Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong
As I perused the book selection for a book to review on the BookSneeze website, I decided to choose a book which had a 5 star rating. At the time, there was only 1. And that book was Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong. It had a 5 star rating--and 99 people had already posted reviews. That is quite a feat! As I read the synopsis of the book, I realized it was a book I wanted to read, too.
Lopez Lomong is a Lost Boy of Sudan. As a 6-year-old, he was stolen out of his mother's arms while at church by the rebel Sudanese army and taken to a prison camp. Three boys from his hometown reassured Lopez that they would take care of him. It was these three boys who later stole him out at night to take him home. They ran for three days. Unfortunately, they went the wrong direction and ended up in Kenya. They were taken at the Kenyan border and placed in a refugee camp--where Lopez remained for the next 10 years, eating one meal a day. The ten boys he roomed with in the refugee camp became his family. During this time, Lopez also assumed his parents were dead--or they would have come to look for him. One night, his "family" went to a nearby Kenyan's home where they each paid five schillings to watch a black and white television hooked up to a car battery. They were there to watch the Olympics and Lopez watched as Michael Johnson won his race. A dream was placed in his heart at that moment.
Lopez attended school in the refugee camp but only had a stick with which to write in the dirt. For the rest of the day, all of the boys played soccer. Since so many boys wanted to play, the young leaders made a new requirement--each boy must run the 18 miles around the camp in order to play. So each day, Lopez ran the 18 miles so he could play soccer. One day at church in the refugee camp, the Lost Boys were told that a limited amount of boys were going to be taken to America and they had to write an essay in English to be considered. Lopez's essay was among one of the ones chosen (and he didn't know English)...and he was soon on his way to America and to his own dream of running in the Olympics.
Lopez's story touched my heart in so many ways. He remembered many of the Bible stories his mother taught him as a child and he clung to those in terrifying moments. Lopez had tenacity and the fight to live along with a positive attitude. It was fun (and also sad and guilt-inducing) seeing America through his eyes. It was incredible to see him succeed against such great odds. It was humbling to watch his American (sponsoring) family love him and fight for him. You can go to his website and watch video of him telling his own story.
I'm adding my five stars to the rest. This is definitely a book you will want to read--I highly recommend it!
Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.