Title: Give it a Go
Author: Deb Brammer
Series: New Beginnings, book 2
Major Themes: Cross-Cultural Ministry, Mission Work, New Zealand
Synopsis: Jennifer may have agreed to help with a puppet ministry in New Zealand, but she certainly was not interested in the pastor of the church there!
Almost 13 years ago, our family moved from the United States to New Zealand. For the first few years, we constantly came across small cultural differences. It’s amazing how different the two countries can be, though they both speak English! When I heard about Deb Brammer’s New Beginnings series, featuring Americans and Kiwis doing ministry together, I was quite intrigued, and after reading Short Poppies, I immediately jumped into Give it a Go. I was not disappointed!
Two years after his wife’s death, Pastor Greg realizes that his ministry is incomplete without his wife. People who come to Friendly Bay Bible Church in Oamaru soon move on. He needs another wife—but where can he find one?
Jennifer is quite happy with her life in Minnesota, near her children and grandchildren. Alarm bells go off in her mind immediately when Pastor Greg, whose deceased wife was Jennifer’s friend, invites her to bring a puppet team to New Zealand, and train locals to use puppets for ministry. She finally agrees to go—but only to help with the puppet ministry. Brayden and Alyssa, two teens from her church, will go along. They will do performances, and help her to train people in several churches to use the puppets themselves. That was the only reason Jennifer was going.
When people started talking about Greg and Jennifer together, Jennifer knew she had to do something to stop the gossip. Would it work? Or did she need to take a leap of faith and “give it a go” to see what God had planned for them? Should she say anything to one of the women of the church about her inappropriate behavior toward Pastor Greg?
As with Short Poppies, the people felt very real to me. They almost seemed like friends as I read the book, and Friendly Bay Bible Church felt like a place I could walk into and know the people. I really enjoyed this book, and appreciated many of the points that the author brought out. Jennifer had to learn that numbers alone aren’t an indicator of success in a ministry. I also really liked some of the sub-plots, involving the young people on the team and in the Oamaru church. Those stories were quite well done, too.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
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