Wilderness Refuge

Valerio Tullus arrives in Judea in AD 22, disowned and despairing, yet hopes to redeem his honor and life. Instead, he faces many entanglements – with his subordinate Gaius Vincinius, Jewish leaders, a local scribe Eliezer, the Herodian family, Prefect Pontius Pilatus, and the children Simon and Anna, nephew and niece of Leah, a young Jewish woman whose own struggles to survive and serve God inspire him.

Through these entanglements, Valerio’s life becomes interwoven with Leah’s and, when Vincinius attacks her, Valerio defends her. Death seems the only redemption, but, though Valerio doesn’t know or understand it, the compassionate God of Leah and her family and her people have a different purpose for his life.

Thus, in AD 28, as a powerful, strange prophet named Yochanan proclaims the coming of God’s kingdom, to be ruled by a leader yet to come, Valerio can only wonder – what is this kingdom of compassion and justice Yochanan has announced? And what redemption will it bring?

About the Author

Cheryl Toliver grew up in a religiously diverse and historically rich region of the western US, where spiritual experiences and a love of history were major influences that shaped her life. In college she studied anthropology, old world archaeology and history, comparative religions, and developed an interest in the sciences. She later completed a secondary education teaching certificate, traveled in the Middle East and Europe, and has worked as a history teacher, Christian educator, and an editor for an academic reference and database publisher.

Ms. Toliver’s roots are deep in Christ, but she has experienced God’s presence and love through people of many faiths, and thus she has been inspired to write from this broader, more encompassing perspective.