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A Twist of Faith
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Moment in an African Field

Chapter 2: The Road to Africa

Chapter 3: Oprah: One of Many

Chapter 4: An Education in Malawi

Chapter 5: Distant Struggles, Common Bonds

Chapter 6: A Grave Loss and a Daunting Challenge

Chapter 7: The Lure of Orphanages

Chapter 8: A Matter of Faith

Chapter 9: Breaking a Cycle

Acknowledgments

A Note on Sources

About the Author

For more than thirty years, John Donnelly has reported in regions far from the United States, starting with the civil wars of Central America, delving into the political violence in Haiti, drawing out tales of conflict and peace in the Middle East and Asia, and then landing in Africa, where he feels most at home. In Africa, where he traveled as a staff reporter for the Boston Globe and later as a Kaiser Family Foundation fellow, he became intrigued by the steady stream of Americans with big hearts and big ambitions whose adventures are told in this book.

Reviews

"Through the story of David Nixon's faith-driven journey to save the destitute in Malawi, John Donnelly explores the tenets of true service to underserved communities and accompaniment of the poor, while focusing a shrewd reporter's gaze on the efforts of various American aid organizations in Africa. He offers a compelling account of the great joy, frustration, and personal sacrifice inherent in addressing the urgent moral claim of the poor on a Christian conscience."-Paul Farmer, author of Haiti After the Earthquake

"Donnelly sheds light on the faith-inspired armies of compassion who have responded to a call to serve in Africa. By telling the personal story of the founder of one organization, we learn the fundamental truth that regardless of the sums of money involved, service requires human interaction, humility, and an openness to otherness."-Ambassador Mark R. Dybul, co-director, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University

"In A Twist of Faith, John Donnelly documents the twisting road traveled by many from a faith-motivated righteous commitment to Africa's AIDS orphans to the far more difficult destination of doing the right thing. His protagonist David Nixon is an archetype for dozens of well-intentioned Americans I have met who triumphed or failed miserably in direct proportion to the degree that they were able to acquire humility, embrace African family and community values, and overcome the perception that they knew best what African children needed to thrive. An instructive and compelling read."-Warren Buckingham, first recipient of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Lifetime Achievement Award

"A Twist of Faith beautifully tells the story of an American Christian whose commitment to Africa's orphans moves him from confidence, passion and determination to humility, wisdom and dependence. Along the way he slowly learns the best practices that can truly honor a culture and its children. An important book for anyone who wants to be God's hands and feet in our broken world."-Lynne Hybels, author of Nice Girls Don't Change the World

"A rousing good read and cautionary tale of one man's mission to help AIDS orphans in Africa-and how good intentions can pave the road to hell..."-Humanosphere, KPLU's blog

"Mr. Donnelly does a masterful job of slowly unraveling the troubled, complex, mutilayered Mr. Dixon."-United Methodist Reporter

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