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Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jantsen's Gift...Review

About the book:
Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend's invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son's death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called "Touch A Life," dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.

Pam Cope's story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world.

A deeply moving, true story. Pam Cope seemed to have the perfect life, or rather, she was obsessed with creating the perfect life. That life revolved around her husband and two children and all their activities. But, with her 15 year old son Jantsen's sudden death in 1999, her life changed forever. Pam is very open about how her grief drove her into depression and how she struggled to find meaning in her life. Her candor is refreshing as she recounts that after all the years of attending church looking like the perfect Christian family, she really didn't know God at all. But, as she finally turns toward him, her life begins to change again.

Pam and her husband Randy, started a foundation with money that had been donated in Jantsen's name after his death. Wanting a purpose and a legacy for him, they accept an invitation to travel to Vietnam to inspect an orphanage, with the intent of supporting its work. This trip changes their lives. Pam's perspective changes as she realizes how many at-risk children there are in this world. She and her husband adopted two children and have made it their mission in life to help as many others as they can.

Pam speaks of her experiences establishing homes in Vietnam and Ghana, where children who have been sold into slavery or prostitution can be rescued, sheltered and educated. The level of commitment and service that the Cope family has put into this project is amazing. They are an inspiration to people everywhere, that one or two people can truly make a difference in this world.

Thanks to Anna Balasi at Hatchette Book Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can find out more about Pam Cope and the Touch A Life foundation here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 4/09

* * * *

4/5 Stars


  1. This sounds wonderful - I can't wait to read it. Thanks for your review.

  2. I enjoyed this one too. I'm giving away five copies. http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com

  3. This does look like an inspirational book!