Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: House of Hope

Earlier today, I posted in my Gratitude Challenge how grateful I am for coffee.

The reason I am so grateful for it, today anyway, is that I stayed up way, way too late last night finishing The House of Hope by Elisabeth Gifford.  I had read about half of the book by Sunday, and just never had time yesterday to read.  Until sometime after midnight.  I started, intending to read only a couple more chapters... but I just couldn't stop.  Here's what the publisher has to say:
About The House of Hope: One couple’s powerful ministry to some of China’s most vulnerable children

Robin and Joyce Hill lived in a gated community in Beijing. Their family’s life was marked by luxury and the security of Robin's job as an engineer. Then one day, as members of their church, they had a chance to tour a state-run orphanage. Haunted by the needs of the children they saw there, for the next four years they tried to help the institute in meaningful ways.

In 1998 the Hills planned to leave China, but instead felt a sudden call from God on their lives. They left their gated community--reserved for only non-Chinese residents--moved their family into a small apartment miles outside of Beijing and immediately began to take in foster children.

They took in any child, but especially those that needed extra care—terminally ill children that couldn't receive care elsewhere, and those that needed complicated and expensive surgeries that the Hills soon began to coordinate and sometimes pay for out of their own savings.

What began as Hope Foster Home is now New Hope Foundation. As they continue their work, the Hills enjoy support from major corporations and high-profile philanthropists as well as the trust of the Chinese authorities. The Hills' story is an inspiring example of God's care and provision for those whom society does not value. Learn more about Hope Foster Homes here.
My take:  Wow.  Everyone should read this book.

But to back up a bit, because of the nature of the book, there are a lot of people (and babies) to keep track of, and that got a little confusing.  I think that was a bit harder at the beginning of the book, but even towards the end, I'd start a chapter and have to try to figure out who this person was...  like at some point, a new section started off by telling me that Nico had taken a turn for the worse, or something.  I flipped back through the book thinking, "Nico... Nico... I remember a Nico.  What was the deal with Nico?"

So if I could change one thing about the book, I would have them include a glossary giving a one-sentence description of recurring people.

Aside from that, the book was fantastic.  Really fascinating to see the difference one ordinary person can make, and this book is full of all kinds of ordinary people.  It is also filled with people who didn't blink when asked to underwrite a $50,000 surgery.  I was inspired by both groups.

The other amazing thing with the story of the Hope Foster Home is how the Hills, the Chapmans, and other key figures would face some pretty devastating situations, and none of that resulted in them giving up or feeling their work was being sabotaged.  I know so many people in real life who feel that every broken fingernail is a sign that they are under attack from Satan.  It was refreshing to read how real people approach real hardships.

The publisher is sponsoring a $50 "GET / GIVE" GIVEAWAY:
One winner will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate for themselves AND $50 will be given in the winner's name to Hope Foster Home.

To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using #HFH) about The House of Hope or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use #HFH. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know (ckrumm@litfusegroup.com). Easy. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  This post also gets me an entry in the above-mentioned contest.   

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