Michelle grew up in a conservative family in a little town in central Florida. National Geographic magazines at a neighbor's house piqued her interest in cultures far different from her own. From missionaries who visited her country church and through student-led mission trips, she also encountered foreign language and countries. Following her passion for foreign cultures, she pursued a master's degree in Arab Studies and a political science degree.
Michelle's love for the Middle East started when she met and married, Joseph Assad, who was born in Egypt. Almost on a whim, or as Michele says, she heeded a deep urging from God, she is led to a send a resume to the CIA. Joseph and she both become agents and the book describes the grueling assignments they serve in Iraq and other war zone countries, of which she still does not have the freedom to disclose the location. Besides living close to danger, another obstacle was being a woman.
Her CIA training helped prepare her in some close calls. Cut off from family and friends because of the secretive missions, she battled loneliness and the nature of the work was wearing and difficult. After ten years in the CIA, God's directed them to leave. A door opened for them to work as freelance security consultants. Michelle felt a call to tell her story.
Perhaps one of the most significant stories in the book for me was the last adventure Michelle shares about the rescue she and Joseph led for Syrian and Iraqi Christians displaced by ISIS invasion. The story showcases their passion and love for suffering believers and their honed skills through experience and training that gave them the tenacity and wisdom to accomplish the mission.
I enjoyed reading the book, but had trouble with Michelle's style of writing that felt self-serving at times; yet she also gives credit to God for the advantages that have unfolded in her life.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.