I love to read books, and I love to read stories of people who are inspired to help others because of their love for Christ. This short book is Riley's memoir of how God moved her heart at a young age (11), to begin loving on the people of Kenya, and how it's become a life mission.
At the age of 11, Riley approached her parents about traveling to Kenya to visit her aunt and uncle who were there as missionaries. In order to pay for the trip, she sacrificed her birthday and Christmas gifts and after her first visit, she was determined to return again and again - each time taking more people with her. She would go and learn about their needs, then come home and spend her extra time raising funds and donations for a return trip. I think the fact that Riley was so young when God started moving in her life is what speaks to me most about this story. As a mother of girls who are 10 and 12, I am moved and encouraged when I see young girls selflessly responding to the needs of others. And I loved reading how supportive Riley's parents were of her crazy ideas, trusting God to provide each step of the way.
When Riley was 16, she was diagnosed with a rare medical condition and she learned she would never be able to have children of her own. By this time she had plenty of children in a far away country that needed her and loved her. She continues to minister to the children of Kenya with her husband through her non-profit organization Generation Next. When her husband completes school here in the US, they plan to move to Kenya and be surrounded by the people and children they have fallen in love with.
This book is full of hope and joy despite some very difficult circumstances. I'll be placing this on my shelf and hope my own girls will pick it up to read. I hope they do, and I hope they find encouragement that despite their young age, God has plans for them.
I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for this review.