Tag Archives: life

Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness & Peace

FireRoad

A story full of pain. A story full of hope. A story full of anger. A story full of forgiveness. Does this sound like your life? It certainly sounds like mine! It also sounds (in the extreme!) like the story of Kim Phuc Phan Thi. You may have seen her picture. She’s the famous “napalm girl” whose picture was snapped by a young photographer as she ran naked, screaming, and severely burned down a Dang Trang Vietnam road. The photographer who took the iconic photograph scooped Kim up and rushed her to a nearby hospital where, initially, they refused to treat the girl. After some arm-twisting and showing of credentials, he convinced the hospital to take her in and they arranged her transfer to Saigon. When she arrived, unconscious, at First Children’s Hospital she was deemed hopeless and taken to languish in the morgue.

It is from these horrors that a story of survival, hope, and peace rose like a Phoenix. Her survival from burns was only the beginning of Kim’s remarkable story. Living under the oppressive system of Communism, Kim continued to suffer loss after loss. She had been introduced to the Christian religion but had stopped attending services regularly. She was so despondent that she planned her own death, but somehow she found the will to cry out to God…a simple prayer. With that prayer, and action she took in faith that God had heard her petition, things began to turn around for Kim Phuc.

Her book, Fire Road, tells the remarkable and inspiring story of redemption and grace in Kim’s life. I found myself writing down quotes and thinking of applications to my own life as I read her words. Kim is an inspiring role model. Her story teaches lessons that are hard to forget because they were lived, not just preached. I can’t recommend this book enough!

*I was provided with a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Filed under Autobiography, Christian, Non-Fiction, women

Heaven is Here

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Stephanie and Christian Nielson had a fairytale life. They had a wonderful marriage, were deeply in love, and had four small children under the age of six years old. It was a life that most would envy. Stephanie, a stay at home mom, had a very successful blog. Christian had his dream job and had just become a pilot. They had large, supportive families. In July 2008 Stephanie and Christian were nearly killed when the small plane they were in crashed. The other occupant of the plane died, and Stephanie and Christian were critically injured. Stephanie had burns over 80% of her body and was not expected to live.

After three months in a coma, Stephanie awoke in a burn center in Arizona. Stephanie had plenty of reasons to just give up. Her life now consisted of a seemingly endless series of excruciating procedures to recover from her extensive burns. Her face, so beautiful and full of life before the accident, was now horrifically disfigured. Her youngest daughter couldn’t even look Stephanie in the face and her “baby”, young Nicholas (“Gigs”) did not recognize her at all. She felt terribly guilty for the pain that her children were experiencing. It was a nightmare.

Stephanie fought through the pain, the depression, and the despair and little by little, through the love of her Heavenly Father, emerged from a place that can only be described as hell on earth. Her courage, faith and tenacity are nothing short of inspirational. Her story is one that will change your life.

In her book, Stephanie says, “I wasn’t convinced (that ‘Heaven is Here’ should be the title of the book, as suggested by her editor). I know that there is a heaven awaiting me that is infinitely more beautiful that our life on Earth (but)…insofar as heaven is a joyful place filled with people you love, and where you feel peaceful and genuinely happy, then it’s true. Heaven is right here.”

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Filed under Christian, Non-Fiction, women