I just finished reading the Canadian West Series by Janette Oke, and it was so encouraging to me. I read the first book ages ago and always told myself that I would read the rest of the series, but I just never seemed to have the time. Since I've been home from college I've had a lot of free time, so I thought, why not! I should just read the whole series.
I was in for a surprise. I thought that these were Christian romances. The first book is definitely that in a lot of ways, but as I got further along into the series, I realized this was actually a missionary story in a way.
The series is about a girl and her husband, who is part of the West Mounted Police and he gets posted it different remote places to watch over the people. So the whole story is her traveling from place to place and learning how to adjust to different cultures. Then she starts sharing her faith with people, and it's amazing! Some times I forgot that this was a fiction, because her struggles just seemed so realistic. After living in a remote place she would then have to get used to society again. I was just realizing that this is the life of a missionary. Things are hard, and things don't always go the way you want, but God gives you the grace to love people and to be present where you are.
Adjusting from place to place and learning to love different people I'm sure is a real struggle. I appreciate how these books are real about the struggles. Being someone who feels called to many places, I could relate with this story. Sometimes I'll be surrounded in a community of people, sometimes I won't be accepted and I'll be alone a lot, and other times I'll live in American society trying to remember how to eat my food with a fork and dress like a normal person -- not a mountain woman. I think these will all be very real experiences I will have, and these books portray this struggle.
A quick side note: these books aren't all about the struggles, but there are joys and little humorous things that happen in the midst of all the rough times. I had a chuckle quite a few times!
Two words: read them.