Well, I've sold my first few books. What a weird feeling. Technically, the release date isn't for a few weeks yet, but as soon as my friends and family heard that I had a box of books (oops, I blogged about it and let the proverbial cat out of the bag) the phone started to ring. My favorite request was: "I want five copies and I'll pay anything." Anything? Interesting... He-he-he. :)
So I gave in. A couple copies are in the hands of trusted relatives and they have been given strict instructions not to lend them out! Of course, I let people borrow my books and I don't care if After the Leaves Fall is passed around, but I do want people to at least have the opportunity to buy it when it hits stores. Wouldn't that be nice? If people would buy the book? Oh I'd love that.
And since we're on the topic of book-buying, I suppose I should tell you what Aaron and I intend to do with some of the proceeds from After the Leaves Fall and Summer Snow (the sequel). But before I do, I feel I need to let you in on what a difficult decision this was for us.
For almost a year (since I signed the contract with Tyndale last November), Aaron and I have been praying about this and seeking God's will. There is a passage in Matthew that says, "... when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." We have struggled over this passage, wondering if we should keep our plan to ourselves. But then we would think about the potential for good, the amazing results that could come about if people knew what we intended to do. And so we started to share our idea with a few close friends and family members. Their response was so positive and so overwhelming that we decided this gift is something we can all participate in together.
15% of the proceeds that we receive from the sales of After the Leaves Fall and Summer Snow will go to support the children and workers at Christ Is Our Hope orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia. It's not enough, it could never be enough, but we are excited to do what we can. We are blessed to be a blessing--what else is there in life? And if I'm not doing my math wrong (which I could be, I was never very good at math), we've already raised $37.65! Some of that money was straight-out donations when people heard that we were contributing to Christ Is Our Hope, but still. Do you know what $30 can do in Liberia? It can feed, clothe, educate, and provide basic medical care for a child for one month. Wow.
Buying books is not the only thing you can do to get involved. We are also in the process of setting up a child sponsorship program for the kids of Christ Is Our Hope. So far we have about fifteen sponsors, but we need 70. Or better yet, 150. There are many street kids that the orphanage would like to enfold but they simply don't have the money. Anyway, for only $30 a month you can support a child. How awesome is that?
Stay tuned for more information. Our website will be up and running soon. In the meantime, if you would like to sponsor a child, please email me and I can send you everything you need to know. And if you would like to know more about our relationship with Christ Is Our Hope, feel free to browse old posts:
What I've been up to...
One last thing. Here's one of the boys from Christ Is Our Hope. I dare you not to fall in love... :)