Fading fast after a decade of serving troubled churches, a desk-bound pastor heads south for a break. When storms force his plane to land early, Gray Albright unexpectedly finds himself in a remote Central American town on the Pacific coast. Somehow, people there who want a church in the area know about him. They ask him to stay, but Gray says no.
Then, back home after the failed vacation, he gets sacked by his grumpy congregation. So at the urging of his wife Moira, Gray relocates his family to Playa Perdida, where there’s an array of intriguing expatriates—like Slot, a one-armed vet who shepherds lost causes; Bert, who covers her religious bases; Arthur, a refined British gent; and, the dowager Charlotte Pipe. As the Albrights settle in, a cynical journalist heckles, a surfing instructor offers insight, and a barista with a predilection for knives brews killer cappuccino.
What does it take to form a church in a place like this? While trying to figure that out, Gray deals with a suicide, entrusts worship music to a garage band, counsels in a bar, conducts a wedding barefoot and helps catch a puma. He also finds himself on the receiving end of grace more than he had expected.
With dry wit and laconic pacing, Playa Perdida introduces a lively community of saints and sinners. Washed up on shore from all over the world, almost everybody in this tropical paradise needs a second chance.
*** ---Dan Schmidt has a terrific mind and a gift for language. In Playa Perdida, he has drawn on a world he knows well to craft a tale you will not forget. John Ortberg Senior Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
---What better summer beach reading could there be than a book about a beach? Really, Playa Perdida is a great read for any season. It deals with the quiet drama of spiritual growth - through endearing characters and an engaging story in a captivating setting. Brian McLaren Author/speaker
---Not only has Dan Schmidt created interesting and believable characters, but he has presented them in lively, witty, and insightful prose. This novel is a must-read for all pastors, and for anyone closely related to a pastor. Crystal Downing Professor of English and Film Studies; Messiah College
---Playa Perdida transports the reader to a tropical testing ground, where we all figure out what's important and what's not. The characters are authentic, the description effortlessly vivid. You will think you're there. Randy Petersen Author, playwright