Living in a Land where no Apples grow (book)

Book Release: August 18, 2003
Living in a Land where no Apples grow (book)


Heading for an unknown land to preach the good news to a northern Indian tribe above the Arctic Circle, Christel Decker Bresko shares her witty, entertaining and adventurous stories and life. With “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” as their guide, Christel and Bill leave everything behind to live in the remote wilderness of Alaska and heed the call of God. Facing sub-zero temperatures, eating an unbalanced and sometimes unusual diet, dealing with wildlife, unpaved roads and occasionally fearing for their lives, their faith in God and in each other guides them on their journey so they can share their experiences with others.

Dove Review

This is a book worth reading! Christel Decker Bresko conveys the hardships of a call to Alaska to serve as a missionary with her husband Bill. The severe weather and dropping temperatures, the need for game and meat, the reckless ways of some who have had a bit too much to drink to keep warm…all of these struggles and more are faced by Christel and Bill.

She begins with her story of moving from Germany to America to attend college and how she soon meets Bill, who takes an immediate interest in her. Bill once promised God for getting him out of a jam in the war that he would one day serve as a missionary to either Australia or Alaska. After he marries Christel, it is determined that Alaska will be it. There are victories won and lives changed but not at an easy cost. The isolation and frigid temperatures make life difficult for the young couple.

Christel writes with a nice sense of humor, opening up the chapter on page 71 with, “Snow! Snow! Snow!” Her insights into the people they ministered to and the keeping grace of the Lord is well worth reading. She does write plainly and mentions a few occurrences such as stumbling into a sex party with the drinks flowing, and also of the occasional violent act of a drunkard, such as the man who holds a knife to her side. For these reasons we are recommending the book for ages twelve plus. This is an inspirational story and we are so pleased to award the book our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. In one scene, in the dead of winter, a woman’s husband manages to give her a dozen red and fresh roses which makes her day. Apples didn’t grow for Christel in Alaska but a lot of people will enjoy reading how God’s grace grew for her and for Bill while they faithfully served him. The book is a fairly quick read at 134 pages, with some photos included. Read this book soon! You will be glad you did.

Content Description

Sex: A drunken man kisses married woman and then simply walks out; a married woman is surprised to see a sex party going on in one cabin and the alcohol is flowing; a woman mentions she had a see-through nightgown she wanted to wear for her husband but most of the time they focused on surviving the cold weather.
Language: None
Violence: A man accidentally misfires a muzzle-loader and puts a hole in a dorm room closet; a man who died during the Korean War is mentioned; it's stated a young man died after he shot himself in the roof of his mouth; guns which people are taking with them are shown at the border; a knife is held to a woman's side by a drunken man; a man is poked in the side with a fork and bleeds; rabbits are caught in a trap and family eats muskrat for one meal; a gunshot is heard at a cabin; a bit of tension in one situation between a husband and wife.
Drugs: A few people drink in the story and some to stay warm; a few drunks in the book act in an unseemly manner.
Nudity: A woman and her husband accidentally come to a nudist camp and she sees a nude man running.
Other: The hardships of ministry in Alaska.


Company: Christel Decker Bresko
Genre: Drama
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter