Tombstones and Banana Trees
Published by David Cook
Source: Review Book from B & B Media
This novel takes your breath away. A modern day Job story in a child package. Birungi was abused since he was in his mother’s womb, kicked by his father. His father’s increasing drinking let to continuous violence on the entire family both physically and verbally until his father abandoned them all together, leaving them on the side of the road with only the clothes on their backs. In a country like Uganda and the family ties that are in place, Birungi’s family was shunned and had never been at such a low place. Rage ravished Birungi as he continued to have horror and trauma explode his days. Amazing how all could be lost and yet, he was able to lose even more. Intense acts of violence and family members stolen from him, Birungi had no trust in anyone and had not experienced the unconditional love that comes from Christ alone.
A children’s choir came to Birungi’s school and spoke about Jesus, his love and forgiveness. Birungi was so enraged he ran away and hopped on the long bus ride home to his mother, only to discover that he couldn’t outrun Christ. He accepted the Lord that day, forgave all the past, proclaimed the name of Christ to his village, and his Mother also was saved. He was the first teen in his village to become a born again believer. What a change in his family and those around him to see the great things God had done!
This novel is profound. I have never read about such abuse, such grave circumstances, and such hopelessness. I personally was glad for the background information Birungi gave on his mother’s Rwanda heritage, the Uganda people, and the wars that forced such hatred among the people. The background information on the family structures and the ‘norms’ for the country helped me to leave the comfort zone of what I know in America, to realize the vast differences of life in other countries.
I am amazed by Birungi’s transformation, and his personal testimony. Who can argue with that? You can go up to a stranger and speak to them of the Word of God and typically many will argue and dismiss you. But to give one’s own testimony and have such a rich “revolutionary forgiveness” to it, there is no opposition.
Birungi was brought up out of the ashes, out of despair to a place of forgiveness and transformation that he shares with all to know. Phenomenal story.
I highly recommend this book, to step out of the comfort zone we have, and realize the extreme poverty and difficulties that others around the world are suffering. You will also see that our God is in these places and continues to work miracles to this day.
And I must add that the Title of the book is just fantastic!!
I received a copy of this book from B & B media group in exchange for an honest review.
Tombstones and Banana Trees: A True Story of Revolutionary Forgiveness
by Medad Birungi with Craig Borlase
David C Cook/July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7814-0502-7/208 pages/paperback/$14.99