Joy In A Foreign Land
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Our Story

Newly married, we dream of serving and caring for people in pastoral ministry in small-town New England.  While working toward that goal, we are hit with a devastating prognosis for our infant daughter. Taken from Joan are so many of the joys of being a first time mother, as she anguishes over the news that there is no hope for a normal life for our little girl.

In spite of the obstacles of medical needs and emotional struggles of our loss, we pursue our vision for service and move to Connecticut and into ministry.  While there, our second child is born, a son - this child even more severely disabled than our first.  Unable to bear the burden alone, we return to the place of our roots, near extended family.  Though home again geographically, we remain in a foreign land, the unfamiliar and undesired world of being parents of special needs children.  What will happen to our dreams?  How will our vision succeed? Will our marriage bear up under the stress of unfulfilled desires?


In this gripping, true story, Joan shares her life with tenderness and transparency.  Get a glimpse of her daily routine of caring for her childrens overwhelming needs.  Join the victory dances over small developmental milestones.  Feel with her the painful tests to her marriage.  See the heart of a mother that is ripped apart, as she must say good-bye to their second child who succumbs to death.  Hold your breath with her as she awaits news on the health of her third baby.  In the end, watch as her family's dream of service to others is fulfilled in ways beyond what she would have expected.

You will cry with her, struggle with her, and laugh with her.  Most importantly, you will be inspired and encouraged as you watch a family survive.  You will realize that, in spite of appearances, we are a very normal family that succeeds.  At the end of each chapter, I summarize a secret we have learned through our experiences. Many have told us that our story has helped them to be strengthened to move through their own set of life challenges. It is a great joy to be able to share our story with you.

 

Ron Denlinger



Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

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