By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
NASHVILLE, TN (ANS – October 25, 2015) — News about the Middle East and Islamic nations is often cast in a negative, and even scary, light in the United States. Fear, skepticism and anger have built a barrier between the faiths and people groups.
According to a news release, if anyone has the right to be angry or skeptical toward people of Muslim faith, it is Ray Norman. Yet, in his upcoming release, Dangerous Love: A True Story of Tragedy, Faith, and Forgiveness in the Muslim World (Thomas Nelson, December 1, 2015), Ray casts a different light on the Muslim world, one that is loving and forgiving, one that needs understanding.
In 1999, Ray, his wife, Hélène, and their two children, Nathaniel and Hannah, moved to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in Northwest Africa, where Ray would serve as country director for World Vision, a Christian non-profit and humanitarian organization. They were there during the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and as a result, were put on high security alert for several weeks.
On October 17, 2001, while Hélène was out of town and Nathaniel was at boarding school, Ray and Hannah, age 10, decided to take a late afternoon trip to the beach. While checking the tires of his Land Cruiser, Ray saw an Arab man emerge from the sand dunes. After a brief exchange, the man opened fire on Ray and Hannah with a nine-millimeter pistol. Ray managed to get in the car and escape, but his arm was shot. Then, he looked over at his daughter and saw blood coming from her chest.
“It was then that my already shattered world fell completely apart,” says Ray.
The events that ensued are nothing short of a miracle. Not only did Ray and Hannah survive, but the Normans decided to stay in Mauritania and keep serving the people there. A few months after the shooting, they even visit their assailant in prison, where Hélène and Hannah offer him forgiveness and tell him about Jesus’ love. “In that moment,” says Ray, “I was witness to a fleeting glimpse of the incredible depth of God’s love for all people. It took my breath away.”
Dangerous Love and the Normans’ story demonstrate that there is no place that hope, love and forgiveness cannot dwell, and there is no evil that they cannot conquer.
About the Author:
Ray Norman is the WASH Director of Faith Leadership at World Vision and former national director for World Vision’s program in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Previously academic dean at Messiah College in Grantham, PA, he is now scholar-in-residence. He and his wife live in Grantham, PA, and Bonningues-les-Ardres, in northern France.
About Thomas Nelson Books & Thomas Nelson:
Nelson Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, is a leader in the Christian nonfiction publishing realm. Nelson Books is dedicated to acquiring, developing and promoting authors whose content inspires, informs and invokes real change. The imprint publishes more than 50 new titles each year in the areas of spiritual growth, inspiration and practical living with select memoir, biography, history and culture releases.
Thomas Nelson, part of Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Inc., is a world-leading provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. The publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information, please visit www.thomasnelson.com
Photo: 1) Ray Norman. 2) Book cover. 3) Dan Wooding recording his radio show.
Media Contact: Kelsey Hulgan, firstname.lastname@example.org ; 404-754-3474.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of some 45 books and has two US-based TV programs and a radio show called “Front Page Radio.”
You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)