What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer tells the story of Christina Willems who was raised by loving parents who worked in the mission of the poor around them. They ran the local poor farm. When Christina’s father died he left her with no money but had trained her to run the poor farm after he was gone and she had done an excellent job though the man in charge did not believe that a woman could do the job and did not send the same amount of support for the mission than had been available for the running of the farm when her parents were alive. She was managing just to make it until one night blind little Tommy awakened her after smelling smoke in the air. The managed to get everyone out of the burning building but then she was faced with not only rebuilding the structure but immediately needed to find temporary shelter for her charges. It proved to be especially difficult to find a place for little Tommy until she finally practically forced but way of guilt to get the mill owner to take him. She had told everyone that it would only take a short time to get the poor farm repaired but then the manager of the mission group started dragging his feet to release the money needed for repairs and suspicious things keep happening at the building site—such as someone cut up all the donated lumber one day. It takes a deep searching of her faith and the community to find a solution to this problem and learn to work together. The church learns to put their faith to the test and open their arms to those previously not regular attendees. Christina learns to pray not for her own plans for the poor farm but rather that God’s will be done for the mission.
I liked this story of a small Kansas community in the early history of our country. It tells of how hard it was and still is to live a life of faith even when unfair things keep happening that are beyond your control. When the story of those lying around you have a story which sounds more likely than the truth which sounds so unbelievable to takes strong people to stand up and say I believe you when the police do not. It also brings out that even when you are doing everything that you can for your mission that it is still not your mission but it is God’s mission and you must do what it is that God wants you to do for His plan not for your plans—they may and probably are different. I can recommend this good reading material for older children and adults especially women.
This book was provided by Waterbrook Press for this review.