Recently, Mark and I had the unbelievable opportunity to visit Missoula, Montana.

How would I describe Missoula? Very similar to my current home of Rocheport Missouri, but bigger, with rivers, lots of rivers, mountains and horses.

YES PLEASE!

As is my habit when I travel, I had a couple of books with me.  I was reading one called The Beauty of Broken but when I went to find it, it was no where to be found.   I was 100% sure I threw it in my carry on. (Now you know how reliable I am) But apparently, some time between packing up two dogs, two kids to go to Mimi and Papas, a car full of toys, and then all of my essentials, that book got left somewhere in the chaos of our home.

Alas, I never travel with only one book. I just can’t do it.  I am never decisive enough.  So, I had my Bible AND…this is the important part….I had thrown in another book called Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong, just in case I wanted to read something different.

Running For MY LIfe

I found this book through another blog, Wearethatfamily.com. She actually said this was her favorite book of all time! Seriously? I was a bit skeptical. I have read a lot of good books, but I am also a book junky, so I downloaded the sample on my i-phone to see what the fuss was about.

Oh my. The first two chapters were so hard for the Mommy in me to read. I laid in my bed crying. Sad, too sad. And, that was at least 2 months before our trip, maybe more like 4. After that, I did buy an actual copy, but never had the guts to pick it back up. In my middle class American world, where I get irritated, consumed and angry over the pettiest of  things, facing the sadness and cruelty in this world, especially in other countries, is not something I have done on a regular basis.

It can be gut wrenching.  I want to rescue them, love them, help them some how, but I often have no idea where to start.  And so I am left sad and frustrated until I get distracted, settle into my routine, and put it out of my mind.

But, as God would have it, I left my other book at home.  So, I had to face it or be bored for 2 hours.  As soon as I picked this book up again, I never put it down.  I finished it in one day.

Some of you are more in tune with international tragedies and so maybe this book won’t be a game changer for you, but it was for me.

If you are a runner, you should read this. If you are a Christian, you should definitely read it. It will humble you. And, if you are neither of those, you should still read it. It will humble and inspire you too. If nothing else, it will give you a new appreciation for the lives we live.

The story follows Lopepe Lomong from the Sudan. It follows him from the age of 6 when he was torn from his mother’s arms and forced into a prison camp to become a soldier.

A SOLDIER.

At the age of 6.

Without his family.

Who would give his tender little heart any love?  Who would hug him and comfort him in his tears?

He and about 80 other boys were shoved into a little hut for 3 weeks with very little food, very little water, and no opportunity to go outside to the bathroom. I couldn’t help but think of my little Eli. He is so precious and so young at age 5. I cannot imagine this happening to him next year.

Ugh. The injustices of this world are overwhelming.

Alas, there is a miraculous, angelic escape from the prison camp. Hallelujah! Ultimately he ends up in a refugee camp but is only slightly better. He is there with all the other lost boys of the Sudan, thousands of them living 10 to a hut on one meal a day. Lopepe was there for 10 years but ultimately ends up competing in the Olympics for the US in 2008!

WOW

You have to read this.

I cannot believe I haven’t heard of it until now. I mean it!  You will be so inspired by him, but also by his American parents.

Have your kids read it too.

I was skeptical about this book. Would it really be as good as I had been told?  Absolutely.

It is actually better. It isn’t just a book. It is a living, breathing lesson on humility, gratefulness, trust, simplicity, perseverance and one man’s hope in the only real hope there is.

Of course, you can buy this a million places online but I liked it so much, we actually have copies available in our stores.

Enjoy my friends.  May we all not only remember our brothers and sisters who suffer, but be motivated to work against the evil in this world.

Do you have a favorite book?  Please share!

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