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Author finds strength in God

"I heard a voice that said 'take a pen and write.'" Elizabeth Betty Niemi said that was her reason for writing the self-published book, 'In Desperation I Turn To God'. The Fort St.

"I heard a voice that said 'take a pen and write.'"

Elizabeth Betty Niemi said that was her reason for writing the self-published book, 'In Desperation I Turn To God'.

The Fort St. John resident, and new author, decided it was time to tell the story of her life, after much encouragement to do so from friends and family, as well as divine encouragement.

In her novel, Niemi tells the story of times in her life where her faith was tested and she managed to come through stronger than ever.

The book opens with descriptions of her Mennonite family's life just before she was born. She talks about how her mother encouraged the family to trust in God to guide them.

Another chapter chronicles an early encounter that would leave a lasting impact on Niemi's life.

Niemi was nearly abducted as a child by a man her mother had refused to marry years before. He grabbed Elizabeth from a sandbox and ran off, with her mother in persuit.

Her mother's protective instinct had her swinging and hitting the man with a garden hoe until he let Niemi go.

"I will never forget that, I can remember what his arms felt like," she said.

This incident led to Elizabeth having a great fear of men while she was growing up. She was reluctant to leave her mother unless it was absolutely necessary.

This became even more difficult after her mother became ill, after receiving an injury to her ankle that never properly healed. Her mother had numerous, lengthy hospital stays after that.

Niemi had to assume the role her mother once held in the household as the cook, housekeeper and general caretaker of the whole family.

"It was really hard, I was only a child at the time," said Niemi. But she said that by keeping her faith, she was able to make it through and be there for her family.

Her life involved moving with her family to Saskatchewan and Northern B.C., as well as two turns at living in Mexico.

Despite her fear of men, Niemi managed to befriend the son of her family's neighbours, which helped her overcome her fear and realize that not all men were bad.

During the difficult times of her life, Niemi said her faith in God never faltered and that she found comfort in knowing that she was being watched over by the Lord.

"He was always watching, I knew He was," she said.

In Desperation I Turn To God is available is available at Coles in the Totem Mall and Kurios Books in the old Co-op Mall, or by calling Niemi at 250-785-3843