Monday, September 17, 2012
Carnival GirlFourteen-year-old Sonja has always known there is a God who loves her. But when you spend your life on the road with the carnival, traveling the country in a tiny caravan home, it’s hard to imagine a normal, churchgoing life.
Searching for God in the Aftermath of War
Searching for God in the Aftermath of War
Everything changes when Sonja meets two Mormon missionaries. Even though her parents don’t approve, her brothers and sisters taunt her, and her whole life is on the move, Sonja can’t help how she feels. Now she’ll have to choose between the carnival and her convictions, between her family and her faith.
Based on Sonja Herbert’s real childhood in postwar Germany, this incredible, true story is beautifully written and full of heart—A powerful reminder for readers everywhere how much God loves each one of us and how his strength can make dreams come true.
And here is the one page excerpt. It’s the second page of the book, telling about how my mother saved my older sister’s life when she was born prematurely:
My half-Jewish mother, a woman of much sorrow, despised and hated by her own government, presented the world with new life at a time when the Nazis were feeding her people by the millions to the furnaces.
During her first two pregnancies, Hitler was still in power, and Mutti didn’t dare see a doctor for fear of being recognized as Jewish. My oldest sister was born in a circus caravan, far too early, and lived only a few hours.
Mutti became pregnant again early in 1945. She felt that if there were a God, maybe He finally would have mercy on her. This time, surely things would turn out all right.
In June the war ended, and Germany became safe for people of Jewish descent. Mutti and Vati, as we called our father, were finally able to be married by a representative of the hastily thrown together new German government. Just a few weeks later, Mutti gave birth to her second baby, this time in a hospital.
Carmen, too, was premature. Her breathing was labored and painful, and she hardly moved. The skin on her bottom was so thin, Mutti saw the blood vessels through it.
The doctor’s eyes were red with exhaustion and discouragement when he handed the new baby to Mutti. “I’m so sorry, Frau Francesco. There is nothing I can do. The incubators are destroyed, and we just don’t have the resources to keep your little girl alive.”
Mutti looked up, her face wet with tears. “Please, Herr Doktor, what can I do?”
“Take her home. Try to feed her. If God wills, maybe she’ll survive.” He smiled a tired, sad smile. “Your love can do more for her than what we can do here.”
Mutti took the barely breathing baby home to their rickety, old circus caravan.
Amid putting up and taking down the circus, selling tickets, and trying to entertain the war-shocked populace, Vati and Mutti took turns feeding Carmen. She needed food every two hours, day and night. For many months, it didn’t look like she would survive. Mutti pumped the milk, and they fed her first by eyedropper, and when she finally was able to suck, with a bottle.Author's Blog's:
What makes you laugh? The hardest I’ve ever laughed is when watching Arsenic and Old Lace, a 50’s movie. Most American humor goes over my head.
Tell us about the best day of your life. Probably when my son Daniel was born. I lay on the sofa, watching an old horror movie and ignoring the pains. By the time I really noticed them, we barely made it to the hospital. Daniel was born quickly and easily, and his dad brought me a dozen roses before I fell asleep. A perfect day with two great presents!
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