Profound encouragements from a missionary nurse
Remote location, isolation, unemployment and cancer
Inspires to find meaning in life’s loves and losses
Stories of faith from North West Zambia and nearer to home
Joys and trials, and faith tested to the limit
You have lost your job. You are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. How do we respond when circumstances in our lives appear baffling? How can we square these with the biblical picture of a loving, all-powerful God? Is there a hidden purpose to puzzling situations?
Working as a missionary nurse for twenty-five years in rural Zambia, 500 miles from the nearest town, Sandra Michie’s faith was tested to the limits. What was God’s purpose in the isolation, communication difficulties and disparate challenges? And returning to the UK, what was He doing through spells of joblessness and life-threatening ill-health? This inspiring book shows how even in the most trying circumstances, God’s hand can be seen, weaving everything together to reveal His grace.
‘As a single woman in such an isolated area the challenges could be enormous,’ says Sandra. ‘During one school holiday my colleagues left on a family camping trip. What followed: caring for an orphan baby, routine hospital work, the unexpected visit of the paramount chief, malaria, and finally the bursting of our 2,000-gallon water tank late at night. This was just the prelude to coping with the lack of water for our staff and patients. People heard the destruction of surrounding sheds three miles away, but I was so exhausted that I slept through it all!’
In Zambia, Sandra’s life was marked by the unusual: frequent, dangerous and sometimes life-threatening crossings of the mighty Zambezi River; learning to live with a new name, a new culture and a totally different lifestyle; meeting the needs of others, such as a girl who could only crawl; tackling the effects of a bad infestation of parasites in children; giving away the only money she had; and seeking to immunise against diseases in a vast and isolated area.
What did it mean for her to live and work as God’s servant? How could she rejoice always in the face of overwhelming pressure as well as the mundane?
She says, ‘I’d like readers to gain insight into how God plans for us in love, even when we do not recognise that fact at the time. I marvel at God’s love, as I can see it has been working through all the years. Every joy and every trial has been perfectly sewn together into a beautiful patchwork of grace.’
Sandra’s story is one of growth, change and joy that will encourage you to know God’s love in the lowest times and delight in His provision in the best. As you read it, allow God to show you the tender thread of His goodness running through the patchwork of your life as it has done hers.
What reviewers say:
‘I found Sandra’s book a fascinating read. Her clear call to work as a missionary nurse in rural north west Zambia in days before mobile phones and the internet shows such resilience as she faced difficult situations and dangerous journeys almost daily. As a former missionary nurse in rural Congo in the same era, my life seemed easy! It was breath-taking to read about some of her hair-raising journeys.
‘All through the book we are given an honest insight into her ongoing discipleship journey. Too often missionaries feel they have been put on a pedestal, yet they face the same everyday temptations as anyone anywhere else in the world.
‘Interwoven with the story line, Sandra quietly teaches us more about our loving heavenly Father who will never leave us or forsake us and who provides for our needs as we trust in Him. I found this book very encouraging and helpful. Even the appendix about coping with different cultural values is clear and helpful for living in our complex multicultural society.’
Mary Weeks Millard, former missionary nurse, author of Belle of the Ball
‘In her autobiography, Sandra Michie has shown what it means to seek and to follow God’s plan for your life. The early years are full of uncertainties about whether to live in Africa or the UK, what training to have, which missionary society would be best for her, how to raise finance, how to cope with travelling on rudimentary roads and shaky river crossings, how to live without basic amenities that are enjoyed in Europe, how to communicate with the local people in Zambia.
‘It is a story full of adventure and unexpected events set in a remote part of Zambia where her medical skills were tested in primitive conditions as she coped with all kinds of emergencies and local superstitions. Her faith in God’s guidance and provision shines through in the narrative, which continues through her eventual return to the UK and up to the present day. The book will encourage and be an inspiration to all who feel uncertain about their security in the Lord.’
Derek Butters, former chairman of The Evangelisation Society (TES)
‘I have very much enjoyed reading Sandra’s book, God’s Patchwork. I love her honesty and willingness to recount her life experiences in a transparent way. I was greatly impressed by Sandra when I worked with her at Lukolwe. She has a genuine love for the Luvale people and as well as having a fluency in the language, her relationship with them was one of warmth and mutual respect. Her leadership and medical skills were extraordinary. In 2018 God enabled Sandra and me to visit Lukolwe after more than a quarter of a century. During our brief visit there was an outpouring of love showered upon Sandra that was a delight to behold.’
Nicki Hunt (née Keen), former missionary nurse, colleague and friend
God’s Patchwork (ISBN: 9781909728936) by Sandra Michie is published by Instant Apostle and is available on 19th October 2018 from Christian bookshops, bookstores and online retailers. Non-fiction, paperback, 256pp, £8.99.