Orphaned Grace (Part 1)

This is the first part of a 7-part story set in the African bush.

 

Neema came into my life one dark, brooding September day. I remember how the promise of rain after the long dry season had brought a lightness throughout the Ngwenya bush camp. It was the first day of mid-term break, and—unlike all the other boarders—I was not happy to be home.

Home—the place of memories, the place where I could never forget. Continue reading

7-Part Story starts Monday!

I’m excited to announce something new on my blog. From Monday, you’ll be able to read a very special short story that I’ve written. It will run as a 7-part series for two weeks on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  “Neema” is the Swahili word for ‘grace’ and it’s the name of the young elephant in my story, who I hope will touch your hearts. Continue reading

Speaking to Teachers about your Child’s Asperger’s Syndrome

At the beginning of each school year I am always faced with the decision of how much to share with the new group of teachers regarding my daughter’s Asperger’s Syndrome. This question crops up any time we start a new after-school activity too. On the one hand, teachers need to understand the reason behind some of the behaviours they may encounter, but on the other I don’t want them to start treating Ashlyn as ‘different’ or lowering their expectations of what she can achieve. Continue reading

Simeon’s Awe & Anna’s Praise

Christmas Devotion 2

Our Christmases are busy, bustling times. It’s surprisingly easy to lose sight of the miracle we celebrate: God coming into our midst. Even two thousand years ago in Israel—where people debated and discussed the Promised Messiah—there were few who truly recognised him. But step back into time with me and take a look at two who did.

My fingers graze against the rough walls as I climb the temple steps. I pause at the top to catch my breath, and look back over the sprawl of Jerusalem. In my youth I would have bounded up those steps two at a time, so keen was I to enter Yahweh’s courts. I’m still keen, Lord, just a little slower. The gate ahead of me leads to the broad Court of the Gentiles. Continue reading

The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt

Read Chapter Nine Part One here.

 

Chapter Nine Part Two

By Joan Campbell

 

“Grace!” The whisper startled me awake. It took a while to remember where I was.

“Sorry,” Constance stood with a torch at the foot of my bed. “But your grandmother asked me to take you somewhere. And she said it had to be at sunrise.”

“Sunrise?” My voice was groggy. “But it’s still dark.” Continue reading

The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt

Chapter One by Joan Campbell

Chapter Two by Ruth O’Neil

Chapter Three by J.A. Marx

Chapter Four by Deanna Klingel

Chapter Five by Marji Laine

Chapter Six by Sheryl Holmes

Chapter Seven by Fay Lamb

Chapter Eight by Debbie Roome

Chapter Nine Part One

By Joan Campbell

 

“Jambo!”

I hesitantly shook the hand stretched out to me. If his sign hadn’t had my name scrawled on it, I would have thought I had the wrong person. Could this middle-aged man be the Constance Grammie had told me to e-mail, the one who would meet me at the airport?

“Jambo, Grace,” he said again.

“Yes. Jumbo. Big plane.” I pointed back toward the airport tarmac, wondering how I would survive five days in a country where citizens didn’t speak my language. His dark ebony face creased with laughter.

“No, you misunderstand. Jambo is the Swahili greeting.” His English was lilting and lovely. “Here, let me take your luggage.” I could feel the heat rise to my face and was grateful that his full attention was on my bags. Continue reading

A Star, a Journey and a Heavenly King

Christmas Devotional (1)

“There,” Melchior pointed to a small cluster of mud-brick houses. “We have found him!”

Could it be? Was the greatest of all Kings to be found here, in this dusty, ramshackle village?

I thought back over the long journey that had brought us here. I remembered the first time I looked up at the night sky and saw the star, unlike any I had ever seen before. From that first moment, gazing on its brightness in the western sky, I knew that it was an omen of great significance. Our nights were spent studying the star; our days, discussing and debating its meaning. We poured over our own ancient writings, but all to no avail. Continue reading

The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt

Read Chapter One Part One here. 

 

Chapter One Part Two

By Joan Campbell

 

 

Dear Gracie,

My darling, how I hope this letter hasn’t upset you. By the time you get it, I will no longer be with you. The doctors are saying another month, maybe two at most. I knew I wouldn’t make it until Christmas, so I wanted to give you one final gift. I hope it is the best one yet. Continue reading