Michelle Layer Rahal
In the early morning hours of January 31, 1968, New Year fireworks gave way to gunfire and bombs. Eleven-year-old Minh watched in horror as her father and two siblings were gunned down by the Vietcong in their backyard. Though she escaped the bullets that night, abuse, prison, and torture would follow. A dramatic escape by boat on the South China Sea finally takes Minh out of communist Vietnam, but the tragedy of her childhood would continue to haunt her.
From France to Australia to the United States, Minh struggles to find her place in a country she does not call home in a world she does not understand. While each journey leads her to question God’s very existence or purpose for her life, they also draw her into a closer relationship with Him and toward a vocation in ministry.
Minh’s powerful story of escape, as well as dangerous and unhealthy relationships throughout her life, is told with raw sincerity. Straining Forward is a riveting spiritual journey of hope and healing that reminds readers that we are more than victims of circumstance and that even in our loneliest and most desolate moments, we are never truly alone.