Faith and Flames

25 Jul

I only got one book finished this week. It is called Faith and Flames in the Shenandoah Valley by Naomi Rosenberry. It was rather exciting to have a book to read that I had never read before!

This is the story of Mennonites who lived in Virginia during the Civil War. It is a clear picture of the things they went through at that time. It shows the blessings of living nonresistance even in the face of terrible hardships. It shows the remarkable peace we can have when our lives are truly surrendered to our all-powerful God! Although those people were human and were by no means perfect, they were able to remain faithful to God in the midst of trials.

from the back of the book:  “Terrified, the Brennemans watched as great leaping flames and thick columns of smoke rose from the Ralston’s barn first, and then the Burkholder’s and Rhode’s.

“They’re coming!” Timothy shrieked when a small contingent [of soldiers] galloped down the Broadway Road.

Father was standing in the driveway when they arrived. “Please don’t burn our buildings!” he begged.

Two Mennonite families, Daniel Wengers and Noah Brennemans, face the horrors and hardships of civil war in the once-peaceful Shenandoah Valley.  Booms of cannon and screams of wounded men shatter the peace.  Raids by alternating armies deplete well-stocked pantries and granaries. Fathers and young men go into hiding. Happy family life suffers strain and disruption. Dreaded diphtheria sends innocent children to the grave.

Through all this, faith in God shines brighter than the flames of destruction. Both young and old find shelter and peace in God’s everlasting arms. Spiritual life in the church is stirred. Convictions on nonresistance are tested to the breaking point yet grow stronger under trial.

Faith and Flames in the Shenandoah Valley opens a window into Mennonite life in Virginia in the mid 1800s. Church history and nineteenth century customs come alive in this well-researched story. This book will prepare readers for the time when our faith may be tested.”

This book is published by Eastern Mennonite Publications.

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