Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Tears Water the Seeds of Hope" by Kim Tews Blog Tour/Review/Giveaway (Ends 10/31) U.S./Canada

Tears Water the Seeds of Hope by Kim Tews,
September 10, 2012.
240 pages.
Published by CrossHouse.

Tears Water the Seeds of Hope is the inspiring true story of a Midwest husband and wife that become disenchanted with the relentless pursuit of the American Dream and embark on a journey that spans six countries and redefines their values and lives. The story begins in a small town in Wisconsin and weaves its way through South and Central America as the couple gathers an army of supporters and establishes an organization to save the lives of children in the end stages of starvation in eastern Guatemala.

Chapter 1 - Wrecked for Life

The setting sun painted a backdrop of cotton candy pink clouds over the roadside bar and grill where we would soon hear our favorite acoustic guitar duo sing Jimmy Buffet songs. It was an idyllic Wisconsin summer night late in June of 2005. Under normal circumstances, I would have enjoyed the warm breeze and the glow of the festive colored tiki lights on the outdoor deck with the sense of carefree recreation that midwestern families enjoy when school is out and the days are longer. Randy shook his head, smiling as our two daughters took turns throwing harmless jabs at one another, each laughing hysterically at her own jokes. I felt as if I were watching the scene from a distance, fighting back tears as my mind returned to the children I had seen two days earlier in a squalid hospital in drought and famine-stricken eastern Guatemala—a scene that would change me forever and wreck me once and for all for the relentless pursuit of the American Dream. I was haunted by the forlorn faces of two children whose hopeless situation had laid the framework for the rest of my life.

The severely starved two-year-old boy was scarcely more than skin and bones. Hair was a luxury his body could not afford, as the nutrients available to him were barely enough to keep his vital organs functioning. His face was sunken and pale, the outline of his ribs and spine clearly visible through his thin layer of skin. He had been carried by his barefooted ten-year-old sister from El Volcancito, their remote mountain village several miles away, into the small town of Jocotan, in hopes that his life could be saved. The mother of the children was bedridden with a debilitating illness for which she could not afford treatment. My heart broke as much for the boy, barely hanging on and suffering miserably, as for the young girl, exhausted and saddled with the crushing responsibility of keeping her baby brother alive.

A frail little girl sat weeping on a tattered bench at the entrance to the facility, her body emaciated and her abdomen severely bloated, revealing the presence of parasites within her weak, trembling frame. She had been brought to the hospital for nutritional rehabilitation, and because she was four years old, and her mother had two smaller children to care for at home, she had been left alone. Lidia could not have understood why she had been left behind by her family in this unfamiliar place. She had been sitting on the bench since early morning waiting for them to return. In her hand she clutched what was probably her only toy, a comfort and reminder of home. The lump in my throat returned each time I recalled opening her tiny hand to find that she held a black plastic vulture.

Randy and I were married in May of 1993. During our early years together, we were blessed with two beautiful daughters and were pursuing careers in real estate, climbing the ranks among our colleagues in terms of sales volume. We purchased an enormous house on four acres, and although it was only four years old, we completely remodeled it to suit our tastes. With luxury vehicles and an ever-increasing income, we were living the American Dream. There was much to be thankful for, but something was missing.

Randy and I had both grown up near Madison, Wisconsin in middle class families, Randy’s Methodist and mine Catholic. We had attended Sunday services and believed in an all-powerful God, but faith and religion were not playing a major role in our adult lives. Having agreed as newlyweds to raise our family in faith, we dutifully attended services at a congregation near our home for seven years. But we eventually felt that we needed a change and in spring of 2000, we set out in search of a new church home. With no predetermined denomination in mind, we experienced a variety of church cultures, some too formal, some too weird, others seemingly insincere. We eventually stumbled across an Evangelical Free church on the west side of Madison, near our home in the suburb of Verona. I was surprised to find that instead of an organ and a choir, this church had a band that played upbeat contemporary Christian music on keyboards, guitars and drums. The young pastor spoke with passion, bringing the Bible to life by applying scripture to issues faced by the generations of the twenty-first century. It was at this church that our faith came alive.

Our new understanding of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and the resulting sense of love and gratitude we felt toward God, inevitably began to pose problems for us. We were embarrassed to invite our new Christian friends to our supersized home, and conflicts began to surface in our hearts about how our time and money were being spent. One of the many bedrooms in our home had been turned into my personal closet and was loaded with clothing and shoes, most of which I did not need. I had become so busy in my career as a Realtor that I began to feel like a gerbil on a wheel. My twelve-hour workdays did not leave room for the peace and joy I had heard should come with our newly authenticated Christian faith. One frantically busy day I decided to return phone calls while waiting in line for lunch at the McDonald’s drive through. When a voice came over the speaker saying, “Can I help you?”

I was so preoccupied that I mistook it for a phone call and said, “Hello, this is Kim Tews with the Tews Team Realtors”.

During the awkward silence that followed the kid must have been thinking, “Yeah, who cares? What do you want for lunch?”

That night I arrived home from work late in the evening to find our three-year-old daughter asleep on the couch clinging to a shirt I had worn the day before. When I asked Randy about the shirt he explained, “She said it smells like you, and she misses you.”

It was time for a change.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Are you so caught up in your everyday life that you forget about all the other people in this world who are worse off than you?  Do you wonder how one person can even make a difference in this world of suffering?  Does your heart break for the children all over the world who went to bed last night without eating, or are you more concerned with keeping your finances in order?  I don't usually say something like this, but I believe everyone should read this memoir--you won't be sorry!  My heart was touched, and I found myself saying over and  over again, "And I complain??"  I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  I was horrified and saddened by stories.  I had no idea how horrible things were just south of the U.S.

Kim Tews came to true faith in Christ as an adult, and she shares her faith so effortlessly in this wonderful book.  She speaks about the miracles she saw, and she even deals with the issue of why God allows suffering in this world.  Her impact on this world is unbelievable, and I think if God allows us to request who has a mansion next door to me in heaven, I want it to be hers!  She is humble, and she continues to serve God even when everything seems against her.  She never comes across "preachy" in this book, and it is clear that she saw God change people in Guatamala amongst other places.  My faith has been encouraged, and this is a book that I want to tell everyone about!  I found myself in tears more than once, and there were times I even had to stop to get control of my emotions.  But it was so worth it!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

About This Author
Kim Tews was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Economics. She and husband, Randy, pursued careers in real estate before beginning mission work together in Ecuador, South America in 2001. In 2005 they established the 501 (c) 3 non-profit Outreach for World Hope to save the lives of starving children in eastern Guatemala. The couple lives in Verona, Wisconsin with their three children, traveling back and forth to Guatemala frequently to facilitate the ongoing programs of Outreach for World Hope.

Link to Outreach For World Hope (Author’s webpage):

One of my U.S./Canadian readers will win a paperback copy of this book.  All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter below by 9 P.M. Pacific time on October 31.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Such a nice story, wasn't it?

  2. Nice post and review. If everyone just did a little to help each other.

  3. What a wonderful organization! This is the first I'd heard of it & I like what I've read.


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