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Book focuses on former LCC student

Becoming Joshua book cover

Jayden Hewitt

By Jayden Hewitt
Staff Writer

For students in search of a new and inspiring book, “Becoming Joshua” may be that story.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, LCC is hosting a book release, an art exhibit, and an immersive experience in the Michigan room of the Gannon Building, or on WebEx via livestream. Students are encouraged to register, to get the WebEx link.

The event starts at 3:30 p.m. There will be a book reading and discussion to begin, followed by the grand opening of the art exhibit in room 1204 of the TLC building. Students will be able to then stay until 8 p.m. to view the exhibit and participate in the event.

The art exhibit in the TLC building will be on display to view through Nov. 13

The book “Becoming Joshua,” was published in July of 2022. Readers are taken through the trials and tribulation of Iranian immigrant Joshua, who was imprisoned and scrutinized for being a founder of a secret Christian community, in a largely Muslim country.

The journey, as told to author Tammy Vaughn by Joshua, follows Joshua through his new challenges in each country. As Joshua fled to Turkey from Iran, Joshua then ended up in the United States, more specifically, Lansing.

Readers are shown Joshua’s challenges with learning English, and ultimately earning an associate’s degree at LCC.

Event organizer Cindy Storie made it known why Joshua wanted to bring this amazing event to LCC, and just how detailed the book is.

“Both Joshua and Tammy Vaughn are LCC alumni, (which is) one of the specific reasons Joshua wanted us to be one of the first to have it,” Storie said. “It covers a lot, you could probably read it in one sitting, but it is a lot to digest.”

Author Vaughn made sure, through Joshua’s words, that she was able to get out a message that would portray what Joshua really went through, even when writing got tough.

“I believed that the story needed to be out in the world,” Vaughn said. “Not only because the story itself is powerful, but because of the courage it took to want to tell it in the first place.

“Whenever I got frustrated or stuck, I was inspired by that.  Whenever I felt like I wasn’t up to the task, he would encourage me.  My goal was always to do his story justice, and that’s what kept me moving forward.”

Vaughn also wanted students to feel like by reading the book, they could relate through some of the themes of the book.

“I think that one of the themes that runs through the entire book is that every person has value, and the love and acceptance of a community is life changing,” Vaughn said. “I believe all students would get something out of it.  Just about everyone can relate to heartbreak, loss, rejection and the struggle to find acceptance in a new community.  Depending on the student’s perspective, they may see a memoir of faith, or a stark reminder of the reality of persecution, and the toll it takes on a person’s life.”

Joshua will not be at the event in efforts to remain anonymous, but students can still listen to book discussions and get copies signed by Vaughn. There will be two more book discussions, on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10.

For more information about the book, the event, or the artwork, students can visit LCC’s website, or the “Becoming Joshua” website. Students can also contact The Learning Commons at (517) 483-1206 or learning-commons@lcc.edu.

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