A Little About Me

    I was born in Rochester, New York, and brought up in a small town near Lake Ontario. I was homeschooled along with my older brother, kindergarten through high-school, enjoying the one-on-one interaction with my mother. My father was a minister at a deaf church in Rochester, and my family and I attended there for many years. Through time, I became fluent in sign language and made many close friends in the small congregation.

    I discovered my love of horses at a young age, and was able to pursue that love through a man who was willing to train me, and who later would become my stepfather. I was involved in horse shows in upstate New York, riding both western and English, and was a very competitive rider.

    When I was fourteen, my mother, stepfather and I moved to Iowa. Finding a new Christian family in the church, making new friends, and getting used to an entirely different lifestyle, my world seemed to turn upside down. But my faith in God carried me through, and soon I began to love Iowa as my home.

    I started volunteering some of my time at a Christian non-profit organization called Deaf Missions where my mother was employed, and began forming new relationships and learning new things. During my time at home, I continued with my high-school education while helping take care of our horses, dogs, cats, and parrots. Being involved with 4-H for a short time also filled up my days, while I continued to ride horses and learn from my stepfather.

    It was about then that I realized my desire to write. After writing a novella based on characters that my best friend and I had pretended to be as children, I was encouraged to continue writing. So I did. I had never dreamed what the Lord had in store for me when I started, but I began to see how I could combine my knowledge of animals with my relationship with God and bring about an intriguing novel.

    I also discovered where else God was leading me, and that was to a full-time job at Deaf Missions. I started out as part-time and as soon as I had graduated from high-school I began to work forty hours a week as a librarian and receptionist. Juggling my job, involvement in my church, and my responsibilities at home, I still managed to find time to write and develop several novels.

    Today I still work at Deaf Missions, though my job title has changed to Order Manager. After many more years of writing and refining my skills, I finished my novel, A Test of Courage. I was encouraged by many to present it to a publisher and after a time of searching, I found one who was willing to accept it. It became evident to me how the Lord had worked in my life, preparing me for this accomplishment, and I give Him all of the credit due for my talents and achievements.

-Rachel Burkum

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