Book Preview: Miriam and the Stranger by Jerry Eicher

In this excerpt from Miriam and the Stranger, the final installment in Jerry Eicher’s Land of Promise series, Miriam is introduced to the visiting minister, whose gaze and words leave her flustered. Why is Mose really in Oklahoma?

Enjoy the preview!


As Miriam approached the other end of the married men’s table, Deacon Phillips looked up to say, “Well, if it isn’t Miriam Yoder, our schoolteacher, serving the tables today. What a blessing you are.”

“Don’t say that so loudly,” Miriam whispered back. Heat crept up her neck. The visiting minister was sitting right beside Deacon Phillips.

Deacon Phillips chuckled, and the minister turned around to look up at Miriam. The tender look from earlier in the day filled the man’s face. “So this is Miriam. I thought she might be the woman I was told about.”

Yah, our very own Miriam,” Deacon Phillips said with a grin. “And Miriam, this is Mose Stoll, from near your area in Possum Valley. He’s visiting us for a while.”

“Hello.” Miriam choked on the word. What was she supposed to say?

Gut to meet you,” Mose said, the tender look still on his face.

Deacon Phillips continued as if Miriam wasn’t present. “She’s as faithful a member of the community as one could wish for, Mose, and a gut schoolteacher on top of that. I don’t know what we’d do without her.”

The bowl of peanut butter slipped from Miriam’s fingers and dropped to the table with a loud bang. Her face must be blazing. What on earth was Deacon Phillips up to? Why was he singing her praises to this strange man?

Mose regarded Miriam with a steady gaze. “The Lord guards the hearts of men and maidens alike,” he said. “It’s gut to know His work produces such comely results.”

Deacon Phillips chuckled again. “Yah, like my own frau, Katie, Miriam is a jewel. Any man who can capture her heart has done well.”

“I can see that, ” Mose said with a nod. “This Miriam has been blessed by the Lord indeed.”

Miriam fumbled with the last peanut butter bowl and nearly dumped the contents into Mose’s lap. What had gotten into Deacon Phillips? In a quick motion, Miriam pushed the bowl away from the two men. It slid across the table and stopped with a clink against the red beet dish. Splashes of red juice went airborne and then landed on the tablecloth and spread out in a slow stain. Several bearded men looked up with surprised expressions on their faces. They had been involved in their own conversations and hadn’t heard the flattery about her. Well, they would have to think her a clumsy klutz. She was not about to explain. With quick steps Miriam fled back to the kitchen and slipped into a corner to calm her nerves.

This wasn’t like Deacon Phillips at all. Nor was it like a visiting minister to pay so much attention to an unmarried woman—unless the man was here on a search for a frau. Miriam’s hands tingled. Could this be true? Was the minister on a search for a frau to replace one who had passed away? He was too old to have never been married. And he didn’t appear nervous around women. That could mean only one thing. He had been married before to a godly frau who had honored and obeyed him.

Miriam tried to breathe deeply. The married men’s table still needed attention, and she was in no condition to help. But surely she was wrong about the visiting minister. No Amish man of such high regard would simply appear in a community and pick her out of the crowd.

“Get a grip,” Miriam whispered out loud. Thankfully none of the other women heard her in the loud bustle of the kitchen, but she would have to go back. Miriam filled her hands with bowls again and headed for the married men’s table—at the other end this time.


Excerpted from Miriam and the Stranger by Jerry Eicher

You can order the book now on the Harvest House website or your favorite book retailer!


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