Yielded Captive (Pioneer USA) tells the pulse-pounding story
of Allison and her family who are missionaries serving the remote tribes in the
jungle of Peru. After Allison and her 14-month-old son, Isaac, are kidnapped,
she must figure out how to protect her son and get to safety.
YOU CURRENTLY LIVE
AND SERVE AS A MISSIONARY IN THE JUNGLE OF PERU, HOW MUCH OF THIS NOVEL IS
TRUE-TO-LIFE AND HOW MUCH IS PURELY FICTION?
The storyline is a product of my own overactive imagination, but
much of the culture, language, and worldview of the fictitious Shampiri tribe
is based on my experiences living with the Caquinte tribe in Peru. For
specifics about what is real and what isn't you can follow this
link to a page on my website.
AS A MOTHER, WAS
IT HARD FOR YOU TO WRITE FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE?
As I was writing Yielded Captive, I realized that the main
character's role as a mother changed her story entirely. Allison's choices
would have likely been very different (and not so noble!) if her son had not
been a part of her story. I think this is true for all parents. We can suffer
through unspeakable pain for the sake of our children, pain that would have
otherwise been unbearable.
LIVING IN THE
JUNGLE DOESN'T AFFORD AS MANY "LUXURIES" AS WE HAVE IN THE STATES. DO YOU MISS ANYTHING ABOUT WESTERN LIVING?
Cleanliness? Ha! Dirt, mildew, and nasty bugs are everywhere,
all the time. Actually, I don't even like camping, so the irony of God
putting me in the middle of a dirty jungle isn't lost on me. The second thing
that is hard about being a Westerner in a non-Western society is the lack of
privacy. Many people in our village don't even have walls on their house, and
conversations, even between spouses, are open for neighborly critique.
Sometimes I have to just close the curtains on my windows and hide out for a
WHERE DID THE
INSPIRATION COME FROM FOR THIS BOOK?
The original idea came a decade ago when my husband and I first
traveled to Peru, but I didn't do anything with it. A few years ago, I had a
fit of insomnia as I was struggling with questions about my own faith. For some
reason, when I sat down at my computer to write, the first chapter just spilled
out of me.
ARE THERE BETWEEN YOU AND ALLISON?
Allison and I both have the drive to do the right thing even at a
cost, but Allison is a lot sweeter and quieter than I am. If anyone, I am
probably most like Julia's character - very playful, empathetic, and
WHAT'S IT LIKE
RAISING FOUR BOYS IN THE JUNGLE OF ALL PLACES?
Hilarious mostly. My older three are only 16 months apart (an older
son and a set of identical twins). They live in a boy's paradise. There is a
lot of tree climbing, mud rolling, river bathing, and real bow and arrow
shooting in my world!
CAN YOU TELL ME
ABOUT THE DEDICATION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK?
Yielded Captive is dedicated to Isaac Sward who died in a car
accident when he was 18-months-old. He died mere days before his family planned
to move to Asia to serve as missionaries. His death really shook me as I was faced with the
idea that being in God's will does not automatically protect me or my family
from tragedy. Writing Yielded
Captive was done during a season of deep grieving and searching for a
more Biblical understanding of God and how He works particularly in regards to
the intersection of suffering and His will. In the end, I don't think
like I came up with any brilliant new insights. Through writing, however, God
met me in a very deep and vulnerable place, and I feel like I came to know HIM
better. I know that He is good in a much more tangible way, even
though the theology I am left with is not as comfortable to hold.