About the Book
Book: Two Rivers
Author: Michael W. Henry
Release Date: April 10, 2020
In 1840 Pastor Allen Hartman leaves behind his white-steepled church in New York, and the woman he hopes to marry, to serve as a missionary to Indians in the Oregon Territory. On his epic westward journey, he is plunged into the dark end of spiritual warfare and vital intercession. His mettle is further tested when he’s asked to stay in a village of Arapaho already contending with a malevolent witch doctor—where Allen has to draw upon courage he didn’t know he possessed and discovers ministering to Indians is not at all what he imagined.
Arapaho medicine man Two Rivers knows one thing—the Great Spirit is sending White Falcon to help his people defeat the malicious spiritual forces determined to overpower the tribe. But even as White Falcon teams up with Two Rivers, Allen finds himself enslaved in a cave and in a heaven-meets-earth clash of faith with an evil sorcerer. With his life at stake and his new friends unable to help, will Spirit-led prayers of believers lead to a complete victory, or will something be left undone?
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About the Author
Michael W. Henry’s ministry has spanned from serving as a missionary in Mexico, where he encountered intense spiritual warfare, to planting and pastoring churches in Washington state. A Christian counselor, Michael is certified through the American Association of Christian Counselors and offers spiritual-life coaching to believers searching for deep faith encounters with Jesus. Michael has long been fascinated by Native American spirituality and culture. He and his wife, also a certified counselor, live in Wenatchee, Washington, and enjoy hunting, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities with their four adult children and two grandchildren.
More from Michael
Two Rivers is a story about courageous faith. I wrote it because as a missionary in Mexico, I had experienced spiritual encounters that I felt needed to be shared. A historical fiction seemed the perfect place to demonstrate the power of prayer and cross cultural respect in an authentic way.
If I had to choose only one word to describe Michael Henry’s Two Rivers, it would be intriguing. It is a story unlike any I’ve read, and one that will remain in my thoughts for a long time to come. What sets it apart in my mind is the unique combination of elements; it is a Western, a survival story, an Oregon Trail missionary journey, and a spiritual warfare novel. At times it takes on aspects of the supernatural, and there is an aura of suspense as well. Quite unusual for a work of Christian historical fiction, yet the author weaves it all together excellently. The title, too, shows forethought; at first blush, it seems to refer simply to one of the main characters, yet I surmise that it also symbolizes divergence from the mainstream course and, naturally, good vs. evil.
Set in 1840, Two Rivers demonstrates the prejudices of the time period. From Violet’s aversion to a life in the wilderness to the manner in which the Methodist Episcopal ministers in the missionary band avoid their fellow Negro pastors to the prevailing view of the Native Americans as ignorant heathens, the behavior of those who should know better and be more loving is made apparent. However, this serves to highlight the true light of Christ while acknowledging the uncomfortable truth about racism, which sadly still exists today. The fact that Henry took the time to include this rather than whitewashing the novel and portraying all of the missionaries as angels of mercy enhances my respect for and appreciation of this book. Part of a conversation between Gloria and Pastor Allen Hartman, both part of the missionary group to take the Gospel to Indians in the far-off Oregon Territory, indicates their awareness of the Native American culture. Gloria remarks: “We travel with a wagonload of material possessions, and they have just the essentials. We live such a complicated life. I can’t see them as savages anymore.” Allen follows this by saying: “How can we expect them to understand what our culture has developed over centuries? We have to walk in their shoes, not make them walk in our ours. The commissioning makes sense to me now.”
Without a doubt, the spiritual warfare is what sets this book apart. Henry skillfully employs foreshadowing to alert readers to impending conflict. There are just enough chapters focused on the antipodal Arapaho men, one a malicious witch doctor and the other a medicine man, to build tension. As the missionary group and the Native Americans come closer to converging, the suspense likewise crescendos to a battle for survival. The way in which Christianity and Native American religion meet each other in this book is interesting and, again, distinguishes this from any number of other novels with similar settings or themes. A timely reminder of the apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Let’s remember to put on the armor of God daily as we follow His marching orders!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥
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To celebrate his tour, Michael is giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of Two Rivers, a $50 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.