2 new books received:


Touch the Water, Taste the Bread

Introduces Communion in an age-appropriate way


Listen Children—Conversation with Immigrant Families offers unique insight into the emotions and perceptions and shows the reader how to support the children .


   Planning a trip abroad or dreaming of one? Melissa and Greg Vessar have donated travel books covering a number of countries including Japan, New Zealand and more. These books are located on the display shelves in the library. Their donation also included a dictionary for the whole family to use and a book of financial advice. Not too long ago, the Vessars donated cookbooks with delicious recipes highlighted in past newsletters. Thank you, Melissa and Greg!

   Four books donated in honor of Black History Month:

“Coming Home” the story of Negro Leagues player Josh Gibson;  “The Patchwork Quilt” winner of Coretta Scott King Award; “Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt”; and “Nobiah’s Well. Each of these books can be read in 10-20 minutes.

   Another recently donated book, Irena’s Children” is a true story and a very timely read for National  Holocaust Month. It is an account of how Irena Sendler saved many Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and placed them with other Polish families. She recorded the children’s names and families on slips of paper placed in glass canning jars and buried them under an apple tree in her yard in hopes they could be reunited with their parents after the war. There is a renewed interest in Irena and her heroism after a Kansas high school history class chose her story for a project and the publication of a new book “Life in a Jar”.

   Need something to brighten your day? Try reading “Faith, Hope and Hilarity: The Child’s Eye View of Religion” by Dick Van Dyke, “Holy Humor” and “More Holy Humore” all donated by Juanita Thomas. There is also “Help, Lord! I’m Having a Senior Moment: Notes to God on Growing Older.” Thanks Juanita, for the smiles, and for the other books you brought for the library.


We received a “Thank You” note from Jean Parrett thanking us for honoring her work in our library. It reads: “Peggy, Thank you for the gift card on Sunday. You have paved the way for me. I appreciate all your effort. I am so glad there has been an interest in the books. I love the people at the church. Jean.”


In a drawer at our house is a shoebox of snapshots from when my father, Col. Joseph Ward was stationed on New Guinea in World War II. There are photos of the unit’s big anti-aircraft guns firing at night, Dad and fellow officers (all of them painfully thin) in planning sessions and groups of the island’s native inhabitants. I remember when I first saw the pictures in the shoebox. Dad worked as a plant planning engineer supervisor at Boeing, Wichita, but every evening after the supper dishes had been cleared from the dining room table, he sat up his drawing board and pursued his architecture career designing houses and writing specifications for other architects. One night my sister and I sat down at the table and asked “What did you do in the war, Daddy?” That was when he got out the shoebox, showed us his Bronze Star and told us about New Guinea and the battle to take the island of Biak from the Japanese. Imagine my surprise while dusting the shelves in the library, I took down the book “The Lord’s of the Earth” and opened it to discover two hand drawn maps of New Guinea (now called Irian Jaya) and photographs of natives like the ones in the shoebox. Of course I had to read the book! It is a fast paced and absorbing adventure and the descriptions of the tribes and their culture are shocking.

    “The Lord’s of the Earth” is the amazing story of God’s redemption and drawing to Himself the very people who martyred the missionaries He sent them. Author Don Richardson tells how “rawhide-tough missionary-commando Stan Dale and gentle Dutch-Canadian Bruno Leeuw” believed the Yali of Irian Jaya needed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and dared to enter the Heluk Valley to bring it to them. The jungle dwelling warrior people were in the thrall of a cruel pagan god who ruled them with fear and terror and required ritual child sacrifices. Through the work of trailblazer Stan Dale and other tenacious missionaries and their families, thousands of Yali came to know Jesus Christ, were baptized and held onto their faith despite intense intimidation. One of the usually timid Yali women testified “In spite of  all that has happened, I believe that the Word of God will prevail. It cannot become as nothing, no matter what its enemies may do!”

    There are two and one half shelves of books on mission and mission stories in the First Baptist Library. Which one will amaze you and stir your heart with the revelation of God’s power and love?

Peggy Longstaff

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