SUMMERSIDE – When people questioned her on why she would work in prison ministry, Ann Bush said “I see God’s hand working every day in the jail. Do you see that where you’re working?”
Now Bush’s life journey is the focus of her recently published book, “Whispers - Follow One Girl’s Journey with Christ from Wilderness to Wholeness.”
Bush, now an Anglican priest in Ellerslie, Port Hill and Foxley River, said the response to the book has been very positive since its soft launch last month.
“Many people have told me they’ve read it twice through, which is very pleasing to hear.”
The official launch for “Whispers”, written under the author’s middle name, Kathleen, takes place Tuesday, Jan. 23, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Summerside Library.
She said her husband, Gordon, urged her to write her story, to inspire other people.
“So this is a book, not written for me; it’s written, hopefully, for fellow travellers in this world.”
Bush was in prison ministry in England prior to immigrating to Canada in 2001.
She has had been thinking of “Whispers” since moving to P.E.I. in 2012. Once she got started, it took her two years to complete the book.
“I love fashioning words into something. I think they’re beautiful. They can carry such power for healing.”
Bush, born in South Africa, moved with her family to Kenya when she was three, and then moved alone to England when she was 17 to embark on a career in aviation.
Gordon soon entered her life, following a chance meeting in an elevator – they both served in Heathrow’s Air Traffic Control Tower – and they married six months later.
Born into a family that had no faith, Bush says “Whispers” is about finding just that.
“As a little girl, I sensed a nudging towards going to church,” she said.
“By the time I got to 12, and this is where the book starts, really, I had this growing sense that I needed to get inside a church, because that was where I was going to find God.”
She entered the packed cathedral in Nairobi where she knew no one and simply stood, or sat, when everyone else did so.
Despite being punished at home for walking the mile on her own, she went back the following Sunday.
“One of the ministers comes to speak to me, and it’s maybe what some people would say was a prophecy: He told me that he had a sense that God would have a special purpose for me in my life, that God had wanted me to come to this place to get this message from him.”
It was only after questioning a friend’s mother about faith and God while in high school that her spiritual journey accelerated.
“That was a very important piece of what God needed me to learn for later,” Bush testifies, acknowledging she encounters in her ministry people at various stages of their faith journey. “I’ve never forgotten that ‘new’ feeling; it’s with me all the time. That’s my greatest wish in ministry, to pass that on.”