Joni Sullivan Baker
Buoyancy Public Relations
CINCINNATI – July 8, 2010 – When NASCAR’s first-ever Sprint Cup series race starts this weekend at the Kentucky Speedway, one of Standard Publishing’s books will be in a prime spot – on the hood of driver Michael McDowell’s car.
The cover image of Beth Guckenberger’s book, Relentless Hope: Extracting the Precious from the Worthless [ISBN: 978-0-7847-3178-9] will be seen by millions in the sold-out race McDowell will compete in this weekend.
NASCAR fans in the Cincinnati area have been anticipating the weekend’s events for months, as the Kentucky Speedway hosts the Nationwide Series Feed the Children 300 today, Friday, July 8 and the Sprint Cup Series debut with the Quaker State 400 tomorrow, Saturday, July 9.
Author Guckenberger has a supporter for her ministry to orphans in Michael McDowell, one of NASCAR’s top young drivers who is competing in his third season of NASCAR. He even visited the mission orphanage in Monterrey, Mexico where she and her husband Todd founded Back2Back Ministries, a non-profit organization that provides for orphans and impoverished families around the world with locations in Monterrey; Cancun, Mexico; Jos, Nigeria; and Hyderabad, India.
“I’m honored to have Michael McDowell representing my latest book,” said Guckenberger. “His enthusiasm for orphan care and service is an inspiration to those in the racing community and beyond. I am absolutely delighted to be teaming up with him to help promote the message of this book.”
Although not limited to the stories of orphans, the theme of God’s redemption is the theme of Relentless Hope, in which Guckenberger has compiled over 50 compelling real–life stories—interwoven with the wisdom of Scripture—that will resonate with anyone seeking to find purpose in the midst of pain. She reminds us that despite the circumstances, God is writing the story of our lives and the story’s not over yet.
She reminds readers of the beautiful scripture: "…and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become my spokesman…and I will redeem you." (Jeremiah 15, NASB)
Guckenberger will be in Cincinnati for the race and also for some speaking engagements on behalf of the book and Back2Back Ministries. She will also be featured on Cincinnati’s WXIX television channel 19 this morning. Next week, Guckenberger will also be signing her book at the Standard Publishing booth #939 at ICRS in Atlanta.
While in town for the NASCAR races, McDowell will also make some personal appearances with Guckenberger. McDowell will talk about his passion for NASCAR and the importance of orphan care alongside Guckenberger, who will share from Relentless Hope.
McDowell joined fellow NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 Champion, on a Back2Back mission trip in Monterrey, Mexico last December. At one of the orphanages they visited, the two of them spoke briefly about racing and showed the children a few videos, including the incredible crash that Michael had in 2008 while qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway. After slamming into the wall at over 180 mph and his car rolling over seven times and catching on fire, Michael was able to walk away without any major injuries. By sharing about their experiences as NASCAR drivers, it provided them with the opportunity to share their faith in God.
As McDowell and Bayne were preparing to leave the orphanage, the children asked if they could pray for them and their group. A young girl prayed for McDowell, asking that he would be safe and protected so that his young son Trace would never have to grow up without a dad. That experience was very humbling for Michael and his wife Jami. Their experience revealed the tremendous need for orphan care around the world and has since inspired them to pursue international adoption.
“Seeing such hardship firsthand makes you want to be pro-active,” McDowell said. “How do you get involved? How do you save the world? You don’t, but you can make the difference in somebody’s life.”
To catch a glimpse of the car featuring the cover of Relentless Hope, check local listings for NASCAR race coverage.
To learn more about Beth Guckenberger and Back2Back Ministries, visit her website, www.bethguckenberger.com, or www.back2back.org.
For more than 140 years, Standard Publishing has been raising the standard for true-to-the-Bible resources that educate, encourage and enrich. The company is based in Cincinnati, Ohio where it was founded in 1866. For more information, visit www.standardpub.com.
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