Straining Forward

Minh Phuong Towner's Story

Author: Michelle Layer Rahal
Narrator: Karen Gundersen
Length: 12 hours 40 minutes
Publisher: Xulon Press
Released: Mar. 4, 2021
Genre: Memoir

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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 death 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 and 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, 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.

Meet the Author: Michelle Layer Rahal

Michelle is a former radio news reporter and published educator. She is a graduate of Hofstra University and holds a Masters of Education degree from the University of New York at Buffalo. Michelle was a contributing editor on The Human Odyssey, Prehistory Through the Middle Ages for K12 Inc.; content editor on The Chalice and the Stirrup Cup by George Baber Atkisson; author of articles for Educational Resource Service (ERS); contributing author for various national studies and reports, including the National Indian Education Study (2006). She lives in Virginia with her husband.

One thing I do: forgetting what is behind, I strain toward what lies ahead. Phil 3:13

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