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  • yvonnetillapaugh2

My sister made me do it!

I told myself, someday I would figure out how to publish these novels, but I really didn't believe I ever would. I had other things to do that were more important. I enjoyed writing them, but putting myself out there was like asking for rejection. Staying busy with other things was less threatening. So I stayed busy.

My husband and I co-founded a ministry in Denver for troubled kids in 1985. Drop outs, gang members, unwed teen moms - kids who could not make it in public schools. Kids Tom was not allowed to accept in the private Christian school where he served as the principal. Kids he saw as throw-aways who had captured his heart. I taught at the school on and off over the years, and assisted in the office when I was needed.

Check out to learn more about this ministry.

I raised four kids, taught in private schools, directed plays and musicals, started a non-profit that offered therapeutic creative activities for emotional wounded individuals, and generally kept myself busy. Writing novels was a guilty pleasure that I enjoyed in stolen moments when I felt like I should be doing something else.

Then Tom got sick .He passed away in 2020 after an eighteen month fight against pancreatic cancer, and I moved to Oklahoma to help care for my dad. He passed away the next year, and my mom began to go downhill. So I moved in with my sister to share the responsibility of caring for an aged parent. Mom is doing fine, by the way. Arthritis has attacked her hip joints, but she is a fighter.

My sister told me one day that she wanted to write a book. She wanted to be a novelist. Her announcement reminded me of all those novels hiding in my laptop, and I started looking at them, wondering if maybe it was time to pull them out of cyberspace, dust them off, and find a good home for them.

Sure enough, my sister labored away and eventually finished her first novel. She researched and studied, and discovered a way to self publish. She hired an editor, paid for a cover design, and in less than a year, she had published her first book.

She wrote a beautiful little romance called Sunday School Sweethearts. Check it out here

In the meantime, I pulled out a story I had started over twenty years ago and determined to keep up with her. I simply followed in her footsteps as she figured everything out, and self published a week or so after she did.

I wrote a fictionalized version of my experiences at Jesus on Main Street Coffee House, changed the name and location, and made myself a seminary student named Sue whose dream has always been to go to Africa as a missionary. As Sue is being drawn to working with the people at the coffee house, God speaks to her and asks her the question, "Who will love them?"

God asked me that question over 35 years ago, and I wrote a song by that name. I recorded it, and have sung it many times over the years as Tom and I spoke in different churches about Denver Street School.

Angel in the Street is the title, and is a reference to Sue's recurring dream where the little girl named Angel is standing in the middle of the street, begging for help. Find my book here:

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