Garden of the Okapi Author:Richard Johns The woman did not move. Her head had turned to the side, and there was about her body that quiet calm of final release. The big man did not move for that moment, nor did he display any emotion. He felt the thin wrist, put his head to the breast, remained motionless for a moment, then arose, he looked for the last time at the face he adored, ben... more »t over and kissed her, and then pulled the sheet up over her head…
Jim Fletcher, missionary to Bambuti, felt that the bottom of life had dropped out for him, with the loss of his beloved Ruth. He was ready to call it quits and return to the homeland.
Then he became involved with life outside of the tribe which he had been trying to reach for many years. Three strangers, a white man and woman and a black man, entered his village; the resulting complication swept Fletcher up into the middle of a violent situation, and he could no longer center his thought on himself and his own personal loss.
Garden of the Okapi is a sensitively drawn portrait of a missionary, dedicated and dynamic, who was frustrated by failure – failure that seemed to dog his every step, in spite of his consecration and commitment. While he had won a certain acceptance among the people he was trying to reach, somehow there was a barrier that he could not surmount. His wife has almost penetrated this barrier - but then she was gone. Now, it seemed that the only thing to do was to return home to take up other work.
That was before God (seemingly) took a hand in the events of the next several weeks to prove to Jim Fletcher that He was still active and able to overcome in the circumstances of life. As he came to the end of himself, and began to realize what reliance on God really meant, the gaunt missionary began to see God work – not only in his own life, but in the live of some very unlikely “saints”
Perceptive…probing…starkly real…strikingly open... all these and more describe Garden of Okapi, with its violent action and stirringly emotional impact.
Here is missionary life de-glamorized and presented as it really is, with all its frustration, failure, heartbreak and sorrow – but its victory and conquering spirit despite discouragement. If you enjoyed books like Flame of Anger, Code Name Sebastian, and others based on real life, you will find Garden of Okapi a tremendously moving reading experience – as well as an astonishingly heart-warming adventure.« less