By Natalia S.N.
The book But Not Forsaken by Helen Good Benneman portrays the life of a Mennonite family in their struggle to escape Soviet territory. So far, they had successfully escaped Russia and had a home in Germany. Suddenly, the family was separated. The two parties headed west hoping to find each other and passed through incredible adventures in their travels. This book teaches that God will never forsake us and that He can use anyone to accomplish His will.
But Not Forsaken first shows that God will not abandon those that trust in Him. In chapters 9 and 10, Maria and her two children do not have a place to pass the night during their harsh journey. As little Rosie weeps, an old lady accepts to lodge them in her own house despite the danger (74). They eventually leave his house and cross the border. In chapter 15, God puts the Mennonite Central Committee to provide them with food, shelter, and care (120). In all their troubles God never forsook Maria and her children.
While showing that God always provides, Helen Good Brenneman also demonstrates that God can use anyone to accomplish His will. As Maria made her try to get pass the officer of the border in chapter 14, God puts in her mind to say, “Please, sir, won’t you have a heart?” (112). Then God softens the heart of the officer to let them go on. They pass three officers this way and cross finally into the British zone. Later in chapter 19, Maria’s skeptic husband, Hans, gets into a train to get out of Berlin and then cross the border somehow. He lies to the soldier checking tickets. His seatmate notices this and is willing to help him. In exchange of some potatoes, he gives Hans the card of a man who could help him. “I guess,” He thinks, “Maria would call this an answer to prayer!”(151). God used a man in a train, an old lady, and Russian officers (the very people they were trying to avoid) to accomplish His will.
But Not Forsaken demonstrates how God can use anyone he wants to fulfill his will and how He will always care for those who believe in Him. Maria and her two children always had food and shelter given by unexpected persons God used, and finally found her husband and gained freedom. Helen’s But Not Forsaken helps to see God’s provision in the middle of trouble and need, and to trust in the almighty God.