Book: Running For My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games Author: Lopez Lomong with Mark Tabb Publisher: Thomas Nelson Date: July 17, 2012 Genre: biography & autobiography; sports Pages: 240; hardcover Price: $24.99 My rating: An inspirational true story of hope and courage.
I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.
When I saw the blurb about it I wanted to read this book – not because I’m an avid sports fan (because I’m not) but because I am always interested in how people overcome adversity. This book did not disappoint.
Lopez Lomong was born in the Sudan. He was one of a family of four children, but the only one with his parents in the open-air church service that Sunday morning in 1991 – the day the rebel soldiers came for the children. He was only six years old. That was the day he was violently separated from his family with dozens of other boys and girls, the day his life was forever changed.
Lopez tells the story of his kidnapping, of not knowing what happened to all the girls that were taken at the same time, of the prison camp where boys were trained to be child soldiers – but he was too small to become a soldier so he was left in the hut, probably to die as so many did. The difference for him was that he was rescued in a dramatic way, which to this day he firmly believes was God’s hand on his life.
Lopez tells about his escape with three other boys, how they ran for three days, always miraculously finding food and water when needing it, where he ended up as a refugee instead of where he thought he was headed – home to his mother, and the ever-challenging experiences he had there that would shape him into the man he would become.
His parents had named him Lopepe, which means ‘fast’, and he lived up to that name because he loved to run and always ran as fast as he could. This trait would be one thing that kept him alive, one main factor that would shape his life and eventually help him immigrate to the United States where he continues to run. In an unlikely place his heart was set on the Olympics when he was a boy. I read Running For My Life during the London 2012 Olympics, which seemed appropriate since Lopez Lomong was running for the USA.
As I read through this book as one looking in from the outside, I could recognize God’s guidance and protection as Lopez trusted Him with his life. He tells his story with painful honesty, later revealing a sense of humour that caused me to laugh out loud several times.
Lopez Lomong has a passion, not just for running, but for helping the people in his village and South Sudan. He now has a charitable foundation called 4 South Sudan set up to achieve his goals of providing clean water, education, nutrition through better farming methods, and basic health care that will save lives. Because World Vision already has a presence in Sudan, he partnered with them to set things in motion. Also, part of the proceeds of the sale of this book go to his foundation.
Give Running For My Life a try, my guess is you will enjoy it.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!