things get complicated when Rebecca's brother, Micah, returns from a combat tour in Afghanistan. For one thing, he chose to serve in the military even though he served as a medic and never picked up a gun. For another, he is under the Meidung--the shunning-- because of that and none of the Amish are permitted to speak to him or eat with him. And finally, he is not only Rebecca's brother, he is Naomi's ...
After tragedy strikes the family of young Naomi Miller, her friend Rebecca Bachman does all she can to help. But things get complicated when Rebecca's brother, Micah, returns from a combat tour in Afghanistan. For one thing, he chose to serve in the military even though he served as a medic and never picked up a gun. For another, he is under the Meidung--the shunning-- because of that and none of the Amish are permitted to speak to him or eat with him. And finally, he is not only Rebecca's brother, he is Naomi's husband! But how can Naomi pick up where their marriage left off after he turned away from her and his people to enlist in the army? How can Naomi and Micah even begin the process of healing their relationship when he will not repent of what he has done and the Amish will not forgive him for what he has done? Naomi despairs of ever again having a happy married life with her husband.
But God has a way of working on the hearts of His people--especially at Christmas time. When an unexpected turn of events sets things right, miracles happen to the Amish community, to the Miller family, and to Naomi and Micah, miracles that transform everyone.
Here is warm and tender story of faithfulness, love, and reconciliation at the most wonderful time of the year.
Posted October 12, 2013
Reviewed by Kristie Ingerto for Readers' Favorite
An Amish Family Christmas, a Christmas novella written by Murray Pura, is a story of Christmas miracles and the love and magic that is experienced during the Christmas season. Naomi lost her parents and sister who were killed in an accident, and she has lost her brother as well because he has been in a catatonic state since the accident. During this time, Naomi cannot be comforted by her own husband, Micah, as he is under the ban. Micah went to Afghanistan as a medic to help care for wounded soldiers because he felt this was what God wanted him to do, even though it is against what the Amish believe. Naomi and Micah live in the same house, but without talking or spending time together. They are struggling with the ban and the hurt in their lives until something unexpected occurs, turning Christmas around.
I love Amish books and I love Christmas books, so Murray Pura’s novella was a must-read for me and I was not disappointed. I was immediately drawn into the characters’ lives, of both Micah and Naomi, but also Rebecca as well. I loved the friendship between the two women and how they were there for each other through both the trials and the joyous times. Christmas time is such a magical season as they all learn when the letters start pouring in and Naomi, as well as the elders, begin to see Micah in a new light and understand his calling. This is a very quick, sweet read that will get the reader into the spirit of Christmas and is a feel-good story.
Posted October 2, 2013
Young Micah has returned from Iraq where he felt called by God to heal wounded soldiers. But there is one very big problem--Micah is Amish. Amish do not believe in fighting in wars and do not allow their church members to serve in the military in any capacity--even healing. Naomi's family has been killed and her surviving brother, Luke, is in a catatonic state. Naomi and her friend and sister-in-law, Rebecca, work to restore Luke to full health and Micah returns from the war. The church puts him under the bann when he refuses to say that he was wrong to serve in the war as a medic. Micah and Naomi can not speak or even sleep in the same room. They long to be together as a husband and wife are meant to be. Can they change the Ordnung ? Will Luke ever speak again or get up and walk?
MY REVIEW: This is a very compelling story. I felt the agony that Micah and Naomi were experiencing as Murray Pura's words are so descriptive and heartfelt. I have read many Amish Christmas stories and this one is far different from all of the others. I simply can not imagine enduring a shunning of my own spouse! Micah has been away from his wife and family for a year and he and Naomi long to hold each other. They are forbidden to do so. I will be honest and say that I do not think I could obey the rules of the Amish church in this respect. I value many of their practices and beliefs but not this one! So, to be preparing to celebrate Christmas, it would lack joy and wonder for me with shunning being practiced. I was eager to read this book and when I had to stop to do housework, I was anxious to get back to my kindle to see how Murray Pura resolves these incredible conflicts. This story shows God's forgiveness and miracles, for sure and certain. The bann is dealt with honestly and accurately.
I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Posted September 21, 2013
Naomi Bachman is grieving the passing of her parents and sister after a tragic accident. Her brother Luke was wounded in the accident and lost the control over his limbs and the ability to speak. Her husband Micah was gone on a tour of duty in Afghanistan while the tragedy occurred. Sister-in-law Rebecca is staying with Naomi and is doing her best to help and encourage her.
Naomi doesn’t know what to think of her husband. She doesn’t understand why he left her to go to war and broke the rules of the Ordnung by enlisting.
When Micah comes home, he is shunned and not allowed to speak or eat with other Amish. He is living under the same roof with his wife, but cannot speak to her, touch her, nor eat with her. The shunning will be lifted as soon as he repents of having gone to war, but Micah cannot repent because he felt it was God who sent him there to do the work of a medic and save people’s lives.
Christmas is nearing and letters and postcards from grateful family members of soldiers, whose lives Micah had saved, start to arrive. Naomi is beginning to see another side of her husband by reading the letters and notes and slowly she starts to understand some of the reasons why he enlisted. She takes the mail to the bishop, hoping that he will also be touched by reading the letters and will do something to stop the shunning. She prayes that hearts and rules will be changed.
When an accident occurs in their community, and Micah rushes to offer his help, will it change the thinking of the Ministers of the Amish church, or will it only make Micah’s predicament worse?
Such a captivating and moving story! Once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. I think the author beautifully portrayed that even if we don’t always understand the things that are happening around us, that doesn’t mean it’s not from God.
A wonderful novella for Christmas, or any time of the year!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy through NetGalley.*