“Forest of Fears” interweaves Christianity, medicine, African culture into a suspenseful/meaningful novel

In the fall of 1977, Dr. Paul Bottom, formerly of Grant, Neb, gave his life to Christ. Paul’s salvation through Jesus Christ would lead him to serve the people of Africa for more than a decade, and culminate in a work of fiction called “Forest of Fears”, which combines African history, medicine, Christianity and superstitious beliefs that are rampant in Sub-Sahara Africa. 

Dr. Bottom passed away in December 2017, leaving his wife, family and friends to mourn his passing, but also leaving a legacy of healing, care, compassion and faith that has touched many in Nebraska and around the world in Africa.

A veteran, Dr. Bottom began his medical career in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Following his discharge, Paul and his family moved to Grant, where he set up practice at the Grant Clinic. 

Paul and his wife Kathy left Grant in 1985 to spend eighteen months in Brussels, Belgium studying French and Tropical Medicine. During the following six years they lived in Zaire, West Africa at Kajiji, a mission station consisting of a Christian Church of 800 members, a Nursing School, and a 150-bed general hospital. 

According to his family, during the six years spent in Africa, along with many return trips to Africa, “God gave Paul so many opportunities to serve Him. During this time he discovered that there is no greater joy than knowing that one is in God’s will and has been given the opportunity to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.”

During the many quiet evenings while in Africa, Dr. Bottom would write of his experiences and the people of Africa. With friends’ encouragement, he turned his manuscript into “Forest of Fears,” which he wrote under the pen name of Paul Fay.

Originating in the United States, the story follows fictional character Zachary Wylie, a successful and admired surgical resident who finds himself on a quest, along with a nurse and an African-born American trained trauma surgeon, to free a doctor who has been captured by African rebel forces in Africa’s mysterious Congo region. 

At the time of the original printing of the book in 2007, Dr. Bottom said that he hoped the book would encourage Christians and non-Christians to explore their relationship with God. 

This book was enjoyable to read. Very suspenseful, the story takes you through the dark superstitious traditions embedded in the African culture, but all the while shining the hope and light of Christ into this dark world. 

Dr. Bottom went on to write three more books, two more to create a trilogy, with “Forest of Fears” called “Invaded by Evil” and “Lurking in the Shadows.” His other book, “The Waiting Cross”, is a fictional novel about the life of Paul the Apostle. 

You can purchase “Forest of Fears” online at Amazon. For more information on how to buy the other books, e-mail me at nelivingtimes@outlook.com

Nebraska Living Times

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