Monday, April 5, 2010

Review: Jantsen's Gift

by Pam Cope

My Synopsis

True story about a woman whose 15-year-old son dies from an undetected heart ailment and through her grief and a desire to seek a more meaningful life, she ends up rescuing 30 children from the streets of Vietnam, becoming instrumental in helping save young children in Ghana from being sold into slavery and in building a safe shelter for them.  She also adopted two children from orphanages and helped facilitate the adoption of 30 more children by people from her small town of Neosho, Missouri.


My Thoughts

As the mother of a 16-year-old son with heart problems, I can't believe I read this book in the first place.  But am I glad I did.  It's been a long time since a book has moved me like this. 

Pam Cope owned a small hair salon in Neosho, Missouri, and was just a regular mom of two kids, ages 11 and 15.  Her son Jantsen, an athlete and perfectly healthy teenager, stopped by his aunt's (Pam's sister), to hang out with his cousin after football practice and watch a movie.  His aunt came in to say something to Jantsen and he didn't answer.  She shook him and he didn't move.  Despite everyone's heroic efforts to save Jantsen that day, he did not survive. 

In the beginning Pam writes about the minutes, hours, and days after her son's death.  Eventually her grief, as you can imagine, begins to take over her life.  But before it can, and through circumstances one can only explain as divine, she ends up saving and helping children in Vietnam, Ghana, Cambodia.  The divine circumstances themselves are fascinating...meeting a woman next to her on an airplane while going to Vietnam with a friend, reading an article in the paper about Ghanaian children sold into slavery while she is visiting New York.  Every time God placed something in front of her, she listened, and she asked, What do you want me to do next? and she obeyed.  And through God she did some amazing things.

The story is absolutely riveting.  I couldn't put it down.  Pam Cope is my hero.  If you are curious to know how one person, one regular ol' mom from small town, Missouri, can lose a child and channel that grief to make a huge difference in this world, you must read this book. 

Also, check out Touch a Life, the foundation the Copes started to help children in Ghana, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Do I Recommend?

Absolutely, without a doubt.

Source

Library, but I think I need to buy copies and hand them out to friends and family.

My Rating

5/5

Other reviews

Sheila from One Person's Journey through a World of Books did an author's interview with Pam Cope
Sheila's review of this book
Socrates' Book Reviews

3 comments:

Staci said...

Wow...loved your thoughts on this one and you've totally convinced me to read it!

Aths said...

Wow! Sounds like a powerful book! I have to add this one. Great review!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Lynne I fully agree with your review. I read it in Honduras and laid in my bed at night and cried. I can still pull up that image of the boy on the lake.

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