Guest Writers

A Christmas Book from a Father’s Love

Journey with Joseph through Advent

I loved listening to stories growing up; especially the ones of my parents they shared with their friends. There was so much richness in it.

There are so many rich experiences in everyone’s life. But you don’t hear those tales until people share them. So how do you get someone to share stories of their life with your kids? Maybe you struggle to find those teachable moments to engage with your own kids.  

Dr. Kevin Leman wrote about the importance of teachable moments in his book, Eight Secrets to Raising Successful Kids. He said, “If you want to make sure your kids listen to what you say, don’t lecture. Tell them stories.”

My dream for this book came true!

I wanted to create a tool people could use to trigger those teachable moments. What about a book that tells a story where everyone can relate and share their own teachable moments with each other? As it was the Christmas season, I thought of Joseph and Mary.

A lot happened at the beginning of their relationship. Everyone can find experiences from that story to which they can connect! I quickly related to Joseph myself as we had many things in common. At the time of writing this story, I was a trained carpenter, newly married, and my wife, Bonita, was expecting our first child. Another way I related with Joseph was through my years working in a rural community in Haiti. People still used donkeys to go to the market. It was life at its simplest. Those experiences made it so much fun to write.

A blessing for many

Years went by until the book, Journey with Joseph through Advent, got published in 2022. We had the book translated in English, German, Ukrainian, and Russian languages. For this Christmas Season, the French version is now ready as well!

Many have shared their review of the book with us. One family’s response in particular aptly described what we intended the book to become. This family who we helped leave Ukraine and enter Canada shared with us their experience of reading Journey with Joseph through Advent as a whole family.

“Thank you for writing the book, Journey with Joseph through Advent, and translating it into our language. Our teenagers opened up after reading it to them every day for our family time. We were able to process together our experiences of escaping from the war and arriving in a safe country.”

Our hope is that this book will become a blessing to many more during this season. The Van Pelt family has helped us greatly with printing and shipping this book all around North America. And thanks to Rachel, our book project is running smoothly in Canada. We are currently living in Cologne, Germany, and really depend on her.

Start your own Journey with Joseph through Advent this season. There are many products available to make it a colorful journey for you. Visit us at, where you will find a coloring book as well as advent calendar cards. Create a unique family Christmas this year by sharing your own experiences with each other!

Written by: Samuel Schaefer

Samuel G. Schaefer was born in Germany and spent over five years working in a developing country, where he got to know his wonderful wife, Bonita. Samuel and Bonita have two boys and are currently living in Cologne, Germany.

Samuel first wrote this book for his nieces. He has created memorable family experiences reading it with his own children while preparing the book for other families.

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