Lost on a Mountain in Maine

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Here are a couple reflections on the book Lost on a Mountain in Main.

Twelve year old Donn Fendler becomes lost on Maine’s highest peak, Mount Kathadin. Donn spends the next nine days trapped alone in a deadly, miserable wilderness with an abundance of cold, rain, bugs, sharp rocks, and lethal precipices.

Throughout the adventure, despite great pain, fatigue, fear, and hunger, Donn shows extraordinary courage and a will to live.

The reader joins Donn in his fight to survive the brutal wilderness as he spends more than a week alone, with no more than the clothes on his back.

Here is an excerpt from the book, which you can buy here:

“… I had come back to the same sign. For a second I was stunned. I just stood there looking at it. I knew now, for sure, that I was lost. I was running in a circle. I didn’t know what to do, so I stumbled around looking for other marks, on that same trail. I guess I went a long way over rocks and over pucker bush and sometimes under it too, searching and hunting for another trail marker. I didn’t find any, but I kept going down. I remember that. After a while, I came to a place where there was a lot of gravel, and boy, was it slippery! That place was dangerous, for a slip might mean a bad fall – maybe a hundred feet or more. I slowed down. I could imagine myself lying there, in the cold and dark, with a sprained ankle. Meanwhile the rocks were getting bigger and bigger…”

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Rescue the Captors

IMG_7331The book, Rescue the Captors, is an amazing autobiography by a 28 year old bush pilot who flies dangerous mission flights in Columbia.  It is a true story, written from within a Marxist guerrilla camp, of how a young pilot named Russell is captured by soldiers who mistake him for the son of a wealthy American, but he is actually just from a small missionary family.

Here is a section, describing his kidnappers:

Unknown to those on the outside, Russell had sized up the situation and decided that most of his captors where really captives – of a negative, violent mentality inconsistent with even their own ideals.  He decided that instead of viewing his kidnapping as a terrible disaster, he would look at it as an opportunity to Rescue the Captors.

Rescue the Captors is a powerful story; filled with interesting discussions, adventure, and high-flying fun, including gunfights, fighter plane battles, and drug-busting adventures!  This book is not your average missionary story, and is a great read for anyone, young or old.

It has the perfect mix of adventure, history, politics, and much more, all woven into one spectacular story.  When Russell is captured, he decides not to just sit and mope, but instead uses it as an opportunity to share the good news of God’s love to his captors.  It is really quite a fascinating story, and I recommend it to each and every one of you.

Here is a small section to give you a taste of the book, from an early scene where the main character is trying to escape:

About twenty yards away, he threw his German assault rifle to his shoulder.  With a terrible look of hatred on his face, he pulled the trigger.  His gun went “click.”  It had misfired.  Quickly raising my revolver I sighted for his chest and pulled the trigger.  The hammer fell on an empty cartridge – I was out of bullets!  Giovani, seeing my gun, hit the dirt, falling behind a tree.  I could hear him trying to chamber a new round, but he seemed to be having trouble with his gun.  I frantically tried to break the nylon cord, dragging Manuel a few yards in the process.  I threw myself down on the ground, behind the only cover I could find – a clump of banana trees.  The rope was tight around my right arm and neck, choking me.  I clawed frantically in my pocket hoping to find more cartridges and reload my revolver.  I new the bananas wouldn’t stop the bullets the guerrillas would soon be shooting at me.

As I lay there, literally at the end of my rope, I wondered what it would feel like to die.  It appeared to me that my life would end in just a few seconds.  I was powerless to do anything about it, so I lowered my head and waited for the end to come…

 

It really inspired me to realize that the circumstances that seem so terrible to us, can really be made into opportunities to share God’s love.

 

Rascal

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Written in 1963, the book Rascal, by Sterling North, is set in 1918, during the First World War (also called the Great War).  It is one of Sterling North’s autobiographies.  The first time I read it, it instantly moved up near the top of my favorite books “list”.

It is about an eleven year old boy (Sterling) who does all the things every kid might wish to do, that aren’t possible in most cases.  He starts building a canoe in the living room, keeps pets of all different kinds, and can do pretty much whatever he wants during the day.

Rascal, his pet raccoon (the one the book is named after) is always getting himself into trouble of one kind or another.  Somehow though, Sterling usually finds a way to evade the threats from angry or startled neighbors.

This book is a great read for anyone, young or old.  I highly recommend it to all you scouters!

Here is the first paragraph of the book:

“It was May, 1918, that a new friend and companion came into my life: a character, a personality, and a ring-tailed wonder.  He weighed less than one pound when I discovered him, a furry ball of utter dependence, and awakening curiosity, unweaned and defenseless.  Wowser and I where immediately protective.  We would have fought any boy or dog in town who sought to harm him.”

Out of five stars I would give it five.