Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jantsen's Gift

Summary: Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment. Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend's invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son's death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called "Touch A Life," dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.Pam Cope's story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world.

Review: Have you ever read a tragic story in the newspaper and felt moved to act, but didn't? If you are like most people the answer is yes to both parts of the question. Pam Cope, however, read a New York Times article about child slavery in Ghana and did act! She set about rescuing not only the subject of the article, Mark, but six other children held in slavery. Later she returned to Ghana to create a safe house for more enslaved children. And all of this was after she adopted two Vietnamese children and sponsored fifteen Vietnamese children! Is Pam Cope a celebrity, super wealthy, or a world scholar? No! Rather she is simply a mother who suddenly lost her beloved son Jansten. From the depths of her personal grief Ms. Cope began a journey to save other children one child at a time. I found Jansten's Gift very inspiring and highly recommend it. Jansten's Gift is a story that will stay with you long after you have read the last page.