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A Hundred Camels
A Mission Doctor's Sojourn
and Murder Trial in Somalia

Summary: Here is the account of a Mennonite mission doctor tried for a patient’s murder. As this suspenseful, true-life drama unfolds, readers are given access to an ancient, clan-based culture few Americans have experienced in a country recently declared by the United Nations as a humanitarian crisis "worse than Darfur."

When Dr. Gerald L. Miller left his Markle, Indiana, family practice to respond to an urgent need for a doctor at the Jamama Hospital, he faced the challenge of understanding an Islamic culture much different from his own and of dealing with medical situations unlike any he had encountered: village children attacked by a mad dog, a psychotic woman chained to a stake, infants dead from malaria, banana workers bitten by venomous snakes. Not only did Miller respond readily and with compassion, he also acted with ingenuity, discovering, for example, that the malaria organism was crossing the placental barrier.

Throughout a year of challenges, Dr. Miller had his Mennonite faith and the abiding support of Somali hospital staff and mission personnel to sustain him. Readers will be moved by the climax of this drama, a surprising outcome involving the actions of a single Somali family.

Comment: "This vivid, compelling story becomes a vehicle of beauty—the kind that wounds as we recognize our own fears and prejudices but also the beauty of a compassion that heals." —Jean Janzen, Fresno, California, is an award-winning poet, whose most recent collection of poetry is Paper House.

"This book contains an equal measure of travelogue, mystery story, medical diary, and cultural history. Underneath the excitement of the courtroom drama, murder trial, and many escapades in a new culture, lies the story of how one man’s spirit grew, first in his own country and his own faith and then in a new country with a different faith." Shirley H. Showalter, in the Foreword

"This is the amazing one year saga of the Dr. Gerald Miller family in Jamama, Somalia. The outcome reflects the Muslim trust of nearly eighteen years of Christian Mennonites working with them." —Bertha Beachy has worked in or been involved with Somali, African, and Islamic worlds for decades

"A family's refusal to accept blood money because of the love and respect between their father and Dr. Miller provides a refreshing portrayal of the Somali people. We need to hear this in a day when the news reported of Somalia is mostly of piracy and terrorism." —Ann King-Grosh has worked in East Africa since 1985 for both Mennonite Central Committee and Eastern Mennonite Missions

Market: Anyone interested in a Somalia-based story that combines cross-cultural experiences with drama, suspense, and a climactic outcome. 

Shelving: Memoir, autobiography; Somalia; History—Anabaptist, Mennonite; Eastern Mennonite Missions; Islam; Missiology; Anabaptists; Mennonites. BISAC: Autobiography; History, Religion. RTM: 170 Autobiography; 431 History/World; 690 Religion/Ethics

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House
Imprint: DreamSeeker Books
Copublisher: Herald Press, Scottdale, PA
Publication date: June 2009 (copies available now)
Approximate Pages: 228
Tentative Format: 5.5 x 8.5" trade paper
Prices: $13.95 US/$14.95 Can. ISBN 13:  978-1-931038-54-6; ISBN 10: 1-931038-54-6

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