With the novel Leaving Darkness (WestBow Press), Franklin, Tennessee author Greg Schaffer hopes that, by blending fiction with ministry experiences, readers may be helped through the story of a young man on the brink of suicide who, through participation in a small group ministry, finds a path out of the darkness of depression.
“I’ve seen firsthand the healing power of small group ministries,” explained Schaffer, a volunteer for several years with Nashville, Tennessee-based Restore Small Groups. “The key is reaching those who want to change but don’t know how or where to look for answers. My goal is that some struggling can possibly relate to Leaving Darkness and that the novel may trigger within them the motivation to reach out for help.”
Leaving Darkness follows Lowell Ferguson, a 28-year-old long-haul truck driver living in a world of isolation to numb himself from his past. His Chihuahua, Rufus, provides his only lifeline, but when he finds out Rufus may have cancer, he considers his own end is near, as without Rufus he believes his life is meaningless. While awaiting the diagnosis, he happens on a flier for a small group ministry promising the fullness and meaning of life he missed. Reluctantly attending his first group meeting opens a faith-based road to finding the life he is meant to live.
“I was in a place similar to Lowell many years ago,” Schaffer continued. “Well, not as drastic, but I was certainly down. I knew I wasn’t the ‘happy-go-lucky’ person I used to be. And, like Lowell, I stumbled upon a flier for a small group ministry that promised a path to change. Sure enough, that group experience changed my life forever. This process works for those willing to find a way to make a change. That’s why I was called to write about it.”
Leaving Darkness is available in paperback, hardcover, and eBook from major Internet outlets and directly from WestBow Press. For more information, visit leavingdarkness.info.