If you have ever wondered if one person can really make a difference, then you have not read Jantsen’s Gift by Pam Cope. After the tragic death of her son, Pam, a self described hairdresser, wife and soccer mom was unsure how she was going to live through each day. She was desperate, full of self-loathing, her grief was so enormous, she had no idea how she would ever get out of bed to carry on life without him.
One day, desperate, unable to cope, desolate with grief she has a chat with God:
“I cannot do this anymore. I cannot live this life....I cannot forge a life of meaning from this sorrow. Please, just take me. Or at least tell me: What do you want from me.”
Having learned from her husband Randy that the memorial fund established in her son’s name had grown to twenty-five thousand, Pam decides to take a trip to Vietnam with a friend in order to visit orphanages. This initial leap of courage to take a trip that required traveling across the globe away from the comfort zone of Neosho, Missouri, was the impetus that Pam needed to begin her healing.
On her visit she met Vinh Thien a small infant boy, who had been abandoned by his mother. Despite all the many children Pam and Randy had met during their visit, Vinh stood out, and without any explanation, she just knew she wanted to take him home. He would ultimately become Van Alan Cope. It was a long arduous process complete with red tape and bureaucratic double talk, but one that would help to show Pam what her path in life was to be. She was never, or seemingly never, daunted by the insurmountable odds against everything she tried to implement. Her tenacious will seemed to be driven by a purpose unseen until her son’s death. Through Jantsen’s spirit she learned to live differently; perhaps that was his gift.