Book Signing at Commissioning

Lyssa Lamb: A parable of trust for children, adults

by Sue Schumann Warner – 

Illustration by Ronda Gilger

A fluffy white lamb will soon be showing children the path to God’s “Greenest Pasture,” and having plenty of adventures along the way, thanks to a delightful new children’s book, Lyssa Lamb. As Lyssa travels, she learns valuable lessons about choices, staying on the right path, and the faithfulness of the King.

The 32-page book features bright, full color original illustrations and a page of questions for parents to discuss with their children to reinforce the lessons in the story.

Written by Lt. Colonel Debora Bell and illustrated by Major Ronda Gilger, it will be published by the Western Territory’s Frontier Press in late May 2005.

The two will hold a book signing on Saturday, June 11 at Commissioning.

Commissioner (Dr.) Kay F. Rader, former World President, Women’s Organizations, says of Lyssa: “Along the way to Greenest Pasture, she does things she shouldn’t do, and fails to do things she should. Events suddenly take a turn for the worse. But the King has not forgotten her. He hears her call for help. A delightfuly illustrated book to be enjoyed by children and those who love and care for them.”

Bell first thought of the story idea a number of years ago while at an officers’ councils. “The speaker was talking about the life and work of Christians as a battlefield, and one of his illustrations caught my imagination. I could picture my own life journey with all its good times and bad times,” she said. “The story began to take shape as I wondered how I could help children understand the Christian’s journey.”

She credits Commissioner Gisele Gowans with giving her the idea of portraying the main character as a lamb. “Years before this, Gisele Gowans planted a love for sheep and shepherds in my life. She reminded me that we are the sheep Jesus cares for and as officers, we are also his shepherds who help take care of the sheep.” Bell adds that, with the main character a lamb, there would be a Good Shepherd as well, and the journey would be to the Greenest Pasture.

As the story was taking shape, Bell and Gilger were working together in San Diego. While Bell wrote the first draft, Gilger, a mother of four, did the illustrations. “I found it a ‘work of heart’ to bring Debi’s vision of Lyssa to life,” said Gilger. “Lyssa’s journey resounds with such truth, and very often as I was dreaming and drawing, I found myself with visions of my own children’s expressions and experience.

“The result is a precious little lamb, a heroine, really: whose steps mirror ours, and whose story is ‘our’ story as seen through ‘new eyes’.”

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