It was perfect timing for my next Booksneeze book to arrive on Monday with the Olympics in full swing (and it also happened to be my birthday, so it gave me something to do!) This time I had requested Lopez Lomong’s story: Running for My Life, but I had no idea what an incredible story I was about to read. I finished it in two days.
Lopez’s story begins in a South Sudan village, from there, as a six year old, he was kidnapped by rebel soldiers and taken to become a soldier himself. After awhile, he escaped with three other boys. They ran for three days until they found themselves in Kenya, and were taken to a refugee camp, where Lopez lived for the next 10 years. It was during this time that his dream of running in the Olympics was born. When he was 16, Lopez was given the opportunity through a Catholic charity to come to the US as a foster child. Here, he was able to get an education, and train under the coaches who made his Olympic dream a reality. Now an American citizen, Lopez carried our flag in the Beijing Olympics four years ago, and this year will run for gold in London.
Throughout his story, I was blown away by the perspective that Lopez kept. He was raised in a Christian home and even as a young child recognized that God was protecting and providing for him. It was amazing to see how God guided him step by step to a place of recognition, where he can have a great impact. Part of the dedication of his book says, “To all the children left behind—may their voices be heard through my words.” Lopez partners with World Vision to provide clean water, nutrition, education, and health care to Sudanese children, a unique platform he has as an Olympian. He is truly being a voice, and inspires others to be as well.
I found the book challenging and encouraging, as I think anyone who has struggled to understand God’s plan will. The proceeds of the book go to support the Lopez Lomong Foundation, so I would encourage you to pick up a copy or two. I guarantee you it will change you, and make an excellent gift for someone else as well. This is a story that needs to be shared.
Lopez is running today in London. You can follow him on Twitter @LopezLomong for updates. Also watch for his story in a Visa Commercial as you watch the Olympic coverage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”