Found in Translation

8 Oct

Roger Bruner and Kristi Ray Bruner

Publisher: Barbour PublishingFound in Translation

Publication Date: 2011

Paperback: 365

Book Blurb:

Faith, obedience and forgiveness intersect in a remote Mexican village.

When Kim Hartlinger—eighteen and spoiled—arrives on a mission trip to Mexico and discovers, to her chagrin, that she’ll be doing construction in a remote village without plumbing and electricity, rather than evangelism in a medium sized two with a fast food joint…she has only two choices. “Rough it” (which isn’t exactly what Kim had in mind when she signed up for this trip) or turn around and head home.

Will Kim be able to touch the villagers’ hearts with the Gospel? Or will her time in Mexico be up before she gets the chance?

Stand alone or series: This book can easily stand alone but it now part of a series

Why I read this book: While searching for books in a seemly endless stream the cover and title caught my eye. Once I read the caption, I was hooked. I found it in the year leading up to my move to Mexico. I knew that a missionary view of a remote town will be far different from what I experience but I’d love to find ways to help if I can. And never having been on a mission trip like this I wanted to hear a close-up account, albeit fictional, of the goings on. I was not disappointed.

Review:

Kim, or Kimmy as she hates to be called, is the picture of a stereotypical teen—irresponsible and self-obsessed—but the situation she is about to encounter is anything but typical. Her bags are crammed with make-up, hair products and designer clothes. Her attitude is on edge after a missed flight, a nasty airport worker, a few missed emails and a less than friendly reception from the mission trip crew. The perfect recipe for disaster if God wasn’t in the mix as only He can turn a disaster into a blessing.

With the help of her spunky new friend Aleesha, Kim is able to win over the hearts of her team members but winning over the hearts of the villagers proves more difficult as their last minute change of plans left not only left Kim without a sleeping bag but also left the group without translators. Despite the language barrier Kim and many others form bonds with the villagers. The mission members care for the villagers’ physical needs while rebuilding houses, but they know it will all be in vain if they can’t care for their spiritual needs as well.

Kim’s “me” focus turns to a “He” focus as the novel lives up to its subtitle: An Altered Hearts Novel. Her transformation is fun to watch—filled with laughter, challenges and doubt. But with a little time and a little faith she learns to trust God’s plans and God’s timing even if they take her way out of her comfort zone.

The novel had a great voice and fun characters that you couldn’t help but care for. I didn’t want to put it down and, well, neglected everything that I should’ve been doing to finish. I’d recommend Found in Translation to any and all, but specifically to teens and college age.

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