Day of the Elephants
By: Ron Swager and Ed Chinn
Try to imagine that you are an eight-year-old boy living a village life of peace, safety, and familial love. But, suddenly, you are caught in the explosion of death. In an instant, everything familiar is destroyed. You leave your childhood forever. For the next twenty years, you see the darkest possibilities of humanity. And then, you touch the majestic beauty and grace that triumph over the darkness. This is a story you won't forget.
This is one of those stories that will cause you to look at your own life and realize that no matter how "bad" you may think things are, they could be worse. Roland Deah was a young boy who had his whole life turned upside down, went through unimaginable horrors, and still manages to keep a positive attitude and focused on Jesus. I am amazed at what he has overcome and the way God intervened so many times in his life, truly showing that His plans are for our good.
While the writing is not amazing,(Ron Swager primarily writes manuals and business plans) the story is such that it doesn't matter. Ron Swager meets Roland Deah when Roland shows up to apply for a part time job. He then begins to tell his story, and this is the story that Ron Swager shares with us.
Towards the end of the book, Roland (already in America) questions why the atrocities in Liberia are not on our news channels. How can we as a country not see the killing of so many people as being news worthy? I ask the same question. While I knew the history of Liberia's creation before this book, I was admittedly unfamiliar with the struggles and strife in the country today. This book puts a name and a face to the reality of what is going on in that country.
But Day of the Elephants does so much more than that. It reminds us that although the bull elephants may fight, the grass does not always lose (despite the African proverb that says otherwise). We are not alone in this, and although terrible things may happen around us and even to us, we can overcome them with Jesus. He never leaves us or forsakes us.
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