The Deliverer picks up 6 months after Special Delivery leaves off, with Lawan winging her way to her new home and family in America. Even as the young Thai girl grapples with feelings of shame and fear, Mara has her own haunting issues nagging her. She tries desperately to deny her attraction to Jonathan, feeling that her past disqualifies her to even consider a relationship with him, but she also struggles against a pull to learn more about the Jesus he seems to know so well. Standing in the way of coming to accept Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior are Mara’s deep feelings of anger and betrayal, unforgiveness and even hatred toward her parents who sold her into slavery as a child. Can her longing to finally be truly free enable her to face her family and seek reconciliation?
Discussion Questions for The Deliverer
- The book opens with Mara reading a letter from Francesa and feeling gratitude that both she and Francesca have escaped their former enslavement. However, she laments that so few ever escape and so many still remain in bondage, with little or no hope of ever being set free. Compare your own feelings with Mara’s as you consider this sad truth. If you could speak to Mara at that very point in the book, what would you say to her?
- Though Lawan has finally been set free from the horrific life she led in the Thai brothel, what fears do you imagine she is facing as she soars thousands of miles through the air to a new home and family, a life that is foreign beyond her imaginings? As you considered speaking to Mara in the previous question, what would you say to Lawan if you were the one sitting next to her on the plane to America?
- As excited as little Anna and her “rainbow family” are at the prospect of Lawan’s coming to live with them, what emotions and uncertainties do you imagine swirled through their hearts and minds as they waited for Lawan’s plane to land? Do you believe their expectations were realistic? Why or why not?
- Jonathan wrestles with his attraction to Mara, as does Mara with her reciprocal attraction to Jonathan. Though it would be easy to encourage them to pursue their relationship, knowing that God can heal the past and bring them together in a powerful, lasting way, do you suppose there is validity to their resistance? If so, what concerns do you see needing to be addressed and resolved before the two of them could establish a healthy, long-term relationship?
- Sarah seems determined to set herself up for failure by pursuing a relationship with Jonathan. What feelings did Sarah’s plight stir up for you? If she asked you for a piece of advice concerning the situation, what would you say to her, and why?
- Barbara Whiting not only befriended Mara, but took her under wing and “mothered” her to a large extent. It’s easy to see why Mara, whose only memories of her mother were negative, would respond to such affection, but what about Barbara? What do you think motivated her? Have you ever known someone like Barbara—or perhaps been someone like her to another?
- In this final book of the Freedom Series, we finally meet Mara’s parents. Until now all that was known about them was that they sold Mara to her uncle, who enslaved her in a life too horrible to imagine. Did your feelings toward Mara’s parents change as you learned more about them and their situation? If so, describe those changes and how they impacted your own life.
- As you followed Jefe’s story in prison, what were your thoughts and feelings about the increasingly dangerous situation he was in? If you knew Jefe to be a real person, would you have prayed for him? Why or why not?
- Michael, Rosanna, and their family seem to be a model of the exact opposite sort of life that Mara has known. Why do you feel it was necessary to have such a family in a story about such darkness and perversion? How might the Flannerys’ life impact readers of the Freedom Series in a positive, practical way?
- Abortion is a hot-button social issue, and adoption isn’t always presented as a practical (and much more humane and scriptural) alternative. Discuss your feelings and thoughts about Francesca’s situation as a pregnant, unmarried teen. Were you surprised at her decision? Why or why not? Would you have advised her to do differently?
- Having now completed reading the three books in the Freedom Series, how do you believe it has changed your outlook, not only on the topic of human trafficking but about Christians getting involved in social issues in general?
- As you read through this book, either individually or as a group, pray first and foremost for the many victims of human trafficking around the world—not only that they would be set free physically, but also emotionally, mentally, and most of all spiritually through establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Also pray for those who hold these victims in captivity, that their hearts would be softened and that they would set their captives free—and then themselves turn to Jesus in repentance.
- Finally, pray for those who take advantage of the victims of this horrible crime, fueling sexual slavery with their finances. Without these clients who pay money to abuse these victims, the crime would cease to exist. Ask the Lord to call these men (and women) to repentance.
- If reading this book alone, consider reaching out to others to share what you have learned, challenging them to read this book (and others on the topic) and then to apply what they’ve learned.
- If reading this book as a group, ask yourselves how you can practically get involved in “rescuing the perishing” and restoring hope to the hopeless. Is there an existing ministry in your area where you could get involved? If not, consider discussing with your pastor and/or church leaders how you might start something in your own church or community.
You may want to gather ideas from the several podcasts on this subject offered by NewHopeDigital.com.
- Charles Powell: Fighting Slavery in America
- Chong Kim: A Trafficking Survivor’s Dramatic Story
- Dillon Burroughs: A Look at International Human Trafficking
- Dillon Burroughs: I’ve Looked into the Eyes of a Modern Slave
- Kathi Macias: Confronting Modern Slavery Through Missional Fiction
- Kathi Macias: Examining the Real-Life Issues of Violence and Sex Trafficking Behind “Special Delivery”
- Kelly King: Fighting Human Trafficking in Her Home Town