Published in The Sunday Gleaner on September 2, 2012
Title: The Penniless
Author: Dorothy Martell
Our life experiences
are important in shaping our characters and creating our destinies. In
her book, The Penniless Millionaire,
Dorothy Martell shares the unique encounters of what she terms her
“peculiar but beautiful life”, using her testimony as a platform to
encourage readers to persevere despite their struggles, and to trust in
God’s unending faithfulness.
the book’s beginning, she introduces readers to the roller-coaster that
is her life. She tells of the many different instances when God gave
her, and persons close to her, visions and dreams about his purpose for
her, explaining that while she is now able to make sense of her
“exciting and sometimes inexplicable journey of God’s amazing grace”, it
wasn’t always clear what He was up to.
shares about being pregnant at 15, and struggling to avoid the chasm of
shame and guilt that wanted to swallow her up. She talks about her
experience with migration, and how God used her time abroad as a testing
ground to build her trust in Him and mature her faith.
also shares about a topic that many people today can relate to: money
trouble. Again, it was her willingness to obey God, even when he told
her to give away her most valuable material possessions, that enabled
her to overcome and find resolution for her financial problems.
introduces her readers to a life fraught with struggle. She has had to
deal with a sister with an autistic child, the deaths of her elder
brother and father in quick succession, attempted robberies, threats,
persecution … she knows what it is like to grapple with failure, grief,
disappointment and an unclear sense of purpose. Throughout the book,
however, one point remains absolutely clear: Martell is firmly convinced
that it was God who helped her to overcome.
book is sprinkled with humorous anecdotes, which compensate for
sometimes unengaging writing and an otherwise casual narrative. While
the story is not told with a very structured timeline, Martell’s purpose
for writing this book remains definite: to encourage readers to believe
in the power of a God who has amazingly transformed her life and
allowed her to become the ‘penniless millionaire’.