Thousands of years ago, the words of Zechariah the prophet rang out,
"As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit."
Miss Lisa Harris based her most recent work of fiction on that scripture and on the reality of conditions for many African refugees who have lived through civil war and trials worse than anything most of us could imagine from homelessness to uncontrollable infectious disease outbreaks to famine to war and worse. Dealing with even more than those problems with severe water shortages thrown in the mix, the refugees in the book Blood Covenant are surely in a "waterless pit."
While Miss Harris's story deals with a humanitarian crisis that spins seemingly out of control, it is laced with hope and reveals God's faithfulness to His people and our great need for Him. I've been interested in Africa since I became a Christian 12 years ago because God has given me a heart for people who seem to have such a great need (we take clean water and education for granted so often, don't we?) and who it I can, in various ways and with God's provision, help. I work with a non-profit organization called Into-Africa.org as many of my blog readers know. That was why I was so eager to read this book. It took me longer to read than most fiction books do because there's just so much information in it! It's an amazing story, the characters seem real, and the plot-line is marvelous, though disturbing when the reader realizes that, while this is fiction, the experiences of these African refugees isn't.
Blood Covenant takes place in a fictional place in West-Central Africa called Dhambizao which, if it were real, would be next to Gabon on the map. I was interested to find out what Dhambizao means. It means the sins are their own. I'm sure that's significant but can't figure out if it refers to the rebel soldiers, the main characters in the story, or the refugees. Perhaps it refers to all of them. Of course, the rebel soldiers were men who did unmentionable things. And, of course, we're all sinners in need of a wonderful and loving savior no matter how "good" we may be. While most of the main characters in the story already believe that, they realize anew how much we need to rely on Him. We can't "save the world" as many of the people in this book would like to believe, but we can hope in One who can.
I highly recommend Blood Covenant! It's a very inspirational read and one that you'll find it hard to put down. You can even read the first chapter of it on-line at Amazon.com but don't buy it from them--buy it from Christianbook.com, they sell it for less (about $9 instead of Amazon's $10 or your local bookstore's $14-ouch!). This book is actually the 2nd in the Mission of Hope series, but it stands alone. I didn't read the first book in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
I was provided a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Zondervan in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.