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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Tears Water the Seeds of Hope by Kim Tews

I dare you to try to read this book without tissues or a handkerchief.  (Giveaway at bottom of post}
Tears Water the Seeds of Hope
by Kim Tews

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: CrossHouse Publishing (September 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161315027X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613150276
The book will be featured in the October Issues of Christianity Today and Books and Culture.
Genrre: Memoir-Narrative Non-fiction
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: September 6, 2012
Tears Water the Seeds of Hope is the inspiring true story of a Midwest husband and wife that become disenchanted with the relentless pursuit of the American Dream and embark on a journey that spans six countries and redefines their values and lives. The story begins in a small town in Wisconsin and weaves its way through South and Central America as the couple gathers an army of supporters and establishes an organization to save the lives of children in the end stages of starvation in eastern Guatemala. The narrative is filled with action-packed adventure and heartwarming victories as the characters face incredible odds and seemingly hopeless situations, while hundreds of volunteers join mission teams to offer help and hope through the programs of the ministry. Readers of all ages will enjoy the roller-coaster ride of emotions-from laughter to tears to sheer joy-as they realize that ordinary people can make a difference one life at a time.

This is a true story in which Kim Tews shares her journey from measuring success in the standards of materialism to acknowledging the priceless rewards of storing up treasures in heaven.

Kim and her husband were successful real estate agents with two children, the expensive house, cars and toys in Wisconsin. Kim and Randy took a vacation trip in 2000 to Mexico that started a new direction for their lives. Kim made a simple remark among friends that she would like to help poor people in the world. The next thing she and Randy find themselves going on a mission trip to Ecuador that changes their hearts and soon changes their priorities.

Kim shares the beauty and simplicity of the lifestyles and gentle nature of many of the Latin Americans even amid the poverty. Kim and Randy start by coping with places that have no indoor plumbing and hotels with creepy crawlies in the bedrooms. After numerous mission trips to Ecuador and Nicaragua they discover a new need to help children suffering severe starvation and malnutrition. Unlike some of the surrounding areas they learn there is no relief program in the Southeast mountain areas of Guatemala. Step by small step Kim and a dedicated and loving team of volunteers begin and develop a mission organization known as Outreach for World Hope.

The writing is more than a journal of the events that shaped the goals and transformation for Kim.  It is a rich, flowing picture of their personal journey. Kim is able to pull the reader into the setting to see and feel the deprivations of the people and the fear and heartache of parents who do not have even $25.00 to buy life saving medicine for their children. There are (seemingly) small gifts and acts of kindness that are not small to the recipients.  There is warmth and joy too. Although outside the focus of their ministry, Kim describes the miraculous and huge gifts of time and money from multiple doctors and a hospital that step in to save the life of a teenage girl who would die without expensive, painful and risky surgery.

There are many harrowing adventures from mudslides to getting lost in the mountains. There are also difficult challenges including parents who do not know how sick their children are and who fear the hospitals. Not to mention parents who abuse and neglect their children.  Kim openly shares times of doubt in God when she faces such poverty, neglect and conditions that are so difficult for those of us with plenty to understand. Ultimately she acknowledges that the beauty and miracle of seeing a child restored to health can only reaffirm the existence of God and the awesomeness of His creation even when we do not understand all of His ways.

There are some striking photos shared in the back of the book. (See this link to OWH website to see before and after pictures.) Sometimes we forget how greatly blessed we are. This is an awesome story of how one family can make a difference as they improve the lives of poor children while sharing the love of God.  I encourage everyone willing to have their heart touched to read this story, give thanks for your blessings and then share what and how you can.
The source of the book title:
...had God not brought us to this horrible scene of human suffering, He could not have convicted us to serve Him in this place. The tears we cried would soon water the seeds of hope that would change the future fo children like Elias. Page 59.
I received this wonderful book from the Author as part of a blog tour through Great Escape Book Tours. 

Amazon Page:

Barnes and Noble Page:

Link to Outreach For World Hope (Author’s webpage):

Link to Book Page on Author’s Site

Facebook Page:

Great Escape Book Tour – Tour Page For This Tour:

About This Author
Kim Tews was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Economics. She and husband, Randy, pursued careers in real estate before beginning mission work together in Ecuador, South America in 2001. In 2005 they established the 501 (c) 3 non-profit Outreach for World Hope to save the lives of starving children in eastern Guatemala. The couple lives in Verona, Wisconsin with their three children, traveling back and forth to Guatemala frequently to facilitate the ongoing programs of Outreach for World Hope.

Tears Water the Seeds of Hope
Chapter 1 - Wrecked for Life

The setting sun painted a backdrop of cotton candy pink clouds over the roadside bar and grill where we would soon hear our favorite acoustic guitar duo sing Jimmy Buffet songs. It was an idyllic Wisconsin summer night late in June of 2005. Under normal circumstances, I would have enjoyed the warm breeze and the glow of the festive colored tiki lights on the outdoor deck with the sense of carefree recreation that midwestern families enjoy when school is out and the days are longer. Randy shook his head, smiling as our two daughters took turns throwing harmless jabs at one another, each laughing hysterically at her own jokes. I felt as if I were watching the scene from a distance, fighting back tears as my mind returned to the children I had seen two days earlier in a squalid hospital in drought and famine-stricken eastern Guatemala—a scene that would change me forever and wreck me once and for all for the relentless pursuit of the American Dream. I was haunted by the forlorn faces of two children whose hopeless situation had laid the framework for the rest of my life.

The severely starved two-year-old boy was scarcely more than skin and bones. Hair was a luxury his body could not afford, as the nutrients available to him were barely enough to keep his vital organs functioning. His face was sunken and pale, the outline of his ribs and spine clearly visible through his thin layer of skin. He had been carried by his barefooted ten-year-old sister from El Volcancito, their remote mountain village several miles away, into the small town of Jocotan, in hopes that his life could be saved. The mother of the children was bedridden with a debilitating illness for which she could not afford treatment. My heart broke as much for the boy, barely hanging on and suffering miserably, as for the young girl, exhausted and saddled with the crushing responsibility of keeping her baby brother alive.

A frail little girl sat weeping on a tattered bench at the entrance to the facility, her body emaciated and her abdomen severely bloated, revealing the presence of parasites within her weak, trembling frame. She had been brought to the hospital for nutritional rehabilitation, and because she was four years old, and her mother had two smaller children to care for at home, she had been left alone. Lidia could not have understood why she had been left behind by her family in this unfamiliar place. She had been sitting on the bench since early morning waiting for them to return. In her hand she clutched what was probably her only toy, a comfort and reminder of home. The lump in my throat returned each time I recalled opening her tiny hand to find that she held a black plastic vulture.

Randy and I were married in May of 1993. During our early years together, we were blessed with two beautiful daughters and were pursuing careers in real estate, climbing the ranks among our colleagues in terms of sales volume. We purchased an enormous house on four acres, and although it was only four years old, we completely remodeled it to suit our tastes. With luxury vehicles and an ever-increasing income, we were living the American Dream. There was much to be thankful for, but something was missing.

Randy and I had both grown up near Madison, Wisconsin in middle class families, Randy’s Methodist and mine Catholic. We had attended Sunday services and believed in an all-powerful God, but faith and religion were not playing a major role in our adult lives. Having agreed as newlyweds to raise our family in faith, we dutifully attended services at a congregation near our home for seven years. But we eventually felt that we needed a change and in spring of 2000, we set out in search of a new church home. With no predetermined denomination in mind, we experienced a variety of church cultures, some too formal, some too weird, others seemingly insincere. We eventually stumbled across an Evangelical Free church on the west side of Madison, near our home in the suburb of Verona. I was surprised to find that instead of an organ and a choir, this church had a band that played upbeat contemporary Christian music on keyboards, guitars and drums. The young pastor spoke with passion, bringing the Bible to life by applying scripture to issues faced by the generations of the twenty-first century. It was at this church that our faith came alive.

Our new understanding of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and the resulting sense of love and gratitude we felt toward God, inevitably began to pose problems for us. We were embarrassed to invite our new Christian friends to our supersized home, and conflicts began to surface in our hearts about how our time and money were being spent. One of the many bedrooms in our home had been turned into my personal closet and was loaded with clothing and shoes, most of which I did not need. I had become so busy in my career as a Realtor that I began to feel like a gerbil on a wheel. My twelve-hour workdays did not leave room for the peace and joy I had heard should come with our newly authenticated Christian faith. One frantically busy day I decided to return phone calls while waiting in line for lunch at the McDonald’s drive through. When a voice came over the speaker saying, “Can I help you?”

I was so preoccupied that I mistook it for a phone call and said, “Hello, this is Kim Tews with the Tews Team Realtors”.

During the awkward silence that followed the kid must have been thinking, “Yeah, who cares? What do you want for lunch?”

That night I arrived home from work late in the evening to find our three-year-old daughter asleep on the couch clinging to a shirt I had worn the day before. When I asked Randy about the shirt he explained, “She said it smells like you, and she misses you.”

It was time for a change.

Thank you to Kim and Great Escape Book Tours for providing a book for Giveaway!
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for a Print Copy for US or Canadian winner 

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* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on October 19, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED on October 20, 2012.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.  



  1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful review! We are always encouraged when others appreciate our work and story. I am glad you enjoyed the book and bope your readers will as well!


  2. Very nice review. Sounds like a lovely book.


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