When he moved to Lebanon to live in a Shia Muslim neighborhood, Nate Scholz knew he was in for an adventure. The aroma of orange blossoms wafting over the countryside was as inviting as the people he met. To avoid offending his Arab hosts, Nate learned to enjoy drinking bitter coffee. By the time the bombs started falling seven years later, Nate had married the woman of his dreams, brought two children into the world, and become an accepted part of the Shia community. Scholz braids highlights of seven years lived in the Hezbollah heartland together with tense emails written to friends and family during the 33-Day War in 2006, when Nate's family survived Israeli air assaults and a refugee camp in Cyprus. Coffee & Orange Blossoms tells a story that is, as the title indicates, both bitter and sweet.
While studying at Lutheran Bible Institute, Nate discovered a fascination and love for Middle-Eastern culture, which led him to teaching English in the biblical city of Tyre in south Lebanon for seven years.
Since returning to the States, Nate has enjoyed coaching others who are preparing to live cross-culturally, and has helped form communities of people who are inclined to warmly engage the Muslims living in our midst.
Nate writes a weekly blog on cross-cultural reflections and what it means to follow Jesus with relevance in today’s world. He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, so he’s looking for adventurous souls to philosophize with him. Join them at www.N8exchange.com.
Currently, Nate is the official groundskeeper for the Dependent Republic of Scholzistan, which lies on the outskirts of Stanwood, WA. His wife, Kimarie, holds the position of Prime Minister, surrounded by her four little cabinet ministers. Work visas are available at no cost.
I received a free copy through Goodreads. --- I would give this 3.5 stars.
This was an interesting read. Mind you I skimmed through the parts that talk about religions, although I did enjoy learning about Lebanon and the different cultures of people. Parts of the story that talked about war, racism and differences were fascinating. It really puts a different perspective to what we mistakenly lead to believe about people of certain backgrounds.
I enjoyed the format of the book. Each chapter focuses on something important or profound that the author went through in the past. And in between the chapters we have short 1-2 page emails that brings us back into present times (well fairly current compared to the rest of the chapters), where the author and his family were under threat when fighting breaks out and their lives are threatened.
Overall, this book is not a light read, so be prepared. It is definitely an interesting read, so much so that I was intrigued to read up more about events that the author talked about.
Coffee and Orange Blossoms is a gift to its reader, offering a look in the life of its author. Nate's honesty and insight, as well as his skill in telling a story, make this book encouraging, challenging, and enjoyable to read.
I found the book interesting and yea he did say upfront he could only put so much into the book. It was interesting how he used the email after each chapter that brings you to the present. But is lightweight book.
I really enjoy reading the biographies of people who have allowed Jesus to define their lives. The combination of one man's faith journey with a significant current event made this one especially compelling.
An easy read, this book covers the author's experience living in Lebanon from 1999 through 2006, including the 33 Day War between Lebanon and Hezbollah forces and Israel. Splitting the bulk of the story with individual emails sent to update family and friends during the short war, this was an easy ... if thought provoking book. The short chapters also made it easy to pick up and put down as I had time to read. That being said, I finished it in just over two days. =)
While I probably won't re-read it myself, I found it intriguing and worth the time to read.