A Story Only God Could Have Orchestrated
It was just about two years ago this month that I sat across a restaurant table from Okongo Samson. I’d known some of his story of abduction, escape, imprisonments, torture, and emotional/spiritual healing, but only bits and pieces.
I asked him to unfold more details. As he did, one thing became crystal clear to me – the world needed to hear the story of what God did in Okongo’s life. Why? Because while hope is in seemingly short supply these days, it is well within the reach of everyone. And because God’s amazing work in Okongo’s journey could be an inspiring source of hope for readers that, “If God worked in his life in such a miraculous way, I believe He can do it for me.”
I leaned across the table, locked eyes with Okongo, and said emphatically, “This story has to be told in a book You gotta do it!” He responded, “Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t tell me the same thing. Write a book! But I don’t have any idea how to do that.”
I responded, “Well, I do. I have a good friend who helps new writers turn their God stories into books.”
Within a few days; Okongo, his wife Shyla, and I met with editor extrordinaire Adam Colwell. Now, nearly two years and a great deal of work later, Abducted but not Forsaken: How one man’s escape from a notorious terrorist brought hope to Africa is in print and ebook form. Soon it will be an audiobook as well.
We’re already hearing from readers whose lives are being impacted by the book’s message of hope. I’m one of them. Without question the book is a real “page-turner.” Just as I thought I’d close the book for a while as soon as I finished a chapter, I’d have to read “just one more.” Okongo’s transparency regarding his own personal struggles with doubt and anger – even anger with God – following unspeakable abuse in several prisons, is both heart-rending and heart-warming. But far more impactful is how God walked with Okongo every step of what countless times seemed to him like an impossible journey or worse, a dead end.
I found myself thinking page after page, My journey is a piece of cake compared to what this man went through. How could I ever again doubt that God will see me through anything I face?
But what I found to be the most important message of Abducted but not Forsaken was the healing, transformational power of unconditional love and forgiveness. I won’t share any “spoiler” info here, but there is a stunning twist to Okongo’s journey recounted toward the end of the book that only God could have orchestrated. A powerful reminder that seeds of love and forgiveness sowed faithfully into even the hardest of hearts can be cultivated by God to bring a rich harvest of transformation.
Trust me. If you read one book this year besides your Bible, read this book. This heartfelt, incredible story will help you find hope in your pain and hardships—and know that you will never be forsaken as you trust in the Lord for your transformation. Learn more at www.Unite4Africa.org
Board Vice Chairman
Unite for Africa