Let me start off by saying that I admire anyone, regardless of faith or non-faith, who trys to help ease the atrocities in a so-called third world country. Giving aid via food, healthcare, clothing, water or any basic need without any hidden agenda. That is commendable. Doing so under the guise of bringing people under the banner of the christian faith, perhaps not so much.
Looking at this book from a perspective of a person, who believes in God.
It gives the overall feeling of being about Ripken’s personal quest to enlighten as many people as possible. That does not mean that he hasn’t seen and experienced hell on this earth, both in his personal life and professional one. The book however takes on this overall feeling of ‘God speaks to me, I am his messenger and only I know the right path.’
Looking at it from the perspective of a person, who doesn’t believe in God.
When someone believes that there is no hope for anyone without Jesus then I question how rational they are. It also equates all victims and perpetrators in African warzones if they are non-believers, because they have the same level of ‘Lostness.’ Devoting everything you do and each action you take to that one thing, your faith. Making that choice for yourself is one thing, but making that choice for your family and in doing so putting them in harms way is another. That of course is up to the Ripkens, however children have no choice do they. They go where they are told to go.
As for the book or memoir, I felt the emphasis was completely on one person and towards the last half it lost a little clarity. The chapters on Russia and China could have been more structured.
Overall reading between the lines I think the book gives a picture of how generations of people have been hounded for their faith. It shows us how religion is still one of the most dangerous and controversial topics of our day and age.
I think this book, about a man trying to bring comfort and peace to others via his faith, will interest both believers and non-believers.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.