three impactful books full of “nudges” that inspired on our journey in Africa
I have read more books than ever before this summer, and I’m anxious to write and recommend a bunch of them, but there were three that I’ve been wanting to group together here because they made a huge impact on me over the last few months. They all happened to be on the New York Times Bestseller list so it sounds like they influenced a lot of other people as well!
I didn’t have a hard copy of “Thirst” (I listened to that one) so for some reason the Book of Mormon is stuck in my little pile below…but hey, I’m sure that helped influence us as well 🙂
I talked a lot about this one back HERE, and a few other posts…
We were in the middle of all our planning for Africa back at that time and I was so grateful for all the insight into Scott Harrison’s journey to bring clean water to as many villages as he could. I loved the journey. I think it is so fascinating to explore the background on anyone’s journey, whether it’s your good friend, the bagger at the grocery store, someone on Instagram your teenager thinks is awesome…everyone has quite a story. And their stories make them who they are. I loved reading about how Scott Harrison’s passions and talents (and failures and sorrows) took him on his own personal journey to make a difference in his own way.
I love thinking about what helps US make our own difference in our own way.
I think this is really difficult, to be honest, in our day and age, especially for teenagers. I think they (and all of us really), see SO MANY THINGS bombarding us with so much technology that streams them right front and center into our own lives that it’s so easy to capture dreams and visions of what we want to do like butterflies in a net. When what we really need to do is examine our own desires, abilities and talents and contribute and love in the way that only we can.
But gosh, that’s a post for another day, and a long tangent, whoops.
What I really want to say is that I love that this book because it’s inspiring to see what one guy can do if he uses his own talents and abilities for good. Loved following him go from a night club wheeler-dealer lost in a lot of his own sorrows on his journey to find meaning in life. And to help so many people along the way.
You can get a pretty good overview of the whole story by watching this video:
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I ordered it but it ended up gathering dust for a while, lost in the shuffle of all the other books I had on my agenda. But I picked it up a little while before we left for Africa and it is SUCH a good book!
Can you tell I liked it?
(See all those pages turned over? HA!)
Another personal journey of a guy (Adam Braun)…so interestingly similar to Scott Harrison’s… the main part of the journey starting essentially on a ship visiting other countries.
It tells of how as he visited other countries as a student he got into the habit of asking kids all over the world if they had one wish for anything in the whole wide world what would it be? He was baffled that one of the kids he asked answered that the biggest dream he had, if he could have anything would be a pencil.
Then it goes on to outline the journey of how he was able…kind of “led”… to bring pencils…and eventually schools, and teachers to children all over the world. Such an inspirational journey as well.
It was especially interesting to read as we were helping with a school in Uganda.
Here’s a random assortment of the pages I turned down:
(That last one is one of the things I loved so much about Family Humanitarian and the way they help those who reach for it, they don’t just go in and take over.)
Ok, I could go on and on, but read it! It’s an inspiring one on so many levels. (Thank you, Ally for the recommendation! xoxo)
It’s one more autobiography from Katie, who decided as a teenager she wanted to go live in Uganda after she fell in love with the people there on a mission trip she took there.
My friend had recommended this one a while back and when I realized it was Uganda where we were going I figured I’d better get busy reading it!
This one could take several blog posts to talk about, and I’m almost out of time, but it is a fascinating story of following your heart, and the “nudges” that push you in your own unique ways.
She is deeply religious, which I love, and felt very guided to change her life in ways that were difficult and heart-wrenching yet so beautiful and inspiring as well.
She left her family and all that she knew and has started her own organization in Uganda educating hundreds of children and adopting a whole bunch of them herself.
I found myself wondering at the different paths everyone takes in life. This is one that is so different from what I feel called to do, but I loved learning about how she did it and was inspired to go confidently in the direction of the unique nudges I feel as well.
Some of the pages I turned over:
(I haven’t read those over very well…hopefully they are readable and not too blury!)
Gosh, so many different things to do in life, so many different nudges to follow. We are all so unique and have so much to add to the world with our unique talents and gifts. These three books inspired me so much to follow my own nudges that come so frequently if I’ll only stay still enough to listen.
And if I’ll have the humility and courage to follow.
They will take me very different directions, of course, but I so strongly believe that we are all meant to spread our own unique light in unique and beautiful ways.