Tuesday 12 March 2013

Book Review: Running for My Life

Book Title: Running For My Life
Author: Lopez Lamong
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Hardcover
Cost: $24.99
Pages: 226
How I got it: From the Publisher's 
My Rating:★★★★☆
Erotica Rating: N/A
"Running for My Life" is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a stark reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more. Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable, even from circumstances that might appear hopeless. "Lopez Lomong's story is one of true inspiration. His life is a story of courage, hard work, never giving up, and having hope where there is hopelessness all around. Lopez is a true role model." ―MICHAEL JOHNSON, Olympic Gold Medalist "This true story of a Sudanese child refugee who became an Olympic star is powerful proof that God gives hope to the hopeless and shines a light in the darkest places. Don't be surprised if after reading this incredible tale, you find yourself mysteriously drawn to run alongside him." ―RICHARD STEARNS, president, World Vision US and author of "THe Hole in Our Gospel"

My Review:
When I was prepping for the Olympics ( to watch, not compete) the Visa commercial came on about Lopez Lamong and how he ran. I was so intrigued I started looking into his story, the publishing company for his book happened to be Thomas Nelson which is the originator of the Booksneeze book exchange program I was so happy. I had to snag that book immediately.

When I started reading I was immediately drawn in by his story.  I was both heartbroken and devastated when reading the book. To think that people who would do that to children, & to know that it wasn't being covered by the news, that the information wasn't being shared with the western world.

The book has strong religious overtones, but considering that his how he dealt with the trauma of his life, you can't escape how instrumental it is to his survival.

Reading about the life he had in the refugee camp and what happened there, about the food situation especially, just really made me sad.  How could the organization thing that one meal a day really helped?? I mean considering the option of starving, yes it helped, but to give only one meal?? What happens to all the money we donate?? Who the hell is getting it then?? Is it like the Reservation and Bureau of Indian Affairs, where when they were first created, white supervisors would take the food, blankets and aide sent by the government to the Native Americans forced onto the reservations, and would sell the best cuts, then give the rotting meat, the infested blankets and dirty tools to the Tribal members, until it was exposed and brought to the attention of the President.  Is that what is happening, because I don't understand how these organizations collect so much money each year and can only afford enough food for these refugees for one meal per day and meat only once a year.  I think we need to start asking questions about this.

I remember that moment in the Olympics as well; the moment that sparked his interest, that gave him something to hope for, watching Michael Johnson tear up that track was inspiring for me as a kid as well.  His story of writing the plea, of being on the plane and being too afraid to eat, to the language barrier, it all just pulled your heartstrings and pulled you in.

 I laughed when reading about his many discoveries when he immigrated to America, & I totally understood his determination to do more for himself and for the others that weren't allowed to immigrate as well.The devastation & fear he felt on September 2001, I totally get it, feeling you were safe then discovering that violence goes everywhere must have really thrown him for a loop. I know it did many of us that day.

Reading this story made me grateful, grateful for the family, friends and experiences I have had. It made me thankful for the relative peace we have had growing up.  It has made me re-evalauate many of the people & things I have allowed into my life, & has reminded me that not everyone is so lucky.  Yet he did it, he made something of himself, when many here can't.  He has done more with his opportunity than many of us Americans have.   it's a humbling experience and one I don't mind sharing.

This is a definite must read and a book we should all pass on to our friends and book lovers.
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***FTC Rules require I state that I received this as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**** 

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