I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even for someone such as myself who reads a ridiculous amount of books a year, it is rare to read one that changes your life, but this book did just that. I am looking at everything through different eyes because of this true story.
Caitlin and Martin were put together as pen pals as a school assignment, and ended up being the only kids to continue to faithfully write each other. Martin's promise to always write back was harder to keep than anyone knew, because his family was so poor that even postage for his next letter had to be worked for for weeks. Once Caitlin discovered just how poor Martin and his family were, it started her on a journey to make a difference in the lives of her best friend, his family, and his village.
What absolutely blew me away here was the stark contrast between Martin's simple life of poverty (and yet contentment!) and Caitlin's life of American wealth, so easily taken for granted. (I couldn't help but compare it to my own.) Many, many times while reading this I was moved to tears of shame when I remember how often I complain about so many things, and long for so many better things, when I should be on my knees thanking God for the abundance of riches I enjoy every single day. I have never missed a meal. I have never slept on a wet, muddy floor. I have never worried about not getting the education I need to succeed in life. I have never not had dressers and a closet overflowing with clothes I hardy ever wear. The list goes on.
This book was like the missions trip I never had. It opened my eyes so much and has gotten me back into the "1000 Gifts" mentality. All is grace. Give thanks always. We are blessed with so much and need to be looking for opportunities to share the wealth we are given with others.
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