"hope runs" Book Review

Claire and her friend Lara dreamed of traveling the world after college. They headed to Africa to participate in a racing event. Along the way, they found an orphanage that allowed people to stay in their guest room. While there, they became attached to a boy named Samuel.

The girls stayed for a year, which was a big problem because the boys were used to visitors stopping by to take pictures and then leaving. While there, the girls started a running club in hopes of training them to enter races where they could have exposure and opportunity. They held shoe and clothing drives and reached out to people via social media to get them involved.

At a friend’s wedding reception dinner in 2009, Lara was seated next to the financial aid director of a Maine high school. She caught Claire’s eye and said that she was someone she should meet. Claire was able to become Samuel’s legal guardian so that he could start attending his sophomore year. She received a full scholarship.

Samuel spent a year in Ecuador with a service organization after high school. At first, he didn’t like the mother of the host family he was staying with because he thought she was mean. After talking with the mother, Claire and Lara helped Samuel gain a new perspective. They explained that she was just a mother doing the best she could with what she had and that he could be of use by offering to help rather than waiting to be asked.

That change helped him mature into an adult. As he changed, the host mother also softened.

The book ends with Samuel returning home to Africa in 2014. His hopes were to attend college and reconnect with his biological family members. Claire and Lara’s journey brought the world to her. He had so many good people helping him along the way. The experiences he gained made him someone who has a lot to offer the world.

This was a moving memory. Stories become dear to us when we meet others who come into our lives. My daughter in law is from Sudan. I mentored a young man from Sudan when my children were in high school. Today, he is a dear friend with a family of his own and has come a long way. I am sure that God knew that one day my son would marry a girl from Sudan.

The stories not with the closure of a book. That’s when they’re just getting started.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *