Hope Runs – Book Review

She went to Kenya to climb a mountain. But God had other plans.

When Claire Díaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mount Kenya, and then head back home. She entered an orphanage, seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek.

Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with several other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage, seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.

Hope Runs is the emotional story of one American tourist, one Kenyan orphan, and how one day became one year that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It’s about opening your heart to outrageous possibilities. It’s about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see.

It’s about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.


I liked that the story was told from two different perspectives. It added depth to the story and they were written in a different way so it wasn’t confusing figuring out who was speaking. I enjoyed hearing Sammy’s story of what brought him to the orphanage but also of his experiences in the orphanage. I didn’t relate as well to Claire’s story nor enjoy it as much as Sammy’s.

This book made me think about short term missions trips and how they don’t really help those they are meant to. There were plenty of people who were in Sammy’s life one day and out the next. It made me think of how short term missions trips are more for the person going than for anyone else.

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