Isn’t it awesome to see the ways God works? I love reading stories of God drastically shifting lives for His glory. Plus I love Africa and my visit there is still one of my favorite trips. Since this book combined the two, I couldn’t resist!
Riley Unlikely is the inspiring story of Riley Banks, who first traveled to Kenya at age 13, and has been back every year since bringing backpacks of school supplies and hygiene kits for young girls, developing relationships and friendships, and is currently, as a young millennial, raising money to build a complete learning complex in Kibwezi, Kenya for those who have nothing.
At age sixteen Riley learned that, because of a rare medical condition, she would never be able to have her own children. Devastating news to most young women, especially those who love children and have always dreamed of having their own family. But Riley’s response was: Kenya has given me a thousand children.
Riley’s stories of her trips to Kenya, her struggles to figure out how to best serve and care for these people she has fallen in love with, and her own unexpected health issues are funny, compelling and gripping. Readers will find that God writes surprising stories in the lives of those who follow Him. Hard to put down, Riley Unlikely will inspire you to pursue your dreams and make a difference in your own world—and around the world.
“The beauty of watching God work is that His ways are so utterly unlike ours that often his moves seem to come out of nowhere.”
What an encouraging read! I love these kinds of stories. I never tire of hearing the ways God works. This was not only the story of a teenager who was deeply over after a visit to Kenya, but also of God’s refining when hard things happen (both in Africa and in her personal life).
One thing I appreciated from Riley was her willingness to be honest about her initial reaction and thoughts on her first trip to Kenya. There’s definite cultural differences and it’s an adjustment, especially when you’re a young teenager. But I love too, that through the story we see how God removed those barriers and how her heart grew more and more to those of Kenya.
This book was encouraging on many levels and such a reminder that God’s ways are not our ways, but always so much more than we can imagine. Can I get an amen for that?
I think everyone would be encouraged by this, and especially teenagers. More than ever culture tells them that teenage years should look a certain way, but age doesn’t limit the Lord. We don’t have to wait to reach a certain point or be a certain age for the Lord to do something incredible for His glory.
I’ll also be featuring Riley over at She Laughs next month for my Difference Maker Series, so be on the lookout for that!
Who has recently inspired you recently? I’d love to hear!!
(Thank you to Zondervan for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)