The Mission of Rick Hodes
On Sale: April 20, 2010
Featuring: Rick Hodes
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Passionately written by journalist Marilyn Berger, This
is a Soul is the moving and inspiring story of Dr. Rick
Hodes, an American doctor living in Ethiopia, who has
devoted his life to caring for the sickest of the sick and
the poorest of the poor. Dr. Hodes’s life and work makes for
fascinating reading, especially for those who have been
profoundly touched by Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond
Mountains and Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea.
"Whoever Saves a Life, It Is Considered as If He Saved an
Dr. Rick Hodes arrived in Africa more than two decades ago
to help the victims of a famine, but he never expected to
call this extremely poor continent his home. Twenty-eight
years later, he is still there.
This Is a Soul tells the remarkable story of Rick
Hodes's journey from suburban America to Mother Teresa's
clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As a boy, Rick was devoted
to helping those in need, and eventually he determined that
becoming a doctor would allow him to do the most good. When
he heard about famine in Africa, that's where he went, and
when genocide convulsed Rwanda, he went into the refugee
camps to minister to the victims. When he was told that
Ethiopia was allowing its Jews to emigrate to Israel, he
went to help. While there, he was drawn to Mother Teresa's
mission in Addis Ababa. It was there that Rick found his
calling when he began caring for the sickest children in one
of the world's poorest countries. But he did more than
that—he began taking them into his home and officially
adopted five of them.
This Is a Soul is also a book filled with great joy
and triumph. When Rick's kids return from surgery or
life-saving treatments, he is exultant. "Seeing these people
after surgery is like going to heaven," he says.
Marilyn Berger went to Africa to write about Dr. Hodes, but
while there, she became involved with the story. When she
came upon a small, deformed, and malnourished boy begging on
the street, she recognized immediately that he had the exact
disease Rick could cure. She took him to Rick, who
eventually arranged for the boy to have a complicated and
risky surgery, which turned out to be incredibly successful.
The boy's story—intertwined with Rick's, and Marilyn's as
well—is unforgettable in its pathos and subtle humor.
This Is a Soul is not just a story of the savior and
the saved, it is a celebration of love and wisdom, and an
exploration of how charity and devotion can actually change
lives in an overcrowded, unjust, and often harsh world.
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