Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Dream So Big by Steve Peifer

book cover
A Dream So Big
by Steve Peifer
with Gregg Lewis

ISBN-13: 9780310326090
Hardcover: 326 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: March 19, 2013

Source: Review copy from the publisher through

Book Description, Modified from Booksneeze:
Steve Peifer was a corporate manager who oversaw 9,000 computer software consultants in America. When Steve and his wife, Nancy, discovered they were pregnant with their third child, doctors told them that a chromosomal condition left their baby “incompatible with life.” The Peifers only spent 8 days with baby Stephen before he died.

Seeking to flee the pain, Steve and Nancy accepted a 12-month position as dorm parents for missionary kids at a Kenyan boarding school. This thrust them into a third-world setting where daily life was often defined by tragedy---drought, disease, poverty, hunger, and death. Their surroundings spoke to their hearts.

Steve wanted to end tears of hunger. Today, Steve helps provide daily lunches for over 20,000 Kenyan school children in thirty-five national public schools and maintains solar-powered computer labs at twenty rural African schools.

My Review:
A Dream So Big is a memoir by a missionary in Kenya. This is the story of why this family went to Africa on a short-term mission trip (which turned into a long-term one), about his work at the missionary school as a dorm parent, teacher, etc., about the differences between American and Kenyan cultures, and about their travels to various parts of Kenya. It describes how Steve's heart was touched by the sight of children faint and crying from hunger and how he started a program to provide free lunches (and, later, computer training centers) at nearby schools.

Kenya and its people are vividly described. Steve made me really care about the Kenya kids and missionary kids. The situation of the poor in Kenya really touched my heart. I wasn't aware things were so bad there or that that it costs so little to feed one child for a month. I'm glad Steve is providing a way for people to help the Kenya kids. I'd highly recommend this book to those who like stories about other cultures and/or missionary stories.

These quotes are a good summary of the heart of the book. From page 170: "I knew I couldn't do anything about world hunger. But surely, I thought, I can provide lunch for the kids in that one school. Not doing something would be making peace with the idea of hungry children--not starving, faceless children on the far side of the world but African neighbors who now looked so much like my own Katie and Ben."

And from page 322: "If [God] can use me, he can use anyone for his purposes. He can use even you. Wherever you are. Wherever you go. You don't need special talents, special training, or even a special calling to get your own story started. It's not that hard if you have eyes and ears. See the needs all around you. Hear the cries. Accept the gift of tears. And do whatever little thing he asks you to do, if only to feed a child lunch or to teach kids basic computer skills. I promise. Once you find his purpose for you, you too will discover a dream so big."

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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