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Courage Through Faith Review by Susan Reed

Shiloh Yazdani
Christian Faith Publishing, Inc.
296 Chestnut Street
Meadville, PA 16335

Courage Through Faith is a novel of World War 2. Although my review will not focus on the casualties of war; please note this novel is for young adults or older due to the graphic scenes of war.

In 1944, Chris Bryson had trained for flights short and to the point – take off, reach the objective, and jump. No longer was he just Chris Bryson from Cleveland, Ohio. He was now Private First Class Christopher A. Bryson, US Army, flying over France under fire. The men of Chris’ platoon were assigned to Drop Zone Charlie, but instead of hitting it, they’d been dispersed over a ten-mile stretch. He was fighting a war that engulfed the world, but he was also fighting a war inside between what he’d built his life on and what he discovered to be true. In fellow, Airborne member, Justin Latta, Chris saw a man whose faith guided him beyond the fear of death. Through some of the most notable battles of World War 2, Chris was influenced by different people – some positive, others negative – but all add something to the fight. As the war dragged on, he found two different kinds of soldiers fighting beside him – those with courage to face bullets but not death and those with courage, through their faith to face both.

Since D-Day when he met Sergeant Evans, a desire to know about God had been planted in his heart. Then he runs into Pastor Smith – a chaplain – he gives Chris a small New Testament and Psalms Bible. Chris woke up early to find a quiet place to read. He didn’t know reading the Bible would take his breath away. It seemed to talk right to him. He dropped his head into his palms, and as tears began to seep between his fingers he said, “God…I’m not truly sure how to pray, or even if You want to hear from me. I’m not worthy of you. I know the things I’ve done, and to be honest, if I were you, I wouldn’t have any part of me. But don’t turn me away. Jesus, please forgive me.” He stood up, tucked the New Testament in his pocket, and went to wake Justin to tell him what had just happened. As soon as he stepped inside the door, Sergeant Hamlon ordered everyone up because the Krauts broke through in the Ardennes, and they were going in. Sergeant called and said they were to set up a perimeter around town and protect it.

Abruptly, Chris felt a jerk followed by a strong burning sensation in his chest. Justin jumped out of the foxhole and started running toward him. He could see people running madly back and forth as his body slammed into the ground. He could feel the life ebb out of him with each beat of his heart. He heard a beautiful song, he’d only heard it once, but he somehow knew all the words. He sang weakly, “How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.” Justin joined in with Chris and the unheard choir. Chris’ voice weakened and died off. Justin sat there holding the body of his best friend and finished the song alone.

Ten years had come and gone since that day in Bastogne when Justin lost the closest friend he would ever have. Every cold winter – his mind automatically went back to Bastogne, and as long as winter came, those memories would never die.

-Product review by Susan Reed, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018