by Don and Susie Van Ryn,
Newell, Colleen & Whitney Cerak,
with Mark Tabb
Howard Books, 2008
Don and Susie Van Ryn had a 21-year-old daughter, Laura. Blonde, blue-eyed, athletic, and on fire for God.
Newell & Colleen Cerak had an 18-year-old daughter, Whitney. Also blonde, blue-eyed, athletic, and with a zest for God.
April 26, 2006. Both girls are travelling in a van back to Taylor University after a banquet. A tractor trailer driver falls asleep. His truck swerves across the centre line and strikes the van. Five people are killed instantly, one person is thrown 50 feet from the vehicle, but survives. She is identified as Laura Van Ryn.
Don, Susie, and their other children arrive at the hospital in Fort Wayne as quickly as possible. They spend five weeks at Laura's side, making decisions for her care and tending to her needs. But at the end of that time, they suspect that it is not Laura they are caring for.
This book tells the story of the Van Ryn and Cerak families, whose lives are inextricably woven together through this shocking case of mistaken identity. But mainly it is the story of their faith in Jesus Christ, a faith that enabled them to cope with unthinkable circumstances and to continue in love and hope.