Running for my Life, the story of Lopez Lomong, is a powerful story of God’s providence and protection that catapulted a young man from the pit of despair into international prominence as a track star on the Olympic level. Lopez was kidnapped from his African village in Sudan as a young boy. He was taken to a prison camp and left in conditions that can’t even begin to be described they were so deplorable. After a few weeks, a couple of older boys helped Lopez escape to a refugee camp in Kenya. Even though he wasn’t reunited with his family…and he missed them terribly…he remembered that his mother had taught him of God’s love and he knew that God would take care of him. Lopez passed the time at the refugee camp by running and playing soccer. He learned a lot about survival during that time, but even more about taking care of others.
Lopez was given an opportunity to come to the United States as a teenager. The trick was that he had to write an essay about himself and why he wanted to go to America…and he had to write it in English. He knew very little English, but he did what it took to figure out the words and put the essay together. Like he said, “God gave him the words.” Lopez gave the most hilarious account of his airplane flight to the United States. You will laugh out loud at the things that we take for granted in our comfortable plane traveling lifestyles!
The family that adopted Lopez, the Rodgers in New York, opened a whole new world of opportunity for him by putting him in school and getting him on the cross country team. Lopez talked a lot about his high school and college career and the ultimate realization that it was time for him to turn pro. God granted Lopez a huge gift during his college years by reuniting him with his family back in South Sudan. By that time, Lopez had the opportunity to make a difference in the life of his family by using his running talent to provide for them. He turned pro and then became a US citizen shortly thereafter. One of the high points of the book was reading about his thoughts while he was carrying in the US Flag at the Beijing Olympics. The absolute best part of the book was that Lopez realized that God had a purpose and a plan for all the heartache he had endured. God had allowed that to happen in order for him to fully appreciate the incredible opportunities that would come along for him later in his life.
I absolutely love sports and have a heart for the people of Africa that suffer from years of civil war, oppression, and unrest. This book would be an inspiration to anyone that is struggling with God’s purpose for their life.
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