The Book of Hope came about during the time when New Zealand was in Level 4, State of Emergency Lockdown for Covid-19. New Zealand went into a lockdown on the 25th of March at 11:59pm. Our lives had suddenly come to a complete standstill. Everything had to shutdown - no shops, no takeaways. Zilch! It felt so surreal - it was as if I was in a war movie where there was no life around. No people, no cars in the streets. The message from the authorities were clear - "Stay Home".
Apart from the bare minimum Essential Services, no other businesses were allowed to operate. Unlike many other countries, our Essential Services were literally Essential Services. This meant the Authorities, Civil Defence, Hospitals, Commercial Cleaning Services that were cleaning Essential Services such as the Covid-19 Test Centres, Hospitals etc. You could not see your doctor, you had to call them. Trades people were allowed to work under extremely strict conditions - fully covered (it reminded me of the people who worked in the Ebola Centres!). They were only allowed to fix emergency items like blown oven fuses or water heater elements.
You couldn't go to the supermarket with your family. Only one person was allowed and you had to queue. They limited the number of people that were in the store. As one person came out one was let in. In consideration for the next person in line, you had to shop fast and for that you had to be really organised.
You had to stay within your bubble. Whoever you were with at 11:59pm on the 25th of March was who you were going to spend the entire Level 4 lockdown period with. Thank goodness I have my 18 year old son with me or I would have gone bonkers. But I was really upset as my daughter lives in town and usually spends alternate weekends with us but I could not see her for the entire lockdown period. Being immune compromised, I was really worried for her. But all I could do was pray.
Nevertheless, a week into lockdown, work became extremely busy and I had to assist our Franchisees who were cleaners to obtain the subsidy the government had granted self-employed businesses. That was the time my heart broke. Every Franchisee that called had a story. I spoke to and assisted over 120 Franchisees over a three day period but I can tell you that I never had a dry eye when I went to sleep at night since that day. I paced the floor and some nights started work the next morning without a wink of sleep as I was so heartbroken and distressed listening to franchisees who had just bought houses and now with the lockdown, had no income from their cleaning business to pay their mortgage. Or someone who had just given birth and her husband had been made redundant, hence no income at all in the family. Some with young children couldn't make ends meet as the kids had to stay home and be home-schooled and therefore needed more household income to meet the food bill for the families. The stories went on and on. And many new franchisees were not entitled to the subsidy and therefore had zero income to rely on.
The other accountant I worked with was a Christian and she knew the stress I was going through and she sent me scriptures throughout the day to keep me going. At one point I thought - I should find a way to pass the message of "God supplying the needs to His people according to His Riches". I didn't know how. In the last 18 months I knew how to ask God for a solution to problems before I slept and the answer would always come to me within a couple of days either in a dream or a sudden "light bulb moment". I tried that at night, but my distress kept me awake most of the night and there was no answer.
But I knew the Lord sometimes takes a few days so I continued praying for an answer as I went through my day. As I was speaking to a Franchisee that day, she told me that I should write a book. Viola! There was my answer! I already have a book contract for another book, the Lord Delights in Prospering His People but for some reason the idea of writing a book didn't cross my mind.
After considering it, I thought it wouldn't make sense. As the logistics were not possible. I had to write, get it self-published, then distribute it. Chances are Covid-19 would be done and dusted by then. I needed something to happen straight-away. So I gave up on the idea. But when I woke up the next morning, everything was laid out straight in front of me. Including the title. I had initially called the book, "The Miracles of the Lord", but when I woke up, it was as clear as day that the book was to be called "The Book of Hope".
I don't know how and why but I was asked to release it chapter by chapter each week for ten consecutive weeks. The first chapter was written in the 2nd week of April 2020, but I have been so fearful of releasing it as I am an accountant not an author. But I went back to Our Source, Our God and prayed over and over again and he has spoken to me through so many ways - people, the talks I listen, to encourage me to release this book. So finally with all my courage, I am now releasing The Book of Hope, chapter by chapter
I sincerely hope that this book will give you all the grace you need to help you pull through not just these difficult times, but also give you abundance for a lifetime as you see God in a new light.