Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Book Review: Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle (2009).

The best parts of this book begin and end it.

The beginning chronicles how Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell and Tom Howes' plane crashed into the Colombian jungle in 2003, and then records how they were immediately captured by the FARC. Not a good day at the office.

The end tells of their rescue in 2008 through heavy doses of cunning, planning, and daring.

In the middle, the book lags somewhat, as not much happens during their 5-plus years of captivity. It was surprisingly thin on self-reflection. Marc Gonsalves comes the closest when he wrote a "personal life outline" while in captivity. (p. 113.) He decided that:

"1. [He] wanted to be a stronger spiritual leader for [his] family.
"2. [He] wanted to be stronger in the face of distraction or temptation.
"3. [He] wanted to become the best father [he] could be to [his] children.
"4. [He] wanted to become the best husband to [his] wife that [he] could.
"5. [He] wanted to become the most decent, honest, and fair person in [his] everday dealings with other people." (113.)

It's remarkable what trials can do; they can be purify and edify like no other experience. Gonsalves here proves the point.