Note From The Board – Rod Robinson
How God is Using U4A’s Books to Offer Hope in Christ
The response from the first book to come from Unite 4 Africa, Abducted but not Forsaken, has received overwhelmingly positive response from readers. One reader told us he opened the book one evening but ended up reading chapter after chapter through the night. In the morning he excitedly shared with his wife some of the stories and what God had taught him through them.
Yes, it is a “page-turner” as the reader journeys with Unite 4 Africa’s founder Okongo Samson through his abduction, miraculous escape, multiple imprisonments for sharing the Gospel in closed countries, and healing from the abuses he experienced. But far more than being a true story of harrowing experiences, ultimately, it is a story of God’s faithfulness when all hope seems gone. And it culminates in an assurance of hope through the power of forgiveness.
Why Forgiveness Matters
From the book: “Forgiveness is about goodness, extending grace and mercy to those who have hurt you, even if they don’t deserve it. It is not a quick fix formula you can follow, but it is a process with many steps that often unfolds in a non-linear fashion as the Lord leads you.”
“Forgiveness matters because it can help you increase your self-esteem and sense of worth, and it provides inner strength and safety. Forgiveness can reverse the lies that you often tell yourself when someone has hurt you deeply…. Forgiveness can heal you and propel you forward with meaning and purpose. Forgiveness also allows you to hear God’s voice over your hurt and pain, and it establishes a connection with Him that unforgiveness cuts off.”
Unite 4 Africa is a ministry of hope. And if there is one word that exemplifies our first book, it is “Hope.” Hope through seemingly hopeless circumstances. Hope in God’s faithfulness even when we fall short. And hope because of His forgiveness that we can, in turn, extend toward others.
That theme will be carried forward in future books as well. In fact, we’ll soon be releasing a weekly devotional book titled 52 Weeks of Hope: Inspired by the Book Abducted but not Forsaken. The book features devotionals, scriptures, and hope-inspiring artwork, taking readers from the story of hope in our first book to practical applications in their own lives.
Now, Okongo is at work on a third book titled The Pathway: From Fear to Forgiveness to Freedom. As you can imagine, the journey God traveled with Okongo encompassed many more stories of hope than could be told in the first book. The Pathway will not only share those stories, but will offer teachings on God’s plan to move us forward toward a hope-filled life of freedom in Christ.
Okongo’s first book has opened the doors to radio and podcast interviews heard by hundreds of thousands, speaking opportunities, and sharing in group settings where others can hear and be inspired to trust God and find their hope in Him. It’s an exciting journey watching God use the power of the written and spoken word to spread seeds of hope. Please pray with us that those seeds will continue to bring a rich harvest in many more lives.