Prayers of a Stranger- a Christmas Journey by Davis Bunn
Amanda, a former NICU nurse turned administrative personnel at a hospital is very slowly recovering from the stillbirth of her child just before Christmas last year. Her neighbor approaches her about accompanying her to Israel, her husband being too unwell to go. Amanda is overdue for a vacation, and with a change in hospital administration coming up, she decides to accompany her neighbor, hoping to find some healing for her hurting heart in the land of the Savior's life. They begin by seeing the sights, falling into bed exhausted every night. The neighbor laments to Amanda that she feels like she is wasting her trip, that she had hoped to find a miracle to heal her heart over the estrangement of her daughter while she is in the holy land, but at this pace, that isn't going to happen. Amanda and her neighbor decide to break from the tour group and visit a few places on their own. At the wailing wall, they encounter a local woman who pleads with them to pray for a little girl she knows who is very ill and seems to be getting worse despite medical intervention. As they visit, Amanda feels a need to meet this little girl and see if the nurse in her can do anything to help. With great effort, she is able to meet the little girl, and as she ponders on her symptoms, she feels a revelation come to her about a possible diagnosis. Returning back to their hotel, Amanda's neighbor learns that her husband has been hospitalized at home and she returns to the US, but Amanda chooses to stay the remaining two days of her trip to try to help the little girl. The next day she accompanies Rochelle and her family to the Dr's office, where she suggests some testing to the Israeli doctor, who at first takes offense to her interfering. When the testing comes back positive, Amanda helps the doctor to create a care plan to help Rochelle improve and grow strong. Throughout this experience, Amanda finds that for the first time in a year she can look at and care for another child without her heart breaking. She finds her miracle. As she returns home, she finds that her husband has helped mend the relationship of her neighbor's daughter with them following her husband's hospitalization, and she too has received the Christmas miracle she was seeking. Tears streamed down my face more than once as my heart was so touched while reading this book, feeling these women's hurt and marveling at their healing. This is a fantastic book for the reader who appreciates keeping Christ in Christmas, and loves watching miracles of the heart unfold.