Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to AIDS, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with seven other children and very little food. He entered Tumaini Children's Home seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.
When Claire Diaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mt. Kenya, then head back home to Maine. She entered Tumaini Children's Home seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek.
God had other plans.
Hope Runs is the emotional story of an American tourist, a Kenyan orphan, and the day that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It's about what it means to live in the now when the world is falling down around you. It's about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see. Most of all, it's about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.
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"Tavia Gilbert brings a soft, feminine tone to this double memoir about Christian charity work in Kenya. Sammy Ikua Gachagua describes his life growing up in a Christian orphanage. Claire Diaz-Ortiz tells of traveling to Kenya and meeting Sammy as part of her missionary work. Later, Claire returns to the orphanage to train marathon runners through her own charity Hope Runs, inspired by Sammy. Speaking in a steady, unemotional voice, Gilbert provides little differentiation between Sammy and Claire, whose points of view alternate throughout the production. Without accents, listeners have no sense that Sammy speaks Swahili and Kikuyu along with English. As a result, the story sounds as if it could be set in any poor, rural community. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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