Thursday, December 2, 2010

Latest Read - "It's Not Okay With Me"

So what's my latest read?  On Monday, I started and finished Janine Maxwell's book, "It's Not Okay With Me."    I've been traveling more frequently with work and I've found the time passes very quickly with a good book in hand.  I've never been a huge reader in the past, just muddled through books here and there.  But recently I've found a number of very good books telling the life stories of people directly involved in adoption, orphan-care, HIV/AIDs, hunger, poverty, etc.  It's been good for the soul to broaden my vision and understanding of issues in the world that affect millions of people everyday.  Issues that I am far removed from in my daily life.

So on Monday, I flew from Sioux City to Rochester, NY (via Minneapolis, as all travelers from Sioux City are routed there, probably including Santa).  I had a three hour layover in Minneapolis which turned into a five hour layover due to problems uncommunicated to us who were seated in the ever-comfortable faux leather chairs at the gate. During the two flights and the extra long layover I was able to mow through the book, "It's Not Okay With Me."

This book is another fascinating book that I would highly recommend.  Janine Maxwell owned a very successful marketing agency in Canada which she built from the ground up.  She was CEO of the company and had been at it for about 16 years.  On 9/11 she was in downtown Manhattan for some business - not in the twin towers, but nearby.  When the events of 9/11 took place, she and her business partners ran for their lives as they had to escape on foot through the chaotic streets, fearing for their lives, not knowing where they were going or when the next plane-strike would take place.  The traumatic events of the next several days resulted in her dropping into a deep depression in the coming months from which she could not escape.

She decided that a trip to Africa was what she needed.  Through this trip, and subsequent other trips, God healed her soul and moved her to close her very successful marketing agency and begin regular trips to Africa.  At this point, she did not know what exactly God had for her, only that He was calling her and she was joyfully obligated to follow His leading.  During her trips, she was involved with Charles Mulli (previous amazing book I read) of MCF ministries where they went through the streets of Kenya and had some miraculous rescues of street children - you have to read them to believe them.  She recounts God's direct pouring out of His grace into the lives of the children living hopelessly alone in trash heaps (the picture on the book cover above is a few of the children and the trash hut they live in, alone, with no parents).  She tells stories of how God not only brings the children in from the street to relieve their physical needs, but also heals their soul through His gospel.

Later, Janine and her husband ultimately founded a ministry called Heart for Africa where they are involved in HOPE - HIV/AIDs, Orphan care, Poverty relief, and Education.  They are actively working in the poverty-stricken country of Swaziland (highest HIV/AIDs rate in the world) in providing HOPE and the gospel.  They also lead large groups (100+ people) of Westerners - primarily from churches - on tours of Africa.  People who have never had any missionary/foreign travel experience, but want to get a taste of 3rd world existence.  The tours are aimed at educating Westerners on the plight of Africa so that God will move in their hearts so that they will get directly involved.

Her main question to the reader is......Is it okay with you that there are 30,000 children dying everyday of starvation in Africa?  Is it okay with you that there are 15 million orphans in Africa?  Is it okay with you that the Western world has turned its back on the crisis of Africa?  She recounts over and over that it is not okay with her and by God's grace she is going to do all she can to be involved.

So, is it okay with you?  It's not okay with me.


  1. Just had to comment when you mentioned Sioux City... I grew up there!! And well know the trek through Minneapolis. :)

    We now live outside Des Moines and are on the path to adopt from Ethiopia through Holt!

    Excited to read this book.

  2. YOur blog is so much funa dn even better is your BIG news! What a blessing to add another sweet girl to your brood. We can't wait to see what happens next in your wonderful story.

    I had to comment since I too have become a reader of books like you share above. They have been so instrumental in opening my eyes to many of the needs and horrors of the world. What amazes me most is how many kids are impacted.

    I am working on a blog post right now about places we can shop that help the least of these and I wonder if you might send me an email with a quick lesson in how to post the picture (like the on eyou did of the book) my email is: THanks so much and again Congrats!