Heroine Interview from Lost in Dreams by Roger Bruner

» Posted on Sep 23, 2011 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview from Lost in Dreams by Roger Bruner

This week I’m hosting Kay Marshall Strom with Faith of Ashish, Adina Senft with The Wounded Heart, and Roger Bruner with Lost in Dreams. If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (September 25th) evening.

Interview with the heroine from Lost in Dreams by Roger Bruner:

1.  Kim Hartlinger, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

You’re very kind, but I’m not that interesting. Until my mission trip to Mexico last summer, I was just a typical spoiled teen with good intentions but poor follow-through. Facing the devastation of the tornado in Santa María and having to function with a broken arm as part of the mission team really helped to break me in a different way and make me more completely dependent on God than I’d ever been before. Not to mention making me hungrier to do His will. I matured a lot on that trip and learned to be more responsible.

Oh, you still want to know something interesting about me? Uh, okay. I used to have a bad swearing habit, but God helped me overcome that in Santa María when an eight-year-old village girl overheard me, used the same word, and forced me to find a way—in spite of our language barrier—to tell her not to use that word. That incident cured me for good.

Not interesting enough? Uh, earlier that summer I spent a week doing volunteer work with migrant children. I almost had a nervous breakdown because I was so frustrated that I couldn’t do anything to improve their lifestyle.

2.  What do you do for fun?

Mostly just hang out with my friends. Especially Aleesha Jefferson and Jo Snelling. Jo’s been my best friend since we were little kids; Aleesha, the first African-American I’d ever had a chance to really get to know, became my second best friend on the trip to Santa María. 

Now that I’m in college, I don’t have time to hang out at the pool and the mall like I used to, and those activities seem pretty worthless now, anyhow. I’ll probably have as much fun doing volunteer work at my church’s House of Bread outreach ministry this semester as I have doing anything else. (God has taught me not to go overboard emotionally the way I did previously.) I love kids, and this will give me a chance to practice my Spanish, which is still all too limited.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Uh, like answering this question? *laughing*

Seriously, this is a tough question for me because I’ve changed so much over the past four or five months that I barely recognize myself in the mirror anymore. I can tell you things I put off in the past. Getting a summer job, for example. But the reason was selfishness, not dread. And that was before God changed my priorities so much.

One thing I dreaded before going on my recent mission trip to California was telling my dad that I felt responsible for Mom’s death. If I’d trusted his love more, I would have avoided so many serious problems.

But something I put off now because I dread it? Probably accepting the fact that Aleesha can’t live with Dad and me forever. Her family is in Baltimore, and she’s been staying with us until Dad and I adjust to Mom’s death and learn to work together. But even though that happened in California, I still don’t want Aleesha to go home.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Strangely enough, I’ve never thought about that question before. I’d been a pretty happy-go-lucky Scarlet O’Hara before my mission trip to tiny Santa María, a village in western Mexico that a tornado had almost entirely wiped out just a couple of weeks earlier. 

But my major concern—my growing concern after seeing that the villagers’ physical needs were met—was their need of salvation. Leaving Santa María at the end of two weeks, I was so afraid that none of the villagers had accepted Christ in spite of the fact God had led me to read the Gospel of Luke aloud to them in a miraculous way. On the bus ride back to San Diego, however, I learned that one person had become a Christian and the other villagers had been even more interested in my reading than I’d realized. So my fear about their lostness has diminished some.

After learning that my mom died in an accident coming to pick me up from the Atlanta airport, I developed a new fear: whether my dad would still love me once he discovered that I was responsible for Mom’s death. My guilt and my fear were both irrational, but they were still very real. You can learn how God helped me deal with those problems in Lost in Dreams.

God has such a hold on my life right now that I can’t say I fear anything. Perfect love casts out fear, you know.

5.  What do you want out of life?

I want what every nineteen-year-old girl wants: a good education, a husband and a kid or two, and a meaningful job. I should have said “a fine Christian husband.”

I’m not concerned about money or things; not anymore. In working with the villagers of Santa María, I discovered that people have very few real needs, and most of my wants—things I’d valued so much before that trip—were more unimportant than I could ever have imagined. 

But what I want most of all is to learn to trust God as fully as possible and to obey Him more completely, because I know He’ll take care of my needs and provide whatever wants fit into His plan for my life.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

I don’t consider myself a religious fanatic, but I think sharing God’s love with other people is more important than anything else in life. That’s why I was so disappointed when the mission trip to Mexico changed from evangelism in one place to construction in another. But in spite of the language problems there, I learned that following God’s will enabled me to share His love in the most unusual and unexpected ways. Found in Translation tells that story.

7.  Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

Oh, I’m definitely a reader. If you’ve read Found in Translation, you know that God directed me to read aloud from a Spanish Bible without my knowing how to pronounce any of the words. Fortunately, the villagers of Santa María taught me proper pronunciation, even though I still didn’t know what the words meant. 

Now that I’m majoring in Spanish, that’s changing. Although I’m digging deep into reading the Bible in Spanish, I’m looking forward to becoming fluent enough to read Don Quixote (a gift from an insider at the Red Cedar Correctional Center) in the original Spanish.

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Sorry, but I’ll have to tell you two things. *grin* 

I’d like to be taller—somewhere around 5’5” and slightly better filled out. Just enough that people don’t call me skinny anymore.

But I’d also like to have a perfect knowledge of Spanish without having to take the time to learn it. I so want to return to Santa María and talk with the villagers in their own heart language this time.

9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

We’ve had a dog as long as I can remember. A German short-haired pointer Dad got from a breeder when Elsa proved too skittish to be a show dog. She’s still skittish with strangers, but she’s a real love around my parents and me. There’s nothing like having her come lick me in the face after she’s been chewing on wild onions in the back yard!

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

After everything else I’ve told you, you probably expect me to say I want to travel back to the Holy Land during Jesus’ earthly ministry. What Christian wouldn’t want to?

But I’d really like to go back to Santa María just before the tornado with food and water so none of the villagers would die before our mission team arrived. I would also help Alazne, Rosa’s twelve-year-old daughter, lead the villagers to safety so she wouldn’t have died in the process.