Friday, August 7, 2009

My Friend . . . Nikki Arana

A few years ago, I replied to something on the ACFW loop about how I like a story with grit in it. You know, one that really digs deep into the heart and isn’t afraid to show the ugly along with the pretty. A woman named Nikki Arana replied to me privately, saying I may enjoy her upcoming release As I Have Loved You. She sent a digital press release, and I promptly emailed her publicist to get a copy. Not long after, I had devoured the book and was in awe of the author.

Nikki holds the distinction of being one of the few writers to make me cry. Not just almost cry, but actually cry. (I’m not a tearful person—ask anyone who knows me. Usually “almost” is all you get from me, and even that is a feat.) I wrote a review of the book and sent it to her and the publicist.

Nikki replied with a compliment to make my reviewer’s heart preen. She said I was the only reviewer thus far to truly get the story, to touch on all the major points. Now, at the time I had just expanded the Christian Review of Books to include author interviews, and I decided in a heartbeat that Nikki was a woman I wanted to talk to. We set up a time to chat on the phone later that week, and I did an interview whose transcript can be read here. Also wrote an article.

But what you won’t find in the interview is that Nikki Arana touched me as a writer just as her book touched me as a reader. I’d been working with authors for quite a while at the CRoB, but she was the first to ask me what I was working on. The first to speak encouragement to me as a novelist. And every time I want to try something new at the Review, she’s always willing and eager to serve as a guinea pig. (You’re such a good sport, Nikki!)

I’ve checked in with Nikki periodically to see what she’s been working on, and yet again this woman has awed me. While researching a novel about a Muslim who converted to Christianity, she got involved in ministering to those of Islamic faith. In an email that poured out her heart, her mission, and her goals, she made real to me a movement I’d never even paused to consider. The novel hasn't yet found a contract that stuck, but I had the honor of reading the prologue and first chapter of this unpublished book, and I can tell you it’s powerful. I’ve come to realize that any words that flow from Nikki’s fingers are going to be touched by the Spirit.

Nikki’s now funneled her research into a nonfiction book, Through the Eyes of Christ. This book focuses on how Christians can talk to Muslims to open their eyes to the truths of our Savior. I haven’t yet had the privilege of reading it, but I will. I live in a small community where I’m not so sure I’ll be able to put the lessons to use, but I want to know. I want to understand.

And I trust Nikki. When she believes in something, I know it’s something the Lord has shown her. Given that I’ve never even met her, I think that speaks pretty strongly to the power of her vision and the force of her words.

If you’re looking for an awesome novel (or four) that has spiritual depth and heart-rending characters, definitely check out this award-winning author. And if you want to see someone with true vision, read about her work with Muslims on her website at www.NikkiArana.com and check out her new book, Through the Eyes of Christ.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Roseanna,
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so excited about Through the Eyes of Christ: How to Lead Muslims into the Kingdom of God. Recently there was a frightening video being circulated around the Internet called Muslim Demographics. It shows how the increasing population of Muslims will spread Islam and change the world as we know it. It is true Islam is spreading. Yes, even here in America. But we don't have to be frightened. We have the answer to Islam and terrorism. There is only One who can change the heart of man, and that One operates through us. This book gives step-by-step instructions about how to evangelize Muslims.

    If any of you got a forward asking you to view the Muslim Demographic video. Please reply all to whoever sent it and direct them to (www.AVoiceForThePersecuted.com) That video got over 10 million hits. I wish the message of hope in Through the Eyes of Christ could be read by 10 million people. It would change the world.

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  2. Hi Roseanna,
    I'm so happy you found Nikki in such a large hostile world. Nikki is a jewel of a woman who has found the finger of God to guide her writing. God is the author of "Through The Eyes Of Christ" and Nikki has had the privilege of writing it for Him, along with Harry Morin. I am now reading her book. Thank you for saying such kind words about Nikki's work and I'm sure you will, as others, find the book of immense value in the midst of this spiritual warfare, troubling our world.
    Dominic Daddato

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  3. I'm praying God's success on Nikki and her writing. I admire the fact that she's written about Muslim's and other parts of the globe. Blessings on her.

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  4. Thanks so much for your support Christine. Be sure to tell others about the book. There are so few resources for Christians who want to reach out to the Muslim people.

    Nikki

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  5. Hi,Roseanna,
    I met Nikki Arana at the Cd'A chapter of the Idaho Writers' League several years ago when she was just starting out as a writer, and I am constantly impressed with her as a writer and as a dedicated Christian woman. She is also an excellent teacher! Whenever I have attended a presentation by her, I have come away with so much good information and have been inspired, as well. I, too, believe that God has given her some wonderful gifts and is using her in a wonderful way.
    I hope you can meet her soon.
    God bless.

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