Gladstone Park Church Member Writes Award-winning Book

The story of Gladstone (Ore.) Park Church member Hedi Jones' miraculous deliverance from wartime danger and near-death is chronicled in her recently published, award-winning book, Under the Shadow of the Almighty.

The daughter of an Adventist pastor, Jones was 19 years old and living in Germany when she first penned her experiences of the last few months of World War II. "These days live on in my memory as full of light and sound, happiness and joy ... Oh, you beautiful, beautiful world!" she wrote about a vacation to a lake on the German-Swiss border during the summer of 1944. Only months later, she and her family were homeless after a bomb destroyed their apartment building.

While the book's beginnings can be traced to March 1945 when Jones began to journal her experiences, there have been several steps along the way to publication. For more than 50 years, the journal was packed away and forgotten until its discovery when Jones was in her 70s. She translated it into English and added to the incomplete account from memory. While she didn't realize it at the time, her book-writing process had begun.

It continued in 2005 when Jones was asked to present her wartime experiences to her church in Lockeford, Calif. In preparation, she pulled out her translated account and edited it for presentation.

Four years later and living in Oregon, she was once again asked to talk about her World War II experiences — this time by her grandson for a presentation to his senior philosophy and ethics class at Portland (Ore.) Adventist Academy as part of a project on war.

When Bob Uhrig, Gladstone Park Church pastor, presented the Kingdom Assignment challenge to his church members in March 2009, Jones accepted a $100 bill and the challenge to invest it to help improve her community. Her grandson's discarded idea of writing a short book of her experiences as his senior project became the inspiration for her Kingdom Assignment project. She used the $100 seed money to produce a spiral-bound book for sale, the proceeds of which she donated to the Gladstone Park Church fellowship hall building project.

More than a year later, Jones was persuaded to publish her narrative in the form of a "real" book so her amazing story could reach more people. She rewrote portions and added new information. Her final account, published by Xulon Press, won the 2011 Christian Choice Book Award for autobiography/biography and the second-place grand prize across all categories.

Jones is convinced that God was leading during every phase of the book's production so it can reach as many readers as possible with the faith-strengthening message of God's wonderful love and protecting power. In her words, "We can believe that, whatever may befall us, we will always remain Under the Shadow of the Almighty."

If you would like to obtain a copy of Under the Shadow of the Almighty, please contact your local Adventist Book Center.

April 01, 2012 / Oregon Conference