The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace
Who doesn’t remember or has at least seen this iconic photo of Kim Phuc (pronounced fook) Phan Thi running naked down a dirt road in Trang Bang, peeled skin hanging off her arm? Her clothing and skin literally disintegrated off by napalm.
She was so much in the media over the years, and even used in communist propaganda that her true story isn’t as well known as her photo and the propaganda fueled by it. She despised this photo growing up because she felt robbed of an education due to it’s existence. In the end though, God used it to make a way for better things than higher education.
It turns out this astounding woman, left for dead 3 days in a morgue after this shot was taken and she was rushed to a hospital, has survived not only napalm burns over 1/3 of her body, but a hopeless life in communist Vietnam, then Cuba before she was freed by defection. But it still took years for her to find freedom and wholeness for her soul. Living daily with agonizing pain, told she would never bear children, and abused and handled by communist “minders” forcing her to tell media lies for the government, she considered suicide. Seeking strength in a false religion helped her not one bit. If anyone ever tried to work out their salvation and get some relief, it was Kim in CaoDai. (pronounced cow die)
This story was engrossing, and beautifully told. Kim had to learn to forgive to find true freedom. Remarkably, out of war, came a message of peace. The thing really brought home in Kim’s story is that God really does use all things for good. Including being left for dead in the morgue when she was a child.This was one of the bitterest wounds she carried well into her adult years. When you read Kim’s story you go on a faith journey with her, and it’s an intense ride. So much more happened than what that one picture portrays. At the end of the journey you see the way to peace and how much power the love of Jesus really does have in our lives if we embrace Him.
In this book, Kim gets to tell her own story through her own words. God’s faithfulness shines through the haze of rubble and smoke, crosses the borders of various countries, and eases the pain of scars bore on the physical body but more so on the human soul.
This is a book you don’t want to miss. We all have struggles and our own “Fire Road” to walk, if we take a leaf from Kim’s book we can walk with more wisdom and grace.
I thoroughly recommend this book for a thought provoking and faith building read.
*I was given a free copy of this memoir in exchange for an unbiased written review. all opinions are my own.*