Monday, February 14, 2011

PASSPORT THROUGH DARKNESS: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances by Kimberly L. Smith

Passport Through Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances is a non-fiction, first-person account of Kimberly L. Smith’s unexpected introduction to sex trafficking in Portugal and how that led to her efforts to rescue orphans from starvation and death in Sudan. Interwoven between her own personal experiences, are stories of the sufferings of Christian Sudanese men, women and children enduring unbelievable circumstances...the loss of their homes and loved ones, torture, rape, maiming, starvation and worse.

Why Christians? Because they are the ones whose villages are burned, with countless numbers killed, tortured, maimed, raped and left homeless by marauding Arab Muslim terrorists, called the Janjaweed. However, the Janjaweed eventually targeted African Muslims who had earlier converted to Islam rather than be killed. The lighter-skinned Arabs call them contemptible, and despite conversion, Sudanese Muslims have also become targets along with the Christians…so much for protecting themselves by converting.

Smith ably describes her own culture shock, and then acceptance and love for the people she tries to help. There is the horror of small orphaned children being carried off by hyena’s or wild dogs. In addition to facing starvation, they all need a safe place to sleep. Many climb into scarce tree tops where they may topple out and be injured, or fall prey to wild animals.

James Lual Atak was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan who gave up an opportunity to come to the USA in favor of helping other abandoned children like he was. It was James who gathered the first 153 orphans to himself and that’s where the orphanage began.

Eventually, using brave Christian men from Kenya willing to risk their lives, “Mama Kimberly” is able to have buildings constructed to shelter many, but not all, of the orphans. Her efforts are limited and many still die, but more live than would have if she had not raised money to provide buildings for the orphanage, food and education.
Although she reveals personal stories of the pain and suffering of a few individuals, she also recounts the problems her trips back and forth between Sudan and the USA caused in her marriage and how they were ultimately resolved.

This book will make you grateful to live in a Western culture and make you want to help others in need through no fault of their own. There are still thousands waiting for help.

This is not a long book, and I wanted more stories of the people in Sudan and those who now survive in the orphanage built there. For more information, here is a link to her organization:

Make Way Partners:

We are grateful to B & B Media Group, Inc. for providing us with a copy to review. 
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (January 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143470212X
ISBN-13: 978-1434702128

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