Thursday, March 4, 2010

Author Interview & Contest!

Today I'm featuring an interview with Julie Ferwerda, author of One Million Arrows. I posted a review about her phenomenal book on Tuesday and am excited to announce my first blog contest! The winner will receive his/her very own copy of Julie's book, One Million Arrows!! One very fortunate runner-up will receive an exquisite hand-made, paper bead necklace from Uganda!

To enter the contest, simply follow my blog and leave a comment regarding this post including your e-mail address so I can notify the winners! One entry per person please. Drawing will be held Thursday, March 11th. God bless each of you as you hone and shape the arrows God has placed in your life!

Julie Ferwerda is recognized for making the Bible exciting and relevant to everyday life through her writing and speaking. Her articles are featured in many Christian magazines and websites for both adults and teens, and she frequently volunteers her time and talents to international orphan ministry.

Q: So, Julie, the title of your book is, One Million Arrows: What is that all about?
A: The title originated with a man I met in India by the name of Dr. M.A. Thomas. He’s received many national awards in India such as the Mother Theresa Award and the Padma Shri for his humanitarian efforts, especially for his work with orphaned and abandoned children that he started in the 1970s. In the 90s, Dr. Thomas read a verse in the Bible that describes children as a gift and a reward, like sharp arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior (Psalm 127:3-5). He realized that all children, regardless of background and circumstances, should be seen as a gift and a legacy to society because they can make a significant and positive impact in the world if given the proper training and opportunities.

India has as many as 80 million orphans so he set a goal of rescuing one million orphaned and abandoned children, sharpening them with love, education, and spiritual nurturing, and launching them back into society to bring positive change through the power of the Good News about Jesus. To date he has raised over 16,000 orphaned and abandoned children who have become doctors, nurses, teachers, politicians, missionaries, and leaders, and he has planted over 21,000 churches in India and South Asia.

Relating to us…the arrow vision of raising children to be a gift and heritage to their society is for all parents, all countries. So many parents in our culture have lost their vision as to the incredible opportunity we’ve been given to shape—not just tomorrow’s leaders—but today’s leaders and shapers of their peer groups, schools, and communities. But this takes vision and deliberate investment and training. One Million Arrows casts a vision for parents to sharpen and launch our children right now to make a positive impact on society.

Q: You mentioned the notion of parents investing in or training their children. Isn’t this what parents already do?
A: Some parents do invest in and train their children to some degree, but there is also a lot of hands-off parenting in our society today, especially in training character development as well as teaching our children how to live for the big-picture—like what were they made to do in this world, what are their unique gifts and abilities, and how can they use them to make a difference now?

We have to train our children to serve others—it doesn’t come naturally. But for many of us, once our kids head into kindergarten, it’s easier to let someone else take over a lot of the training, or to allow our kids to fade into their entertainment-driven culture in their spare time. We need to see parenting as a much bigger opportunity and invitation than that!

I use an illustration in OMA from 9/11 about victims, bystanders, and firemen, the roles people take when lives are at stake. We must teach our children to see themselves as the firemen of this world…the heroes who are willing to set aside their own comforts in order to make a radical difference for others who are suffering or even in danger. There are so many in our world—whether the world around us or the world at large—who need our help and care in order to be saved from terrible circumstances.

I am so encouraged to see a great movement of young people in our world right now who are joining God in His work, coming back to historic levels of competence, purpose, and service for their fellow man. OMA emphasizes helping your kids find what they are passionate about and then training them to use it to serve and positively impact others.

Q: Is there any place parents can go after reading the book for more inspiration and guidance?
A: We are currently developing our website ( as a community where parents can share testimonies as well as spiritual training helps. We are also adding many resources on our site such as unique orphan ministries to consider getting involved in, suggested books and resources, daily spiritual training helps, and stories of young people around the world who are making a difference.

God bless you, Julie, as you submit to the Lord's high calling in your life!

*All proceeds of OMA go to international orphan ministries. Get your copy today!


  1. That sounds really interesting! Sign me up!

  2. Great interview, thanks for sharing it! Appreciate the info about the book too. First contest, how exciting! I love contests. My email address is klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Thanks and blessings,
    P.S. Today is the last day to enter a contest over at my blog,

  3. I just lost my post so i'll do this one quick since I don't know what is happening.
    I love the interview Maria and for such a wonderful cause. It's something that should be close to all of our hearts. I would love to read the book. My email is vthomas62(at)hotmail(dot)com.


  4. Wow, Maria!
    This story so hit home with me. My daughter (age 21)went to India 2 years ago on one of her many summer mission trips. She'll be leading a high school team to Uganda this July.

    When in India, she was introduced to Tender Hearts ministry, which saves orphans from the streets and train station in Mumbai (pictured in Slum Dog Millionaire), and raises them for the Lord. The ministry affected her (and us) profoundly.

    My son (19) also has been on several trips and will be leading a jr. high mission trip to an out-island in the Bahamas.

    We're so grateful that our "arrows" are serving the Lord. They grew up going on summer mission trips with a youth organization called "Touch the World" and now are leading trips for them. What a blessing!

    And on a total side note, a good friend just had a baby girl today and named her Riley!

    My email is panzica(dot)susan(at)gmail(dot)com.

  5. Hi Maria~
    My friend Susan directed me to your blog today. I am coauthoring a book with a friend with a similar title and subject matter as this book.

    I have a strong desire to help equip the next generation for ministry. Your posts are encouraging! Thank you so much for sharing!


  6. You hit on a big concern of mine--the glut of electronic entertainment for our children. The book sounds amazing and informative.

    Put me in the drawing!

  7. Val - I know you'd love Julie's book! I'll put you in the drawing! God bless!

    Karen - Glad you enjoyed the interview! You've been entered in the contest! Thanks for the heads up about your contest, too! I entered! :)

    Vickie - You've officially been added to the contest! I know the book would be a blessing to you! Hoping you figured out what was going on with your computer - tech problems can be exasperating! Have a great weekend!

  8. Susan - What an awesome testimony! Thank you so much for sharing the story of your children's amazing missionary experiences! How blessed to have "arrows" that you've trained up to serve the Lord!I can hear the Lord commending you, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"

    I've entered you in my contest!! Oh, and thanks for sending Cheri my way!

    *Congratulations to your friend on the birth of her baby girl! And she couldn't have chosen a better name!! :)

  9. Cheri - Welcome! I love having new visitors!Thanks for the comment - you'll have to let me know when your book is published! Sounds like a winner!

    *Just join my blog as a Follower and I'll enter you for my contest! I know you'd enjoy Julie's book!! God bless! :)

  10. Jill - Not only was this book informative, it was pretty convicting as well!! I've got you signed up for my contest! Have a fabulous weekend! Are you getting any spring-like weather? Hugs & Blessings!

  11. Maria, super fantastic interview. I would love to win Julie's book. It sounds absolutely awesome.

    I'm in.
    robyn (at) robyncampbell (dot)com

    Oh, and Maria. Thanks for your prayers for Christopher and for your most awesome words on my blog today. You'll never know how much I appreciate you. Thanks friend. I loves ya. Happy weekend. -)

  12. Great interview! Please enter me in the giveaway. :)

    susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. Great blog and testimony. I'm just cruising around blogdom and stopped by here. Looks like you have a terrific group here.

    Stephen Tremp

  14. Hi Maria, great interview!
    I live a long long way away!
    Here is my email:
    Blessings. Have a great Saturday and a blessed Sunday! xxx

  15. Thannks, Maria for stopping by and telling me about this book. Loved the interview. I always enjoy stopping by your blog, book or no book. My e-mail:
    Just want to say thank you for encouraging me
    by commenting on my blog. It means a lot tome.

  16. Robyn - You're entered, girl!! It's such a privilege to pray for others, knowing that our mighty God is able!! Have a great weekend!

    Susan - Thanks for stopping by!! You're name has been added to the drawing!! God bless you bunches! :)

  17. Stephen - Welcome! I love meeting new people via my blog. Thanks so much for stopping by. I look forward to checking out your blog as well. Were you interested in the book give away? In case you are, just post your e-mail for me and I'll include you in the drawing for Julie's awesome book. God bless!

  18. Raymonde - Thanks for entering!! I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog, A French Take. Keep up the fantastic pix!! God bless you, my friend!

    Ailene - Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement! Your blog's a blessing! I've entered you in the drawing! Have a great weekend! God bless!