Ana Galloway, the adopted daughter of former area residents Tedd and Donna Galloway, currently makes her living as a social worker in Grand Rapids.
While Ana's life on the surface sounds routine enough, her very existence is considered miraculous by those who know her history. Orphaned in the impoverished nation of Zambia, she weighed only four pounds at birth and doctors predicted she would die within hours or days.
The story of how she survived against those dire odds and ultimately blossomed into a beloved daughter, star high school athlete, college graduate and young professional is at the center of a new book written by none other than her adoptive father. "A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God," penned by Tedd Galloway and published by Intermedia Publishing in Peoria, Ariz., was released in early March.
"It was a story that was hard to retell," said Galloway, who will speak Sunday at Ossineke United Methodist Church during the 10:30 a.m. worship service. Copies of his book will be available for sale and autographing after the service. Later in the day, he, his wife and Ana will be at the Iron Skillet in Lincoln beginning at 1 p.m. to visit with old friends and to sign more copies of his book.
Husband and wife were led to the mission field more than two decades ago, where they served for a time in Zambia on the African continent. It was there, along with their now adult daughters, Hilary and Marily, that they first encountered the baby they would nurse back to health and adopt as their own.
Both ordained pastors, the Galloways had waited nearly 10 years to fulfill their long-held heart's desire to do missionary work abroad. Their service took a life-altering turn, however, when Donna Galloway was brutally beat up by a native pastor also serving at their remote school/hospital complex.
Deeply troubled by the incident and slow to receive much support in country over what had happened, the couple and their family abruptly ended their stay in Zambia, returned to the states and waited on their church affiliation for a new placement within Michigan.
Their experiences of loving and caring for Ana, their struggles to recover from the beating incident, their disillusionment with the system and their questioning of how God fit into the whole picture resulted in a series of emotional and spiritual lows for Tedd Galloway. It was while serving as a pastor of First Baptist Church in Lincoln from 2002 to 2006 that he decided to write about some of those experiences.
"It was my mental health therapy," Galloway said. "I started writing and trying to make sense of what happened and why as a Christian does God allow certain things to take place."
He concluded that God's timing is perfect, but not always understood, and that genuine Christian love should be color-blind. He also concluded that love is costly and can be painful, but that the cost of loving doesn't compare to the joy that comes along with it.
The writing process only took Galloway about six months. Retired Alpena Community College instructor Roger Phillips assisted him along the way with the editing process. Getting the book published took much longer.
Galloway now speaks occasionally about his new book to groups and churches.
"I basically touch on a few highlights," he said. "My main theme is loving people irregardless of color and what society tells us that we should do."
A serious back injury in which his spinal cord was damaged forced Galloway to resign from full-time ministry. He currently maintains a blog ministry accessible at aservantsheartministry.blogspot.com. The couple now resides in Morenci, where his wife serves as pastor of Morenci United Methodist Church.
"A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God" is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, including for Kindle and Nook. Cost per hardcopy book is $13.95. It will be available after this weekend at Olivet Book and Gift in downtown Alpena. Those interested in purchasing a copy may also contact Galloway via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.