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Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption

Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Donald Miller, Donald Miller, Sammy Ikua Gachagua, Samuel Ikua Gachagua
Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption
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Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to AIDS, his mother to abandonment and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack in Kenya with seven other children and very little food. He entered Tumaini Children’s Home, seeing it as a miracle with three meals a... Read More


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Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to AIDS, his mother to abandonment and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack in Kenya with seven other children and very little food. He entered Tumaini Children’s Home, seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in and clothes on his back.

When Claire Diaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mt. Kenya and then head back home to Maine. She entered Tumaini Children’s Home, seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek - but God had other plans.

Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption is the emotional story of an American tourist, a Kenyan orphan and the day that would change the course of both of their lives forever. This book explores what it means to live in the now when the world is falling down around you - and shares what it means to hope for the things you cannot see.

Product Details:
Page Count: 208
Released: 04/2014
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Release Date: Apr 15, 2014
  • UPC: 9780800722791
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 204
  • Publish Date: Apr 15, 2014
  • Language: English
  • BISAC: "BIO018000"
  • ISBN: 0800722795

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God's Work in these two lives by Kimberly on 6/18/2014

God had plans for Claire Díaz-Ortiz and Sammy Ikua Gachagua. Neither one of them dreamt of how each life would influence the other.
In the book “Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption” the story of these two people unfolds as they meet in an orphanage in Kenya. Through the connection that they feel for each other an organization was formed to help this orphanage and school implement and run a running program for the children. Sammy was one of these children. Through their time together each was able to help the other in ways that neither of them could predict.
These two created a unique story where each tells their story in individual chapters throughout the book. It is interesting to see an action unfold from both perspectives. What a wonderful book, once I began it I did not want to put it down.
I was given this book by the authors and bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.

Believers Shaping our Future by Jeanie on 5/26/2014

Sammy is an incredible young man who looks like any other high school graduate desiring to make a difference in the world. He is an athlete, an excellent scholar who speaks at least four languages who recently spent a year in Ecuador as part of Global Citizen Year. Sammy is also a miracle who comes from a life far, far removed from the luxuries of most American high school students, a place where the thought of flying on an airplane anywhere would have been one of many of a young boy’s impossible dream. His is a life changed through others’ vision, and he also desires to be a catalyst for change.
Claire is an extraordinary young woman in every way. She is hard-working, intelligent, a visionary who sees a need, studies to find how best to meet that need, and has the determination to see it through. Claire and her college friend Lara are world travelers and partners in helping those who need help or finding a means with which to help them. Claire’s travels and work with Lara changed her from a loving, extraordinary young woman to a loving, extraordinary young woman who accepts the challenge to change and grow even as she becomes a catalyst for change.
Brought together through God’s will and plan, the three of them are an example of what the Lord can do when one has hope. Or when two set up a non-profit group named Hope Runs, as Claire and Lara did. Hope Runs is an organization that currently helps students at a Kenyan orphanage where Sammy had been a student. It provides athletic training to students at the orphanage and scholarships to university for those who want it who also demonstrate their successful completion of high school. Hope Runs is the recipient of the proceeds of this book, making it a true work of love by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Sammy Ikua Gachagua.
During their world travels, Claire and Lara went to Kenya to climb Mount Everest and move on. While there, they received reasonable accommodations at the orphanage where Sammy lived. After meeting the children at the orphanage, especially Sammy, they spent a year rather than just long enough to do the climb. Claire and Lara put together a program to train students athletically who want to run, and study the needs of those at the orphanage.
Sammy had been orphaned, homeless at a tender age. He and his brother lived at the orphanage and received schooling, while his sister lived with one of their aunts. Sammy knew that the orphanage was possibly the best his life would be until he becoming an adult. He, like many in the orphanage, learned to protect his heart and not grow close to those who came to the orphanage to help. It was too easy to love some of the volunteers who would one day pack up and return to life in the US.
This is an incredible book about change, about God’s work in our lives, and about what believers with a vision can accomplish to change lives. Both Claire and Sammy are excellent writers, bringing a compelling read to that I would highly recommend to young adults and adults of all ages. It would make a great gift for graduation or even for someone who has a dream but is afraid to act on that dream. Sammy, Claire, and Lara are unique people that we will hear more of in the future; they are part of our future in this country, in Kenya, and around the world.
I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

Inspirational memoir by Carole on 4/21/2014

Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption is an inspiring memoir - a story about real people in a cross-cultural setting, a story about growing up, a story of how God brought two people together and both of their lives were all the richer for it. The events as told by both Claire and Sammy are woven together in a consecutive way that makes the narrative flow smoothly. Some parts seem a little long, but the candid and strong story make it an enjoyable memoir, well worth the read. I especially loved Sammy's writing as he gives voice to what growing up in Kenya was like for him.

Taking advantage of a free night's stay at an orphanage, Claire soon discovered that God had much more in mind and began a journey in relationship with one very special child named Sammy. Used to quick visits, Sammy wasn't initially welcoming to Claire and writes: "The typical visitor at Imani shows up without knowing anyone, volunteers a few hours, takes pictures, and then leaves. All without finding out who lives in the orphanage and who we really are as a people. It is terrible for us kids, and it makes us feel mad and hurt all at the same time."

Realizing the orphanage had a need for extracurricular programming and thinking they could train some of the older adolescents for the marathon along with them, Claire and Lara started a nonprofit organization named "Hope Runs" to support a running program. But this outreach wasn't necessarily without problems, and I appreciated the candidness of their writing. The end result is that Sammy works hard and eventually discovers his own calling: "No matter what, I know that my future career will have something to do with children. I am sick and tired of seeing kids sorrowful, and of being sorrowful myself, and I want to make sure that no other kids go through what I went through."

I want to end with some more of Sammy's thoughts, because I feel his words carry an important message for us: "Claire and Lara proved to be different. They came and they were who they are, and we saw it.. . . Instead of being visitors - different people - they became one of us, they became like sisters. It took some time, but eventually we failed to see their skin color; all we could see were the people behind the skin."

I enjoyed getting to know Sammy in Hope Runs and recommend this memoir to readers looking for a true-life story full of hope and promise.

Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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