The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness and Peace
In war time Vietnam, 1972, 8 year old Kim Phuc Phan Thi almost died after being severely burned when a napalm bomb fell on her village.
Initially left for dead in a morgue, she survived after multiple surgeries on the burns which left her permanently scarred on much of her body. She was known as the “girl in the picture” the memories of which haunted her.
A devout follower of the Cao Dai religion, she lived in shame, fear, pain, and despair, until she encountered Jesus in the Bible and dedicated her life to living for Him.
After years of poverty and persecution in Vietnam, Russia, and Cuba, Kim and her husband resettled in Canada where they tried to rebuild their lives. But she still felt unease, with nightmares interrupting her sleep.
“For many years I had lived in outright fear, knowing that I was always within two or three days’ time of being detained by communist minders. The incessant guardedness left me cynical and exhausted, and I had simply had enough. I determined in my heart that I would no longer live like that, always fretful over what the days might hold, always fearing the worst.
I went to Toan (her husband) and said that I would no longer live in fear, that I would practice the courage Jesus promises his followers all through Scripture. I recounted several Bible verses, especially the idea that we are no longer slaves to fear because we have been adopted into the very family of God. (verse 15, above)
I will stop running from my fears, from my picture, from my past. Starting now I refuse to hide.
The following morning I woke with fresh resolve, determined to simply live my life.”
Now Kim’s dedication to her Christian faith and to sharing her joy and peace takes her all over the world. She has met Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, billionaire Richard Branson, and the grand duke and duchess of Luxembourg. She speaks to business people, government officials, college students, and the news media. She has been awarded six honorary doctorates.
In her speeches and in this memoir she explains what compels her to leave her home in Canada several times a year to tell her story and urge the world to embrace forgiveness and love.
“My faith in Jesus Christ is what enabled me
to forgive those who had wronged me
to pray for my enemies rather than curse them
to love them, not just tolerate them, but to love them. “
Kim founded a non-profit organization KIM Foundation International to serve children who are disabled, disenfranchised, or displaced as she was as a child in Vietnam.
I found Kim’s book riveting, challenging, and faith-building and I believe you will also. Kim’s belief in and reliance on the power of prayer challenges me to pray more for my friends and family and expect answers.
Please let me know how this book speaks to you.
I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House Publishers.
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