This is a truly amazing and inspirational story.
John’s childhood experiences of deep rejection, that framed his early years and led him down a path of trauma fuelled self-destruction, are horrifying to read. This was then compounded when he suffered neglect at the hands of the foster care system – a system that of course should have been protecting and nurturing, but completely failed him. As a foster carer, I found this so hard to read and felt I just wanted to apologise to John.
Even though it happened 40 to 50 years ago, and I like to believe that safeguards are in place now to ensure this sort of abuse could not happen, the lack of care is truly astonishing and disgraceful. And sadly it left a trail of trauma that many may not have escaped from in the way that John has.
In John’s case, by the amazing grace of God, he was rescued. It is an amazing story of salvation, a life back on track, called and dedicated to serving and supporting young people who find themselves in similar circumstances. The culmination of this part of the story was God’s hand in leading John to manage the Eden bus ministry at the Message Trust in Manchester.
It is worth noting that this book was published 20 years ago and the vision and works of the Message Trust look to be still going very strong – do look them up at www.message.org.uk
I see there is a follow up book to this one, called Somebody’s Child, sharing some of the stories of John’s adventures in partnership with God… it’s on my “To Be Read” list now.