I am delighted to welcome Camy Tang to the blog today to chat about the recently re-released devotional Who I Want to Be: A Devotional Journey Through the Book of Matthew. Compiled by Camy, the book features 31 well-known authors who have written devotionals from the book of Matthew. Proceeds go toward the Japanese translation & printing of this book for Japanese women, something close to my own heart.
Authors of the devotionals
Audrey Appenzeller, Victoria Bylin, Lyn Cote, Judy DeVries, Danica Favorite, Janet W. Ferguson, Deborah Hale, Eva Maria Hamilton, Sharon Hinck, Kristin Holt, Carole Lehr Johnson, Jill Kemerer, Wendy Lawton, Jackie Layton, Catherine Lynn, Autumn Macarthur, Kathy McKinsey, Dineen Miller, Robin Patchen, James L. Rubart, Renee Ryan, Regina Scott, Morgan Tarpley Smith, Anna Spencer, Jennifer Spinola, Camy Tang/Camille Elliot, Janet Tronstad, MaryLu Tyndall, Lenora Worth, Cheryl Wyatt, Kathleen Y’Barbo
WHO I WANT TO BE: A Devotional Journey Through the Book of Matthew
GENRE: Christian Devotional
PUBLISHER: Camy Tang Books
RELEASE DATE: December 2018 (original release date)
Want the perfect Mother’s Day gift AND help spread the Gospel to Japanese women too?
Get your copy of the multi-author devotional, “Who I Want to Be: A Devotional Journey Through the Book of Matthew,” which now has a lovely new cover!
Proceeds go toward funding the devotional book’s translation into Japanese and copies to distribute to Japanese women.
For women struggling with all aspects of their lives, 31 authors have written heartfelt devotional readings through the Biblical book of Matthew. We pray that from this devotional book, you will realize that Jesus loves you deeply. You are not alone. There is no place you have gone that is too far away from God, and He can help you to be the person who you want to be.
Hi Camy! Welcome to the blog!
Camy: Alas, while I used to love apples, now I can only eat oranges because of my IBS. 🙁
Carrie: that’s so sad! I can’t imagine not being able to eat apples again 🙁
Camy: Mountains, probably because I grew up in Hawaii, so I’m used to the ocean, whereas mountains are cool and interesting since I have only seen them a few times in my life! They’re majestic and beautiful!
Carrie: they really are!
Camy: I would say soup, because I absolutely LOVE ramen. Actually, now that I think about it, I love any type of noodle soup!
Camy: Ebook because I don’t have enough shelf space for all my books! Plus I love having lots of books on my phone or ereader, especially if I travel anywhere. I hate not being without a book to read!
Carrie: i feel your pain about not enough shelf space… lol
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Camy:I knit and write. 🙂 When I’m stuck, I’ll pick up a knitting project and knit, knit, knit while I think, then suddenly drop my knitting to type furiously. My writing friends who’s observed this say it’s sometimes startling how I’ll be calmly knitting and then suddenly pounding away on the keyboard.
Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?
Camy: Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, because aside from the fact it’s wonderfully entertaining, it was the book that first inspired me to write my own stories. Persuasion by Jane Austen, my favorite book of all time because I absolutely love how a plain background sort of personality (much like me!) can attract the hero. Watership Down by Richard Adams, a book I re-read almost every year because, well, rabbits! and I love how they overcame adversity to establish a home. The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill, my favorite of all her books, because of how the family stuck together and with ingenuity and creativity, they found a home in an unexpected place. And lastly, while there are many Regency romances I love, the one with the special place in my heart is Regency Miss by Alix Melbourne, because it was the very first Regency romance I ever read, and it got me hooked on the genre.
Carrie: HOW have I only read Persuasion from this great list?!? I need to correct that asap…
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Camy: I have a Japanese coffee table called a kotatsu, which is a table with a heater installed on the underside of the table frame. The tabletop is removable and you insert a padded cotton blanket under the tabletop and draping it over the coffee table frame. When you turn the heater on, it traps the heat under the blanket and you can stick your legs inside and it’s heavenly! I have my computer monitor on the kotatsu tabletop and I sit on the floor on top of a large padded cushion called a zabuton, with my back propped up against a backrest. My keyboard and trackball sit on a bamboo laptop tray. It is super comfortable and cozy!
Carrie: that sounds absolutely delightful!!
Q: How does the book of Matthew speak to women who are struggling?
Camy: My church has a large ministry that reaches out to the Japanese women in our community. For many of them, they have moved from Japan to the US and their husbands are working for the US branches of Japanese companies. They typically stay for 3-4 years and then move back to Japan. Most of them have never heard about Jesus Christ at all because they grow in a polytheistic society (typically Buddhism and Shintoism), and less than 1% (it’s closer to 0.5%) of all Japanese are Christian. My church has lots of programs to not only provide friends for these women (who are mostly stay-at-home moms) but to also expose them to Christianity.
I wanted to put together a devotional book that I could have translated into Japanese, so that it could be given to the Japanese women I’ve come to know through my church. I noticed from reading a lot of Japanese fiction that has been translated into English that a very predominant theme is being able to be forgiven for failure, or picking yourself up after a mistake. I think the Japanese culture can sometimes be very unforgiving when someone has failed–the mindset is that it’s “game over” and there’s no chance of redemption. But Christ is all about redemption, and I want to help Japanese women understand that.
So I picked the gospel of Matthew, a book of the Bible that’s good for people who are looking into Christianity to find out what it’s about, and I asked Christian authors to write devotions based on passages in Matthew. The devotions are written for Christians by Christians, but the book is also appropriate to give to someone who’s a non-Christian or a new Christian. The overall theme of the devotional book is for women to discover the person they really want to be, a transformational theme that I wanted to convey to the non-Christian Japanese women I’ve come to know.
Carrie: this answer brought tears to my eyes because I’ve worked with those same women. Oh, probably not the exact same women but I taught English for years to students of all nationalities, and a large number of those students were dear Japanese women whose husbands worked in the area for those 3-4 years you mentioned. That’s why this devotional translation project is something I support so wholeheartedly.
Q: Tell me more about where the proceeds for this devotional will be going & why it was important to this group of authors.
Camy: The devotional book has already been translated into Japanese, and it has gone through a proofreader and been processed into a Japanese paperback and ebook (which was a painfully difficult process for me to do as a self-publisher). All proceeds will go toward the cost of the translation, proofing, and self-publishing costs (which is roughly the amount of a used car). The book is already available on Amazon Japan and Apple Books Japan, and I have reduced the price of the Japanese version so that it will be accessible to as many Japanese women as possible. I have also sent copies of the Japanese ebook to the missionaries my church supports who are in Japan (there are about 20 in all), and they have given the ebook to the Japanese women they interact with in their ministries. If by God’s grace there are any additional proceeds, that will go toward providing paperback copies to those missionaries to give away.
I am incredibly grateful to all the authors who generously gave their time and writing to this devotional. They all agreed to write their devotions out of friendship to me and/or their fervent support of this ministry targeted at non-Christian Japanese women. All of them have been very encouraging to me through the entire process of having the book translated and then finding a way to publish a Japanese language book in the US. I can’t thank them enough.
Carrie: i love that so much! Thank you for doing this ♥
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Who I Want to Be?
Camy: If a non-Christian Japanese woman reads this book, I want them to know that God is with them and their lives can be made new. They can become the person they want to be rather than how society strictly defines them. They can find true freedom in Christ.
Carrie: Yes. Amen.
The authors of Who I Want to Be are offering 9 novels, 1 eBook, an inspirational coloring book and a gratitude & prayer journal to one of my readers! (Continental US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics)
One winner will receive:
– print copy of Firefly Summer by Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner
– print copy of You Are Loved coloring book by Dineen A. Miller
– print copy of Hers for the Summer by Jill Kemerer
– signed print copy of Permelia Cottage by Carole Lehr Johnson
– print copy of Amish Country Secret by Lenora Worth
– print copy of All My Tears by Kathy McKinsey
– print copy of Frontier Want Ad Bride by Lyn Cote
– print copy of Suddenly a Frontier Father by Lyn Cote
– print copy of Be Blessed Bible-based gratitude & prayer journal by Autumn Macarthur
– print copy of A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott
– print copy of Timeless Treasure by MaryLu Tyndall
– ebook copy of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer by Camille Elliot
This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Who I Want to Be – compiled by Camy Tang?