Reading a book that is well-written is simply a pleasure. Unbroken, from Laura Hillenbrand, is one of those books.

It is the compelling story of Louis Zamperini, an olympic runner in the 1936 Berlin Olympics (along with Jesse Owens), who subsequently becomes a POW in a Japanese prison camp. His harrowing story of ditching a rescue plane at sea, the 47 days adrift in a couple of flimsy life rafts with two other survivors, their ultimate capture, torture and malnutrition will have you longing for the next chapter.

 

What struck me most about his story is the toll that suffering takes on a person. When personal dignity is stripped and hope is lost, people are not the same - even when they return to "normal" life. The need to process those experiences and the inability to distance themselves from the darkness leads to a downward spiral. Alcohol became the means that many used to self-medicate after returning from the horrors of war and Louis submitted himself and his family to many cruel days once under its cruel grip.

Not wanting to publish the spoilers as the biography develops, do understand that redemption is real. And lasting.

Word has it that the book is under development for the big screen - Nicolas Cage is supposedly interested in playing the role.

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Keith Gandy - GermanyKeith Gandy - Germany

Keith, originally from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been planting a church in Aschaffenburg, Germany for over thirty years. Daughter churches have also been started and missionaries have been sent out of the congregation. Annually, he participates in encouraging other European church-planters and frequently travels to visit them in their respective field of service.

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