I'm not good at carving out time for reading. I have the time, I simply get distracted or interrupted by other things, and I have not managed to make reading a priority. Thus it took me several months to read, and finally finish the amazing story that is Three Cups of Tea.
It would probably be an overstatement, at least at this point, to say that the book has changed my life, but it is NOT an overstatement to acknowledge that it has changed me. While reading Greg Mortenson's story of building hope, literally, for villages and families in Pakistan (and eventually, Afghanistan), I found myself at the computer using Google Earth to locate the places where schools were built and lives were transformed. I pay closer attention to the news about both countries, and yesterday I even sat through an online video documentary about a girl and her family whose lives were interrupted and altered when the Taliban closed her school. Not long ago the headline for the story wouldn't even have caught my eye. I have come to know and care about these faraway places and the people whose lives are anchored to them. I am learning about the core issues of those countries that mutate into political interests and battles. A desire has formed in me to learn more, to become better informed, and somehow, using whatever gifts I have to offer, to make a difference.
At the end of the book there is a brief section that suggests ways to help bring awareness to the story of Greg Mortenson's mission to bring peace to a brutalized place through education, especially for girls. Spreading the word is one such way, through emails, web sites or blogs. So here I am. If you have not already read Three Cups of Tea I encourage you to do so. It is an easy read, beautifully told, and utterly captivating. If you have read the book I am eager to hear how it affected you, and if it led you to some form of "action."
At the very least I encourage all of us to pray for the people of a harsh and beautiful land, and for those working to end oppression and bring enduring peace to that region.