Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Required Reading

OK, so quite a while ago I mentioned required reading for our family and I never followed up with it. So I'm going to catch up and tell you a little bit about each book that I recommended.

Miracle at Tenwek - This is the story of the life of Dr. Ernie Steury a missionary who lived his life serving the Lord and making disciples of all nations. If you feel like you are tired or having a bad day this is a good book to pick up and refocus. This guy was an absolute machine working literally 24 hours a day for years of his life as the sole doctor to hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya. He is such a reminder of what God can do through you if you allow him to. It is also a reminder of the amazing blessings we may be missing out on if we don't open ourseves up to what God could do through us. There was obviously a huge cost to Ernie and his family but hopefully if you read this book you can get past that human cost and see the tremendous eternal payoff of so many people entering into a personal relationship with Christ.

The Bourne Identity - Ok, I know most of us have probably heard about a little movie by the same title starring some guy named Matt Damon. Yes, I saw it and I really enjoyed it. However, besides the names of a few of the main characters and the title they really don't have much in common. The book blows the movie out of the water. It is an I-can't-put-this-book-down - long-enough-to-go-to-the-bathroom kind of a read. All that being said I reluctantly read it about 7 years ago because I have been hearing Rhett talk about it since the first day I met him. It is officially his favorite book. I have to give it to him, although it is not in my normal genre of favorites, I can highly recommend it.

Another amazing story about a man who made an incredible difference in the lives of millions of people. Dr. Paul Farmer is an Infectious Disease physician who poured his life out to the benefit of millions of poor Haitians. Of course I love any book about Haiti so I automatically was interested in this one. You will walk away from this one really feeling like you need to go out and make a difference in the world.

Oh my. This book is almost indescribable. I can't even wrap my words around a good enough description of it. This is one of those books that you read and it stays with you. In the case of A Long Way Gone - it haunts you. Be warned that if you read this book you will not be the same afterwards. Rhett had seen an interesting interview with the author and had mentioned his amazing story to me. I was in Starbucks one day and saw it sitting on the counter for sale. I picked it up and realized that this had to be the guy that Rhett had mentioned to me. Rhett and I both read it and we have given it to just about everyone in our family since then. It's a tough read - if it were a movie you would watch some parts with your hands over your tear-filled eyes. The importance of this book is in understanding that not everyone in the world wakes up in a soft bed, takes a warm shower, shuttles their kids to various activities in a safe SUV and comes home to a fridge full of food from which to make a nutritious meal. Most people are probably saying "duh, I know that Megan" but really do you know it? Do you also realize that the people that live in war torn poverty are exactly the same as you? They love their children just as much. I remember the time in my life when I had this realization. I was spending a lot of time in Haiti and began to see the similarities between myself and the people I was serving instead of the differences. Then it just hit me that I could have just as easily been born into a hut in Haiti and be living a very different life. To this day I have a painting of Haitian women hanging in my laundry area. I thank God every time I put a load in my washer that I am not walking miles to a river to scrub my family's dirty clothes on a rock. Of course you may take away something entirely different from this book. I just think it is a good reality check that we should all associate with the suffering of all people in the world and not just live our comfortable lives ignoring the plight of everyone else on the planet.

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