Authors: John and Bessie Gonleh with Bruce Beakley
Published by Winepress Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-57921-930-7

Click Here To Purchase Refuge: A True Story of Faith and Civil War

 In ‘Refuge,’ John and Bessie Gonleh share their story of surviving the Liberian Civil War and their twenty-year journey to freedom and safety in the United States. The book was published with the assistance of first-time author Bruce Beakley.

From the first pages where we meet Beakley and come to understand how he was drawn to the Gonlehs, it is evident that a divine hand was involved in this project. And perhaps it is due to this heavenly influence that an engineer by trade was able to co-author a book with a couple who also have no background in writing. What they have accomplished together is a dramatic and gripping description of the hardships and triumphs of living as refugees as told in the alternating voices of John and Bessie.

There are some horrific tales in this book. The Gonlehs have lived through experiences that no one should have to endure. And yet through it all, they have maintained a level of faith that is both inspirational and undeniable. For instance, when John was taken prisoner after soldiers burned down his home, he did not give in to anger, bitterness, and thoughts of revenge. Instead, he continued to pray and encouraged others to do the same. He conveys that, “…after living in this hell with constant stress, physical pain, and hunger for a week, I now prayed like a battle-hardened spiritual warrior. Rather than being beaten up spiritually like some of my cell mates, somehow the deprivation reinforced my prayers.”

For those of us who only have media accounts of the atrocities in far-off, war-torn parts of the world faced by people such as the Gonlehs, this first-hand chronicle gives us an inside look at the lives of refugees, child soldiers, and the challenges facing immigrants. Through autobiographies such as this, we come to know the people involved as something other than mere statistics. They are living, breathing human beings who share our hopes, dreams, and commitments. They are families struggling to stay alive and mourning those who do not live to tell the story.

Refuge’ will leave you in awe of the Creator who gave us the amazing ability to adapt and persevere in the worst of circumstances. It is also a reminder to appreciate what we have and count our blessings while we can for we never know what tomorrow may bring or what God has in store for us.

Click Here To Purchase Refuge: A True Story of Faith and Civil War