|Seattle: We often forget how fortunate we are, the many blessings in our lives, and the extent of human suffering around the globe. How can we teach our children to grow up with hearts for others and to be mission-minded? With the help of missionary and author Beth Guckenberger, parents and Sunday school teachers can introduce children to the wonderful things that God is accomplishing around the world through Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing/May 1, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7847-3528-2). |
Written for ages 8 and up, Tales of the Not Forgotten shares a collection of four real-life stories of children from impoverished circumstances and paints a picture of God's dynamic movement in their lives. The first in the Storyweaver series, Guckenberger inspires readers to trust that God is weaving a story in the lives of each us, writing endings they would never imagine. She takes young readers on a journey to faraway lands, introducing them to faces the world often doesn't see, but are not forgotten by God.
Guckenberger and her husband are founders of Back2Back Ministries, an international Christian non-profit organization dedicated to being a voice for orphans and existing to love and care for orphans and impoverished children. One of the stories is especially close to Guckenberger and her family--the story of Joel who lives in an orphanage near Monterrey, Mexico where they have lived and served as missionaries for 15 years. Each of the four stories focuses on a child from one of the countries in which Back2Back ministries has a campus (Mexico, Nigeria, India and Haiti).
Sharing stories of hope from those she has met is not new to Guckenberger, but her two previous books have been written to an adult audience. As a mother, she felt called to turn her attention to a younger audience with this release. "I see my own kids asking questions about the issues they are aware of around the world," says Guckenberger. "As a missionary, I serve alongside so many families that travel here on a short-term trip. Those experiences provoke good discussions they take back home with them. I wanted a book that would spark those kinds of conversations of substance at the dinner table and in the minivan, but without having to travel. I also wanted a book that addressed what God was doing instead of what man wasn't as to not sound guilt-driven."
Tales of the Not Forgotten shrinks the big picture down to approachable, individual stories of real children and teaches about fundamental survival issues. The stories address some of the challenging questions that kids have and weave God's promises to orphans into each one. Preteens will be challenged to answer the questions: How do I pray? What can I give? Where can I go? Who will I serve?
Also available is the Tales of the Not Forgotten Leader's Guide (ISBN: 978-0-7847-3527-5), a 6-session kids' missions resource that walks adults through an easy-to-follow guide and action plan to help others. The guide is designed for parents to use at home or for Christian schools, VBS settings and Sunday Schools and is filled with fun activities, compelling stories, biblical teaching, and practical applications. The activities can be customized for 15, 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the setting.
For more information about Beth and Back2Back Ministries, visit www.bethguckenberger.com or www.back2backministries.org.
What People are saying about Beth Guckenberger
"Throughout Scripture we see that God's heart is for the orphans. He is in constant pursuit of them and has placed a special call on the church to care for the orphan. The church is waking to this truth at a very intense level these days and God is using Beth as a means to call the church to action on behalf of the orphan. Beth speaks clearly, powerfully, and with a passion that comes from living among and serving orphans in distress. Beth is able to deeply engage her audience in understanding the reality of life as an orphan and how the orphaned heart is affected when abandoned or abused. In a compelling way, Beth moves the openhearted person from just caring about the orphan to becoming a person who will care for the orphan. She presents the clear and emotive reality of life as an orphan in such a manner that people rise up to take action for these precious ones."
- Steve Biondo, SVP, Family Christian Stores, President, The James Fund
"Our NASCAR community had the opportunity to hear Beth speak in our chapel at the racetrack. She captured the hearts of our community and has made a lasting impression in lives. Her heart for the orphan is evident and contagious."
- Lonnie Clouse (Motor Racing Outreach), Lead Chaplain, NASCAR Nationwide Series
"Beth exudes Jesus in all that she does. While she's a fantastic communicator, teacher and storyteller, what is best about her is her deep passion for Jesus. Some people just 'talk' about him . . . but she knows Jesus."
- Matt Massey, Pastor, Northstar Vineyard, Cincinnati, OH
"Beth's living stories of how God pursues his lost children created in our congregation a restlessness to bring hope to others. Thank you, Beth, for being faithful to your calling and sharing the stories of transformed lives."
- Dain Jepson, Pastor to Families, Peninsula Covenant Church, Redwood City, CA
About the Author
Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries (based in Cincinnati, OH) which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Back2Back Ministries connects willing workers to open hearts through international and local ministry opportunities. Their ministry is currently caring and providing for orphan children and needy people in Mexico, Nigeria, India and most recently, Haiti.
Beth travels and speaks regularly at women's and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services. Her topics include orphan care, missions, parenting, marriage/intimacy, and faith. Her story-telling style captures audiences, and she draws from her field experience as a missionary and parent for illustrations to biblical concepts. In addition to her latest release, Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing 2012), Beth has written Relentless Hope (Standard, 2011) and Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008).
The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico where they have hosted thousands of guests on their ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted additions to their family, Beth and Todd are raising nine children.
Learn how you can join Beth in ministry at www.bethguckenberger.com or www.back2backministries.org.
Suggested Interview Questions
* Your previous books have included stories of your mission work, but were written to an adult audience. Why did you decide to write a book for pre-teens?
* What is a good age to start introducing children to the idea of mission work and teaching them about the struggles others face?
* What other resources are available to go along with Tales of the Not Forgotten? How can churches and families use the book and leader's guide?
* You've gotten feedback that groups are using your book in unexpected ways. Can you give an example?
* Are you able to keep up with the children in the book to be able to get updates on how they are doing?
* What is the main thing you hope children will learn from Tales of the Not Forgotten?
* Tell us a little bit about Back2Back Ministries.
* When did you go on your first mission trip?
* How long has your family been living in Mexico? What countries have you been able to serve in?
Beth Guckenberger is available for interviews to promote the release of Tales of the Not Forgotten. To request a review copy, schedule an interview or for more information, please contact Audra Jennings, firstname.lastname@example.org