Book Review: What They Meant For Evil

This book is so beautiful. The author, Rebecca Deng, narrates her own harrowing life where trauma starts in her small village located in South Sudan. She as a young girl experienced what no person at any age will likely or should have to experience. Her story starts in the mid-1980’s as the Sudanese government is involved in a civil war with rebel fighters who have become fed up with the government’s tyrannical rule over them. It was honestly hard for me to follow who was part of her people and the people that were invading her village continually. It seemed like all of Sudan was in an uproar because of several groups of people fighting. Civilians lost their homes, livelihoods, families and were disconnected from everything they knew. 

Eventually, Deng ends up in a refugee camp with some of her relatives. It’s an awful place to live but it’s her first opportunity to go to school and learn. Best of all, her faith in Jesus grows as she is invited to church with an encouraging group community.  I felt like the author was telling her story in a way to build up the suspense because she saw a glimmer of hope when she was given the chance to go the United States. At that point she had been living in the refugee camp for eight years. And bad things happened to her and others over and over again so I was preparing myself for the worst. 

Despite the ugliness of the world she had to endure, she flourishes in her faith and let God lead her to her purpose. In addition to writing a beautiful book, she has built a beautiful life for herself and others around her. As the book title indicates, what was meant for evil, God turned to good. I rate the book 5 out of 5