Saturday, November 8, 2008

Book Review: Out of the Black Shadows by Stephen Lungu

As is my habit whenever I read a captivating story, I must finish it in one reading. I have never learned anything about delayed gratification. It is no wonder then that I struggle so to fight sin with the future joy of heaven. However, with books I find it no fault, it only means that I sleep little and must fight sloth the next days.

This book is an account of the life of Stephen Lungu who grew up in what is present-day Zimbabwe. Abandoned by his father as a toddler, his mother also abandons him by the age of eight. Stephen is the eldest of three and must provide for them. Early on, he escapes his aunts who resentfully have been putting up with the three children. Stephen grows up on the streets, forming a gang in his early teens and eventually getting involved with the revolutionary party who is attempting to destabilize the government all forms of unrest, riots, petrol bombs, attacks etc...
On way to bomb a Christian gathering, God reveals himself to young Stephen, who repents and gives his life to God. From that day onward, Stephen Lungu is a different person and goes on to become an evangelist with a great heart of compassion for the lost people around him, as he himself was saved from a life of misery.

That is a very short summary of the book. There are good twists and some profound insights into God. While I would have liked to know more about his reading of the Bible, I appreciated the description of the men that shaped Stephen Lungu's life, especially Patrick Johnstone, the author of Operation World. I also benefitted from Lungu's humble account of the events in his life. I've never met him, but I'm led to believe that it isn't false modesty. Because of his childhood, Stephen was brought up to believe that he had no worth and that it was his fault that his parents abandoned the family. Only God's miraculous hand is able to heal his view of himself.

I recommend the book to everyone that enjoys a well written and exciting biography.

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