Book Six Family Heirloom: Persevering in adversity
Dr. Marcus Samuels is a medical missionary in Japan, and his life has been God's work despite a severe anxiety disorder associated with being far from home. After twelve years of watching his happily married siblings and their children, he can no longer deny the chronic ache inside him and knows he should start his own family life back in the States--though he has serious doubts about his wife-hunting abilities at the age of forty. Spurred into motion by his mother's sudden illness, he's caught off-guard when he realizes just how much he'll miss Keiko Oichi and her brother Haruki, fellow pediatricians at the Children's Christian Mission Hospital. The two have not only been his lifeline while in a foreign, distant place, but have also become family to him.
Keiko and Haruki grew up in the United States as foreign exchange students. It was through their host family that she and her older sibling became Christians. Her conversion to Christ, as well as getting to know Marcus, have radically altered her emotionally-detached acceptance of her traditional Japanese future. When Marcus says he's leaving Japan for good, she feels lost at the prospect of living without her closest friend. Only with Marcus can she be the woman she truly is inside--if she can shed the cocoon of lifelong familial tradition and impossible expectations and be free.
Knowing Keiko has been betrothed since she was a child, Marcus had trained himself not to see her as a potential mate. But learning of her unhappiness and fear of being unequally yoked to an immoral man she can never love opens his eyes to possibilities he hasn't allowed himself to consider. Who better to fall in love with than your very best friend? When Keiko's parents learn of her conversion and feelings for a Christian man, the couple faces a crossroads in love and faith that will change both of their lives irrevocably.