The Story Behind the Book Cover Picture

During our time in Cincinnati, Ohio, my husband, George, and I took several short trips away from school and ministry work to refresh and energize ourselves. One of the best times away were those days that we spent with Jim and Christine Cook at their beautiful home surrounded by a gorgeous forest. Jim and Christine contributed greatly to securing our travel visa to the United States and they served as our host family during the five years of our studies at Cincinnati Christian University. On one of these visits, Christine heard me singing an Arabic Christian song.

Christine asked me to translate the words of that hymn, after which she briefly left the room and returned carrying a small gift for me. She held a picture of a girl kneeling in front of a person represented as God the Father. She told me that the words of that hymn reminded her of that picture, and she wanted me to keep it.

That picture hung on many walls and traveled with us to many countries, until at last it was placed on my office wall in Dearborn, Michigan, where we now reside. God had made it abundantly clear to us that Michigan would
be the best place to base our ministry since the population of Arabs and refugees coming from many other countries are the highest in the nation in the state of Michigan.

I was preparing to print and publish my first devotional book which includes many spiritual reflections based upon the teachings of the Bible. As I began to think about the appropriate cover for my book the first thing that came to my mind was the picture hanging in my office. I smiled and thought why not contact the artist to see if he would grant me permission to use his painting. It certainly could not hurt to ask. I contacted the artist, Derek Hegsted, to see if he was willing to give me permission to use his painting as a cover for my first book.
Derek, as an accomplished artist, holds several awards for his work, so I never really expected that I would be able to use his painting. I corresponded several times with Derek, attempting to negotiate the cost to display his painting on my book cover. Jolynn Hegsted, Derek’s wife, who holds the copyright to Derek’s painting, believed so strongly in my desire to minister to Arab women and the refugee community, that she suggested they offer the use of the painting free of charge. I certainly had not planned nor even imagined that I would be blessed in this manner.

I want to thank both Derek and Jolynn for their kind generosity and desire to bless me with Derek’s creative work, without any compensation. I do not know them personally and have never met them, but this wonderful gift speaks volumes about their character and generous spirit.

This story behind the book cover painting confirms the truth of what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1. “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.“ God’s care, intervention and orchestration of every detail of our lives in order to make a beautiful thing occur at the appointed time is manifestly evident. Everything that God does in our lives leads us towards Him and towards His supreme knowledge of what is best for our individual lives. His creation showcases the work of his hands, His beauty and power, and His eternal love for all His creation.




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