"Whoever Saves a Life, It Is Considered as If He Saved an Entire
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
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
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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