This is a touching story of the way God weaves together the lives of individuals from vastly different cultures and life experiences to create something valuable and greater than those involved. It is also the story of young people "growing up", finding their voice and purpose in life, and the human need to find fulfillment through helping others. It is ultimately the story of the power of the human spirit and the transformation possible through the love of God and the love of others. Through alternating chapters, the author tells her story of searching for something she can't quite put her finger on and the tale of the struggles of a young African boy to first survive and then find his place in the world. As the two stories intersect, we see the wonderful hand of God working through the events and "coincidences" of ordinary life and what can happen when love and faith take precedence over cultural and economic differences.
Sammy's story humbles those of us who have so much and yet dare to complain. His early years are spent hungry, abandoned, and physically abused, but his unquenchable spirit keeps him tenderhearted toward the needs of his companions and optimistic about the future. One of the most poignant moments was when the homeless and desperate child reaches into the pocket of his jacket and finds a candle. "Even though we go to bed that night without eating and aren't sure where our mother is, finding that candle makes me feel that God is up there looking out for us." He explains how the concept of "family" plays out in his life and at the orphanage: "Even though people might not have a blood family, they take whatever is available and make a family for themselves."
Claire's story is one that helps illustrate that true humanitarian relief can't come in short spurts of charity and mission trips. Her college thesis and her world view contend that : "by having one cross-cultural experience, then another and another, these volunteersâ€”if given the right tools to recognize the importance of what they themselves are actually learning----have a good chance of one day doing something that can hopefully make things a little better." The value to the local people is not in "those three months building a church or two but in the possibility that those three months can transform the VOLUNTEER into someone who gives for life." She explains that her work is "about helping organizations see this and making their programming more sustainable in the process." She is full of good intentions but doesn't make a difference until she is completely and emotionally invested in the lives of individual people where they are. It is significant that when she decides to spend a year at the orphanage she first asks the local elders what they would like her to do there.
Then Claire meets Sammy, and the rest of the story demonstrates the growth and support of both of these young people in the unusual family they form. I wonder if we appreciate the tapestry of people the Lord has woven together in our own lives.
I received this book through Book Club Network and the opinions are mine.
Claire ends up in a Kenyan Orphanage for one night, Meets Sammy, Gods plan for both of their lives took over. It is neat to read a book with so much going for it. God bless both of them Please read this book
you will be blessed by it
I received this book from tbcn for my honest review
This is a beautiful and inspiring true story. Claire Diaz-Ortiz a privileged American tourist who is soul searching while traveling around the world with her friend Lara. They end their journey in Kenya and stay at an orphanage there. Sammy Ikua Gachaua loses his parents and he and his siblings end up at an Aunt's house living in poverty. Sammy and his brother are taken to the orphanage to live. Sammy thinks the home is wonderful and how lucky is he to now have three meals a day. After meeting Sammy and the other children Claire and Lara start a program to teach them how to be runners and form the Hope Runs Foundation.
The story is well written in a diary format with viewpoints from both Claire and Sammy. We learn that love, faith and hope can conquer cultural differences and impossible obstacles. Despite all the heartache and poverty Sammy seems so upbeat and thankful. Claire and Lara have helped him get a better education, a better life.
It is amazing how God can work in our lives if we let Him. His plan was to bring Claire and Sammy together and accomplish so much in their lives.
This is a quick read as I did not want to put it down. I would love to read more about Sammy. Recommend you read this book.
I received this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion and review.
Sammy our abandoned child/orphan is oil to Claire's inner tossing and turnings.
This true story is interesting.
Claire does a good job of portraying her inner chaos, and the â€˜Sammy Effect" in/on her life.
Claire needed this Sammy, and Sammy needed a Claire to prepare them for the Spirit Life journey they found.
Sammy's story is very revealing to me.
Sammy writes best about where he is, kinetically right now.
The earlier parts of his story are written, physically in a different location than the latter parts. Sammy's chameleon writing style based on kinetic location, is the best explanation on why Writing Fellowships are so important, especially to writers like a Sammy.
I found it amazing that Claire and Lara wanted Sammy to succeed along the routes they had/were taking. The young Sammy_I think he is meant to do more.
This is not undervaluing the tremendous opportunities that Claire and Lara knew to seek, because of their unique culture. Their culturally imparted knowledge, and experiences of opportunities, brought them to all the travels/projects/adventures the encountered in this book, and to Sammy. Knowledge is empowering, and Lara and Claire made use of theirs. The difference between Claire and Lara and so many others is the knowledge of possibilities, and the confidence of successful know-how. Lara and Claire fill the book with the willingness to risk-because they've have had a lifetime of successful risk-taking, even though the consequences of the risk(s) were more internal, than fiscal or social. They had seen successful risk-takers role-modeling the behavior before they bungee-corded.
I found myself wondering, do they realize how fortunately they were gifted by these opportunities. I found myself wondering if Sammy can take the tools of his school years and find the ones that fit the hands of the young Sammy.
I am interested in what else is happening in Claire and Lara's life, but I sense a movement into a more private phase of living.
Sammy should go, and write at least, three books. He should take his time, write in the location where the story needs to be heard, and tell the rest of us in his books. He'll know the stories, and then so will we.
Writing for Sammy should not be about earning cash, but about communicating the resonance that he hears in his heart.
I know Claire will help him with Marketing, and teach him how to, go on.
It was wonderfully sad that these three people needed something so much more. It is inspiring that they responded as generously from within as the place they were in, allowed. It was simply a happy moment each time the space and room for generosity and trust got bigger.
Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with seven other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.
When Claire Diaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mt. Kenya, then head back home. She entered an orphanage seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek.
God had other plans.
Hope Runs "is the emotional story of an American tourist, a Kenyan orphan, and the day that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It's" "about what it means to live in the now when the world is falling down around you. It's about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see. Most of all, it's about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.
-- Wonderful story of what God can do when we let Him move in our lives. I love how we move back and forth in the story between Sammy and Claire, I loved especially Sammy's story. As Americans, we really take for granted everything we have. I thought this story was just a story of adoption, I didn't know that they started a running program and that really made it over the top for me.
This story brought tears to my eyes and I will tell lots of people about this fantastic book. Too bad we all don't have these thoughts, each one of us, one by one.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.