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A Flicker of Hope: An Amish Home Novella
A Flicker of Hope: An Amish Home Novella
A Flicker of Hope: An Amish Home Novella
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A Flicker of Hope: An Amish Home Novella

Автор Ruth Reid

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Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When a fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is reignited.

ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательThomas Nelson
Дата выпуска7 февр. 2017 г.
ISBN9780718023683
A Flicker of Hope: An Amish Home Novella
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Ruth Reid

Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth, the Amish Wonders, and the Amish Mercies series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Visit Ruth online at RuthReid.com; Facebook: Author-Ruth-Reid; Twitter: @AuthorRuthReid.

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    A Flicker of Hope - Ruth Reid

    A Flicker of Hope

    © 2017 Ruth Reid

    All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

    Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.

    Thomas Nelson titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMarkets@ThomasNelson.com.

    All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, IncTM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version®. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

    Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    CIP data available upon request.

    Printed in the United States of America

    1718192021LSC54321

    CONTENTS

    Glossary

    Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    Chapter Three

    Chapter Four

    Chapter Five

    Chapter Six

    Chapter Seven

    Chapter Eight

    Chapter Nine

    Chapter Ten

    Chapter Eleven

    Chapter Twelve

    Chapter Thirteen

    Chapter Fourteen

    Chapter Fifteen

    Chapter Sixteen

    Chapter Seventeen

    Discussion Questions

    Acknowledgments

    Recipes from A Flicker of Hope

    Easy-to-Make Strawberry Delight

    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Salad

    An excerpt from Building Faith

    Also by Ruth Reid

    About the Author

    DEDICATION

    For those who fill our home with love: Dan,

    Lexie, Danny, Sarah, and Zyvox

    And for those who taught me what family and home is all

    about: Paul Droste, Kathy Droste, Ella Roberts, Betty

    Reid, Joy Elwell, Paul Droste III, Beth Heikkinen

    GLOSSARY

    ach—oh

    boppli—baby

    bruder—brother

    daadihaus—a smaller home on the property that the grandparents live in

    daed—dad or father

    danki—thank you

    dochder—daughter

    doktah—doctor

    Englischer—anyone who is not Amish

    fraa—wife

    haus—house

    geh—go

    guder mariye—good morning

    gut—good

    hiya—a greeting like hello

    jah—yes

    kaffi—coffee

    kalt—cold

    kapp—a prayer covering worn by women

    kinner—children

    kumm—come

    maedel—unmarried woman

    mamm—mom or mother

    mei—my

    nacht—night

    nau—now

    nay—no

    nett—not

    Ordnung—the written and unwritten rules of the Amish; the understood behavior by which the Amish are expected to live, passed down from generation to generation. Most Amish know the rules by heart.

    Pennsylvania Deitsch—the language most commonly used by the Amish

    rumschpringe—running-around period when a teenager turns sixteen years old

    sohn—son

    washhaus—an outdoor laundry area

    wilkom—welcome

    wunderbaar—wonderful

    yummasetti—a pasta dish with meat and cheese

    CHAPTER ONE

    A JAR OF PEACH PRESERVES IN HAND, NOREEN HIKED UP the cellar’s wooden steps compiling a mental list of the other ingredients needed to make the cobbler. One cup of sugar, milk, vanilla, a dash of nutmeg . . . She opened the door leading into the kitchen and, stepping inside the room, was met with a blast of radiating heat so oppressive she immediately recoiled. Flames shot up from the stove and black smoke engulfed the kitchen. Noreen’s lungs tightened. She grabbed a dish towel from the counter and swatted at the flames, only instead of putting out the fire, the blaze roared even higher. The fringed end of the dish towel caught fire, consuming the fabric and burning her hand. Panic-stricken, she flung the flaming towel toward the sink, but it hit the window and ignited the curtains.

    Get out before it’s too late. Disoriented by the dense smoke, she stumbled over a chair and fell against the table, displacing the dishes set for supper. A water glass rolled off the table, landed with a thud on her head, and shattered when it hit the floor. She winced at the sharp blow. Her head throbbed, but the shooting pain in her hip kept her still. Gasping a lungful of thick, hot air, she choked. Her airway sealed.

    Don’t panic. Think. The window? Blocked. Flames had spread from the curtains and now trellised the walls. Stay low. Crawl out. She snaked a few inches on her belly, taking in short gasps of air close to the floor. The consuming scent of kerosene overwhelmed her senses. The oil lamp must have fallen over when she hit the table. Now the lamp’s contents were cascading down the table leg and soaking into the braided rug she was lying on. Noreen scrambled to her feet as the rug torched. Upright, the dense smoke burned her eyes, fogging her vision.

    Noreen!

    She froze.

    Noreen, where are you? Thomas’s shout carried over the crackling walls.

    Thomas! She coughed.

    A distorted outline of her husband emerged through the smoke. He thrust the handkerchief he’d been using to tent his nose and mouth at her face, then gathered her into his arms. The last image she had of the kitchen was flames licking the ceiling.

    Once outside and a safe distance from the house, Thomas lowered her to the ground. His dark brown eyes scanned her body with intensity. Are you all right?

    Coughing hard, she could only manage a nod.

    Stay here. He sprinted toward the house, covering his nose and mouth with the crook of his elbow as he disappeared back into the smoke.

    Nay! she called, but it was too late. She clamped her teeth over her bottom lip and stared at the horrid deathtrap. Nothing’s worth saving. Please kumm back, Thomas. Lord, what is he risking his life for? Please, keep him safe. He’s all I have, Lord. Tears burned her eyes. A massive amount of black smoke bellowed upward. It seemed like hours before Thomas finally stumbled from the house. He reached the bottom porch step and dropped on the ground, coughing between gasps.

    She ran to her husband, then sank to her knees beside him. Noreen placed her hand on his back, feeling his muscles tighten with each raspy breath. "You had me out of mei mind, she said. You could’ve died."

    She might as well have been lecturing to the wind. He pushed off the ground, then unbuttoned one of the lower buttons of his tucked-in shirt and removed the small tin box, which he kept buried under the winter blankets in their bedroom closet.

    Noreen stood. You went back in for that?

    He shot her an I can’t believe you’d ask glare, embedding the soot deeper into the lines on his forehead and making him look older than his thirty-nine years. Thomas shoved the tin box into her hands before running toward the equipment shed. Put that in a safe place, he said over his shoulder.

    Noreen inched her hand over the box’s jagged edges. The old tin was where he kept his letters. She hadn’t seen it in years. Several loud pops, which sounded like a round of ammunition, fired from inside the house and drew her attention from the box.

    Noreen, get back! Thomas shouted. He held a shovel in one hand and several feed buckets from the barn in the other.

    She met him at the water pump. That sounded like gun shots.

    "Probably mei deer rifle."

    She went to set the tin box down so she could help fill the buckets.

    I asked you to put that away, he snapped. He cranked the pump handle, placing more thrust on the iron lever than was necessary to bring water to the surface.

    But don’t you—

    Noreen was all he needed to say.

    She spun to face the washhaus and darted away. Noreen placed the box on the shelf above the washtub, grabbed the two buckets from the floor, and raced back to the well.

    Take the pump handle, Thomas said, giving it another hard push. He grabbed the full buckets, two in each hand, and toted them to the fire.

    Noreen cranked the pump handle and water gushed into the pail. By the time she had the next two filled, Thomas was back with the empty ones. He made a quick exchange and rushed back to the house.

    Thomas’s brother Jonathan and his teenage sons, Peter and Jacob, cut across the fields separating the two properties, bringing more buckets. Patty’s gone to alert the others, Jonathan said, taking over the pumping. Their rural Posen, Michigan, district stretched over miles of farmland, interspersed with copses of pines and Englisch farms.

    A short time later, men, women, and children from their Amish district responded. Even some of their English neighbors came to offer assistance. A bucket brigade quickly formed. Noreen was in charge of placing the empty buckets under the spigot for Jonathan to fill, then passing them to the bishop’s wife, Alice, who passed them along to the next person in line and ultimately to Thomas, who went dangerously close to the house each time he tossed water onto the fire.

    Flames shot out the windows. Soon the roof was ablaze. The house groaned under the heat before caving in on itself, sending tiny orange and red embers soaring upward. Noreen’s vision blurred. For half a second she couldn’t move. Years of hard work, heartache, and joy reduced to a heap of hot embers. It all seemed unreal.

    Moments later, a young boy pointed to a nearby stand of jack pines engulfed in flames. Focus shifted to the secondary fire. A flurry of men ran, water splashing over the sides of their buckets. One by one, they threw the contents of their pails on the newly spawned blaze. Suddenly everyone’s homes were at risk, given how dry the silage corn fields were for late September. The warmer summer had made the drydown quicker, but if stalks caught fire it’d easily spread to the Wagner farm and from there, every house, barn, and crop in the district would be in jeopardy.

    Multiple gallons of water were tossed on the fire, only it wasn’t enough to stop the flames from reaching the first teepee-style bundle of corn shocks. The dried cornstalks fed the ravaging fire, driving it quickly across the field. Noreen grabbed a pail handle in each hand and carted them to the next person. Breathing hard, expanding her lungs to full capacity, carting the pails the ever-increasing distance from the pump was a challenge. Lord, help us, please.

    Just when Noreen thought all hope was lost, firefighters from Posen arrived, using their massive hoses to squelch the flames and saturate the area’s ground.

    Exactly how long it took to contain the fire, she had no idea. Her entire body was numb. With the immediate danger past, Noreen released the empty bucket, allowing it to clang to the ground. It was over. All that remained were a few standing charred wall posts still smoking. Handling so many five-gallon pails of water left her arms feeling like lumps of bread dough. When the womenfolk took turns giving her a hug, she was too weak to return the gesture. The ladies talked of plans for a sewing frolic to help replenish the loss, but Noreen stood apart, still dazed and unable to wrap her mind around all that had happened.

    I have enough material for a dress or two, Mary Beth said.

    Others chimed in what extras they had to offer and the topic shifted to surplus canned goods, kitchenware, and pantry items.

    Her sister-in-law Patty came up beside Noreen. "Let’s continue this talk at mei place. We can wash up and have tea. Besides, the mosquitoes will start to swarm soon now that the fire is out."

    True. Dusk in northern Michigan at this time of the year meant either dousing yourself with cedarleaf oil or having to battle an army of mosquitoes if you wanted to be outside. She didn’t want to be outside. A chill settled in Noreen’s bones.

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