Hero Interview from Journey of Hope by Debbie Kaufman

» Posted on Jan 17, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Hero Interview from Journey of Hope by Debbie Kaufman

This week I’m hosting Suzanne Woods Fisher with The Calling, Patricia Johns with His Unexpected Family and Debbie Kaufman with Journey of Hope. Giveaways US only. 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 (Jan. 19th) evening.

cover hi res journey of HopeInterview with the hero from Journey of Hope by Debbie Kaufman:

1. Stewart Hastings, tell me the most interesting thing about you. 

Well, like most men, a lot of me is defined by my work.  I’m a mining engineer hired by an American company to determine if there would be profit in mining the area near the Putu Mountains in the Liberian jungles.  Gold would be the ideal find, diamonds a close second.  Of course, first I have to live through negotiating with a cannibal chief for the right to even explore in his territory.  Of course, if the rumors are true about the Leopard Men on the prowl in the jungle, the chief could be the least of my problems.

2. What do you do for fun?

Life is short, as I learned in The Great War.  These days I love to have a good time when the opportunity presents.  On board ship, I can be found joining in a jump rope contest or joining in the singing when someone breaks out the box organ.   And, I’m not above teasing a certain pretty, little missionary woman guiding me through the jungle.

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

There is little worse than seeing the light of love dim in a woman’s eyes when she realizes what my high-collared shirts hide.  So, I’ve been careful to keep my scars covered and avoided any mention of them.  Anna Baldwin may not return my love, but the last thing I want is to see that look of pity or revulsion in her eyes.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Not being able to protect the ones I love.  As a boy, I couldn’t stop my father’s fists and keep my mother safe, but if I secure my financial future, I can meet my mother’s needs and provide her with the home and medical care she needs. I’ve come all this way to Liberia just for that reason. 

For a while it looked like I’d never be able to do the job I was hired to do.  Apparently no one besides myself or crazy missionaries wants to venture into cannibal territory.  (Well, in all fairness, I didn’t know it was cannibal territory when I took the job.)  I guess the need for money to pay for my mother’s medical treatments blinded me to the reasons that the salary was so high.  But now, with my mother’s needs secured, I find myself right back in the same position, with the same fear: that I won’t be able to protect the woman I love.  But how do you protect someone like Anna, a woman who seems determined to put herself directly in danger, all to serve a God who won’t be there when it counts?  Somehow I have to keep Anna safe in this dangerous country, even if our love can never be.

5. What do you want out of life?

A woman who can love me for who I am, a house full of children to love and  raise, and a way to secure my financial future.  I’m not sure if any of it is possible, but lately I feel that all of that future has the face of Anna Baldwin. 

6. What is the most important thing to you?

Before I came to this country, I would have said that securing my financial future was my main goal in life.  Now, it is finding a way to keep Anna safe from the Leopard Men.

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

Until the war, my reading consisted of textbooks while I got my engineering degree.  Since the war, I haven’t done much reading.  I guess I’m more the kind of guy who can’t sit still and has to be doing something.

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

I guess the obvious thing would be my appearance, the scars and all.  But I’ve begun to wish that I could find a way to have the faith that Anna holds.  I cannot see any way that faith won’t always divide us.  

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

No pets at this time, but I kept the usual stray puppies and cats, fed with scraps, as a child.  Actually, Anna and I had a long discussion about pets on our journey, sparked by the roving bands of monkeys in the area.  It was quite enlightening, and, although it broke my heart to hear her story, I learned a lot about her.

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

I’d go back to that day in the trenches, before the mustard gas hit.  So many young men died that day.  The ones who lived, some suffered far worse than I did, if I could have put the proper protections in place, perhaps I could have saved some of them as well as prevented the scarring that ruined my hopes for a future.