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WRITER’S CHILDHOOD OFFERS TESTIMONY TO POWER OF FAITH

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AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, by Kitty de Ruyter, Covenant Communications, 165 pages, $13.95.

Kitty de Ruyter's story begins with a description of a tropical paradise. She was born on the island of Java in Indonesia and for eight years led a charmed life.There was a loving nanny, Baboe Kit, who opened the mosquito net and bathed and dressed Kitty before she met with her family for Bible reading, prayers, a song and a thought for the day.

De Ruyter writes, "Needless to say, I was very close to my nanny, who was a Muslim by faith, as are many of the island inhabitants. Because my family was Christian, my mother counseled me to think of my Heavenly Father when my nanny would speak of Allah, and to think of the Lord Jesus Christ when she spoke of the prophet Mohammed. Nanny had the spirit of Allah, and I had the Holy Ghost. Both my mother and my nanny taught me to love God and to obey him."

This double-barelled faith was put to the test when Hitler invaded the Dutch East Indies' motherland, Holland, in 1940. A dream came to Kitty's mother time and time again: to build a secret bomb shelter directly adjacent to her home. She had a shelter built and stocked with supplies. Two years later, the Japanese invaded Indonesia and Kitty's world turned upside-down.

As the economy came to a standstill and atrocities began to happen daily, the "bread upon the waters" from the Christian life Kitty's parents led came back as little miracles: servants who could not be paid continued to help the family. The supply of precious salt stored in the secret shelter was bartered for fresh food. When Kitty's grandfather died, villagers prepared a coffin and brought flowers and food. Kitty's father formed a resistance and his family was placed under house arrest. But the villagers passed messages, letting the family know their father was safe.

And when the Japanese moved Kitty's family into three rooms of their house, sealing off the rest, "coincidentally," they still had access to the tunnel leading to the bomb shelter and its supplies.

Americans who have never endured invasion cannot begin to imagine the suffering of people like Kitty de Ruyter. "As I Have Loved You" tells a story of everyday miracles that come to aid those who are filled with the light of Christ.

Interned in a Japanese concentration camp, a gift of love from Kitty's nanny reveals the hand of God in the midst of brutality. And a dying American soldier plants a seed that leads to Kitty's conversion to the LDS Church. De Ruyter's book is a sweet testimony of the power of faith.