The writing wasn't the greatest, but the story was phenomenal. I am familiar with RVA, but had no idea the poverty that surrounded it. His encounter with the local schools was heartbreaking, but he devised a plan to help these dear children. The story is a triumph. I recommend this book highly. It will uplift you and make you very thankful for what you and yours have, as so many live in horrible poverty.
"A Dream So Big: Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger" by Steve Peifer (with Gregg Lewis) is a moving look at how one family's journey through grief led them across the world to Kenya, Africa and how God has used them mightily in that nation.
Steve and Nancy Peifer were not planning on having a third child, but God had other plans for them. Their son, Stephen, was born with Trisomy 13 and died eight days later. As they grieved for their son, they began to feel a need for a change of scenery to escape the all-consuming grief. They met with friends who had worked as teachers at Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school for missionary kids in Kijabe, Kenya. Though that meeting, they found out that there was a need for dorm parents. They signed up through African Inland Mission for a one-year stint, packed up their belongings and their two older sons, and headed for Africa. One year turned into over 14 years.
Over the course of their work there, they have each served in various capacities in the boarding school. Steve had occasionally helped with relief missions delivering food to the families of school kids in nearby villages. But it was entering a classroom and seeing an entire room of kids lying in the dirt because they hadn't eaten in days and were too weak to sit up that caused an eventual shift in Steve's focus and ministry in Kenya.
After soliciting donations, he launched a feeding program through area schools that would provide a hot lunch to students. After these programs began, enrollment increased. As Steve continued to ponder how to help the Kenyan people pull out of the dire poverty and hunger that they lived in, he decided to open computer centers to train students in technology in the hopes that they would be better equipped for the future. The programs have continued to expand and now include Kenyan leadership. Steve continues to work for Rift Valley Academy as their guidance counselor.
This is an amazing book that brings to light such a serious subject that most Westerners would probably prefer to sweep under the rug. The issue of hunger is foreign to most of us in America, but a life-or-death reality that occurs daily in so many other parts of the world. I felt caught up in their journey and found myself cheering them on as they opened their first two feeding programs, as they expanded to include more schools, as they opened their first computer center. It's a fantastic example of how God can use ordinary people for His glory, how God can turn grief into something incredibly beautiful. I highly recommend this book. Be prepared to have your perspective on life altered!
If you are interested in more information about Steve's ministry with the feeding programs and computer centers, please visit their website at kenyakidscan.org.
(Ive received this complimentary book through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)