What does it take to break your heart? Would a brutal beating of a small Indian child, an untouchable boy, move you to discover more about a society that places such little value on life? Why would a lowly tanner, someone who handles dead animals for their skins, name his son “Blessing” in a world where nothing blesses and everything worthwhile is in the hands of the rich and powerful. What faith can possible overcome the heat and hopelessness of the poverty and filth in India?
Kay Marshall Strom’s newest fiction release The Faith of Ashish is a tender, poignant story told with a heart of love for the least-loved people on our planet. The reader enters the lives of Virat, Latha, and their son, Ashish, as they struggle to survive the cruel realities of their outcaste existence. The presence of one true Christian believer, a young nurse in a medical mission compound, shines the light of Christ into their darkness, proving the naming of their boy was not a mistake. Not a foolish rebellion against their dharma—their personal moral law. Hope does exist.
The story unfolds on many levels—revealing not only the plight of the Untouchables in India, but also the inadequacy of Christian mission in the early twentieth-century, and the confusion of true “religion” with those who claim roots in the faith, but do not practice it. Readers also meet the wealthy landowner, Mammen Samuel, who pretends to help poor people, but then makes them his slaves for life. What kind of a world tolerates such deceit in the name of God?
Our world. The one we in the prosperous West ignore in deference to our soft beds, our electronic toys, our stocked-to-the-brim pantries. Kay Strom is on a mission of her own: to bring the suffering people of the world into our homes by any means—to rouse us to action to make a difference. Several of her non-fiction works have highlighted the lives of persecuted believers. Her previous fiction series, Grace inAfrica, shines a beacon on the evils of slavery—past and present. Now, she shows usIndia. The realIndia.
My heart was broken. I took the risk to read, to feel, to care. How about you?
The Faith of Ashish releases in August 2011. You can preorder now on Amazon.com or christianbooks.com I was provided an Advance Reader Copy by the author.