Read where the wind leads a refugee family s miraculous story of loss rescue and redemption by Vinh Chung Tim Downs Online


Through a series of miraculous events, a Chinese family, living in Vietnam, joins the ranks of "boat people"and overcomes oppressive struggles to raise its children in the foreign culture of America.At three years of age Vinh Chung and his family of ten fled communist oppression in Vietnam. As legendary "boat people" they were attacked twice by Thai pirates and left for deThrough a series of miraculous events, a Chinese family, living in Vietnam, joins the ranks of "boat people"and overcomes oppressive struggles to raise its children in the foreign culture of America.At three years of age Vinh Chung and his family of ten fled communist oppression in Vietnam. As legendary "boat people" they were attacked twice by Thai pirates and left for dead, adrift on the South China Sea. A World Vision mercy ship stumbled across them and rescued them, eventually relocating them to the tough frontier town of Fort Smith, Arkansas, where they faced poverty, ethnic discrimination, and an almost insurmountable language barrier.The Chung family's inspirational story, as told by Vinh Chung, offers fascinating insights into Asian traditions as it gives the account of three remarkable women who shaped the lives of Vinh and his father.From one dream and a series of providential encounters, to a life of perseverance, sacrifice, and a new faith in God, Vinh excelled and eventually graduated from Harvard Medical School. He and his siblings hold five master's degrees and five doctorates. This is Vinh's family's extraordinary journey.The book includes sixteen pages of black and white photos of the rescue, difficult first years, and the family today. And at the author's request, all royalties due to the author will go to World Vision for their relief efforts....

Title : where the wind leads a refugee family s miraculous story of loss rescue and redemption
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 19789366
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

where the wind leads a refugee family s miraculous story of loss rescue and redemption Reviews

  • Elyse
    2019-04-11 10:23

    The pirates were invading the refugees on their boat from Vietnam to eventually America - who were trying to escape the communists-- we could feel how horrific and terrifying it had to be. Everything these people owned was stolen. The pirates captured them - - left to die. Frightening as can be!!! As we read this story - A SURVIVAL STORY -- We 'do' understand just how miraculous and inspiring it is. From hell to Harvard.....and everything in between. However.... I didn't think this was a greatly written book. Parts felt exaggerated. Parts were just TOO MUCH INFORMATION--little details that did not forward the overall story. YET... the story itself can't be denied. Personally I'm not a fan when God is introduced as "not turning his face from those who were suffering". I have to filter my own thoughts when I read"God didn't create any throwaway children". If the author had left out quotes about what Jesus once said - and that "God sent the boat", type statements, was a little less preachy in parts, I would have rated this book a little higher. Overall it's worth reading - It's worth reading to learn about the rescue boat that carried The Chung family and their 11 children away from starvation, dehydration, and fear - to American- to realize just how much they each accomplished. The story - itself - is remarkable. Thank you to my long time friend Kuki for telling me about this book! 3.5- 3.7 rating

  • Whitney Archibald
    2019-03-24 10:52

    Wow. Like Unbroken, this book is a testament to what one man (one family, really) can survive. I bought this book because we were about to meet the author. I had heard a little of the story, so I knew that part would be amazing, but I didn't expect it to be so well-written. The author's voice really comes through, finding the humor and great insights in the tragedies of being driven from their homes and prosperous business, rejected from neighboring coasts, and left for dead at sea. From tenacious Grandmother Chung to Vinh's mother (the second-most beautiful woman in her village) to 18-month old twins, this resilient family experienced such unspeakable horrors, and yet so many miracles.After the eventful first half, I expected the second half of the book to be less interesting, but I was fascinated by the family's challenges and perseverance after they reached America. This was a faith-building read that I couldn't put down.

  • Madelle
    2019-04-17 10:49

    As the book cover says, this is a refugee family's miraculous story of loss, rescue, and redemption as they escape from South Vietnam with thousands of other boat people in 1979 and make their way to America. The story of their escape with eight children and the hardships that they endure is almost unbelievable. Even more amazing is a series of miraculous events in their lives that point them to a God who loves them that they will come to know. I couldn't put the book down.

  • Krisette Spangler
    2019-04-01 13:24

    This was a wonderfully, thought-provoking memoir about a Chinese family who had to flee Vietnam after the Viet Cong took over the government. The book was so fascinating and really made me think about how much we have in this country. It also opens your eyes to the plight of so many who suffer in other countries due to their corrupt leaders. I loved the example of a family that taught their children how to work hard. These are some of my favorite quotes:"We were a poor refugee family "fresh off the boat" in America, but we felt blessed to be here and believed we had a responsibility to give back, and the more we gave, the more we received. That's a mistake often made in America: we spend our lives seeking to be served, instead of seeking to serve others, and the more we receive, the less we seem to have.""How can I give my children all the things I never had without allowing them to become complacent? How do I teach them that America is a land of opportunity, but was never meant to be a place of entitlement? How do I allow them comfort and ease but instill in them the value of hard work?"

  • Alana
    2019-03-21 12:44

    When I finished this, my impulse was to go to the nearest grocery store and try to help anyone who looked remotely lost.This is a riches-to-rags-to-riches story of the values that we Americans say we hold most dear, and yet seem to forget so often when we're dealing with people who are different from us. It's written by a physician in my area (which is how I heard about it in the first place) but memories told to me by others, including my father, who served in the Navy in the Pacific not long after some of these events were taking place, brought it closer to home, to reality. Human life and culture is so much more complex than we can ever imagine, and stories like this remind me to always look for the other side (or sides).Every time I'm tempted to look at someone who's less financially well off than I am, or who's working a job I tend to view as menial, or doesn't speak English well, or comes from any other different group from me, and start to think that they are less intelligent, or capable, uneducated, or any other possible prejudice I might come up with--regardless of whether it was unintentional--I remember stories like this, of a family who literally had EVERYTHING taken away from them, including a vast business empire that they had worked extremely hard for, and were left to rot in the middle of a body of water, because no one wanted them. I remember the ones who chose to take a chance and take them in, help them figure out American supermarkets and education system, or let them use their laptop in college because they could never hope to afford one. I remember this, and tell myself to quit being a fool and a moron. It's unfortunate that stories like this are necessary, but while the world remains the way it does, these stories remain inspiring and a sober reminder of the humanity of us all.

  • Amy Secretan
    2019-04-04 15:49

    I hate to get political in a book review, but if there was ever a greater argument to think with more compassion about current topics such as immigration and human rights, this book would be a really great piece to start with. Anyone who ever thinks that people who come to this country from abroad (or even closer to home) "have it easy", or get "handouts", or "take jobs away from true Americans" need to read this - this book is a testament to the hard, selfless, and often hazardous journey that people take to try and make it to a better life. I was pleasantly surprised when this book not only focused on the author's physical journey from their home country, which was harrowing enough, but also then showed the story of what happens after you step onto foreign soil, not only in the immediate days afterwards, but the months and years spent trying to make a new life. I learned SO much about this particular family's story, and it made me realize how many privileges we take for granted everyday, just because some of us happen to be lucky enough to be born and raised in a country with so many opportunities, and to lead comfortable and frankly cushy lives. Read this book, and expand your idea of the world, if not your own home country. Consider the plight of people everywhere who attempt a journey like this one and don't make it, and what they have to endure in their failure. It's poignant and moving and inspiring. I'm glad I read it, and I hope more people do the same.

  • Katrinadohn Dohn
    2019-04-05 13:51

    I LOVED this book! I think this is in the top five of all memoirs I have read. This book tells the story of Vinh Chung and his family as they flee Vietnam and eventually make their way to America. The story is told in a straightforward manner, yet captures the depth of emotion woven throughout the history of his family. Through all of the trauma, terror and tension of the refugee experience HOPE is a consistent theme that carries the story - not a false, sappy hope, but a true deep belief that they can and will survive whatever comes their way. An inspiring story of amazing resilience and overcoming!

  • Tahlia
    2019-04-02 14:23

    This started out slow, but I enjoyed learning about the culture and history. This really makes you think about the state of refugees and made me want to help. I enjoyed this!

  • Jeana
    2019-04-16 12:22

    Sometimes I need to read non-fiction because true stories can be so remarkable. This story is amazing—although it drags a bit at the end IMHO. Still, I learned a lot about Vietnam and how hard things were for refugees. Part of why I love reading is that it helps me feel compassion and what better way than living in a refugee’s shoes for a while? This will make a good book club discussion for sure.

  • Melissa Whittinghill
    2019-04-11 15:48

    An excellent book for our time. Vihn's experiences as a Vietnamese refugee in the 1970s aligns with how the world is responding to Syrian refugees today. I wrote down several passages I will keep as reminders. The ending slowed down for me but overall I recommend it. Everyone should pause a read a story like this.

  • Lisa Ewing
    2019-04-14 14:37

    My favorite kind of book. True, unbelievable, tear-jerking, with a happy ending and a sense of humor woven throughout. "I am a refugee, and I always will be. But in a way, all of us are refugees. We are all born in a time and place we didn't choose, born without language, property, or money, dependent entirely on the decisions of others for our very survival. We are all strangers in a strange land, left to fend for ourselves in a world we barely comprehend, and as we find our way in this world, we need to help others do the same. We have all been blessed - every one of us - and we are all expected to give back."

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-28 10:29

    A moving and inspiring story of a family of refugees from Vietnam and their journey to successful lives in the United States. A story about resilience and faith.

  • Susan
    2019-04-05 11:38

    Fascinating and inspiring story. Well worth the read!

  • Sharon
    2019-04-08 07:26

    My dermatologist wrote this book so I had to read it. It's an astonishingly good story, and miracle is the only word that seems to fit the fact that his family is still alive. There's high adventure in the story and many amazing narrow escapes or graces -- events that lead to the family continuing a crushing journey out of South Vietnam to freedom in America. And it's a timely story, given what is happening with refugees today. This country would have lost much if this family hadn't lived, and imagine all those who perished. Their work and family ethic is better than that of many Americans and now all Dr. Chung's siblings contribute to our country with good educations and jobs, not to mention great values that they pass on to children. The book is easy to read and compelling. It's written in first person, which seems the only sensible viewpoint once you get into the story. If you aren't sure how to feel about refugees, read this book.

  • Kami Reeve
    2019-04-12 13:52

    The writing was a bit too "stream of consciousness" for me. But it was a fascinating story about a remarkable family in difficult circumstances. It's difficult not to judge people of different cultures by our own standards so I appreciate the opportunity this book gives us to peek inside the life of a culture different from my own and gain perspective. I enjoyed learning about this culture, what it was like for their family to survive the war there and what it was like to immigrate to America and ultimately "make it" by becoming a productive member of the American melting pot society.

  • Carolyn
    2019-04-04 10:26

    Wow! What a story!!! I can see why this book has a 5 star rating on Amazon with over 550 reviews! Where the Wind Leads is a true story of a Chinese family living in Vietnam who fled and became refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam war. It is a first person's account (Vinh Chung) of what happened to his family throughout the few decades of the book. It is the story of the trials and tribulations of refugees from Vietnam to America, but it is more than that. It is the story of war, desperation, atrocities, faith, family, perseverance and the kindness and inhumaneness of mankind. I highly recommend this book. It would be a wonderful book for those of you in book clubs. 4.5 stars from me!

  • Rachel
    2019-04-03 13:47

    What a fascinating story - and an insight to the Vietnam refugee crisis (and the current world refugee crisis) that I needed to read and see what life is like from a refugee's point of view. The first half struggled with narration, but when the author switched to his own experiences, the book really started to flow. My favorite part was the author's conclusions at the end of the book. Very powerful. Please read!

  • Margaret
    2019-04-06 11:51

    This was a gripping tale of amazing resilience. I learned a lot about the difference being a refugee as opposed to being an immigrant means. We will have an interesting discussion about this book. Also the miracle of their rescue from the sea was truly amazing.

  • Kendra
    2019-03-23 15:38

    A great story of one refugee's experience. For me, it really put flesh on the controversy and gave a new perspective of the real struggles that refugees face. I listened to the audio version, which I do not recommend, since I thought it was not well-read. I might have given it 5 stars otherwise!

  • Karlyn Johnson
    2019-04-09 14:45

    Inspiring and humbling, both.

  • Noelle
    2019-04-05 08:50

    Amazing story, but not written in a great style for me, personally. Worth a read if you are interested in a real story of refugees from Vietnam.

  • Callie Glorioso-Mays
    2019-04-02 07:31

    Compelling.That is what I would say if I were asked to sum up Where the Wind Leads in one word.It is "a refugee family's miraculous story of loss, rescue, and redemption" written from the perspective of the son, Vihn Chung with Tim Downs.Chung begins by laying out his family's history in their homeland of Vietnam. The story is tumultuous as the family survives various coups and wars. Each time they are uprooted and upset, yet they press on.Eventually they decide that they cannot live this way any longer and in 1979 they become "boat people" who sail away from Vietnam in hopes of finding a better life.Intertwined with the Chung's story is the story of Stan Mooneyham, the second president of World Vision. When a friend challenged Stan to learn more about the boat people and find a way to help them, Stan resisted at first. Soon, however, he was convinced that his Christian organization should be helping these refugees who were fleeing their country for safety, yet unable to find a country to welcome them.Chung's description of their time on the boat and as new refugees is agonizing. Eventually they are rescued and, with World Vision's help, are allowed to enter the United States. There are still difficulties once the family is settled in Arkansas, but they work hard and persevere. Chung fulfills his father's dream when he graduates from Harvard Medical School. Chung now lives and works in Colorado Springs, Colorado and serves on the board of World Vision.This is an excellent book. Chung (and Downs) told a gripping, riveting story and appropriately interwove both humor and history. I am more familiar with stories of immigrants, but this book opened my eyes to the experience of refugees.I was a bit worried about the ending. In the last chapter, Chung asks questions about why his family was rescued and why others were not. I was afraid that the book might turn the corner to preaching a prosperity gospel (e.g. "They called upon God and therefore all their problems were taken away"). But it didn't. I was impressed the way Chung turned the question around, explaining that why they were the ones rescued isn't the correct question. Instead he says that he should ask the question, "What does He expect me to do now?"Chung answers the question with this: "Now that I am safely ashore, He expects me to send the boat back for someone else." I was left with a renewed realization of how much I had been given in this life and, as Chung says, "I believe that blessing is something I am expected to pass on to other people in any way I can."Please note that all the author royalties from this book are donated to World Vision.** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Debbie Boucher
    2019-04-07 14:34

    Less than a month ago, I read an excellent memoir entitled Hillbilly Elegy that I endorsed. This is unusual in that I'm not fond of memoir, yet I now have a second one to recommend, Where the Wind Leads. Again, I would have never read this story on my own. I read Hillbilly Elegy because my sister loved it, and I read Where the Wind Leads for a book club. The latter is the story of an ethnic Chinese Vietnamese refugee and recounts his struggles and ultimate success. As a young teacher in the Bay Area, I had several "Boat People" in my classroom. I knew they had gone through tremendous ordeals to get to the United States, but until I read Where the Wind Leads, I didn't appreciate how truly difficult their journeys were. We are currently watching a refugee crisis of epic proportions unfold in Europe. At this point in time, Where the Wind Leads encourages me to implore my country to do something even though the "wind" is blowing in a different direction. It also reconfirms my belief in the power of story and the power of reading.

  • Megan
    2019-04-09 11:36

    Vinh and his family of 10 escaped South Vietnam in 1979 by boat. They made it to Malaysia, where the government loaded them on another boat and put them back into the South Sea, where they were picked up by a World Vision boat. A family in Arkansas sponsored the Chungs and they came to America. This book really opened my eyes to the plight of refugees, especially after the boat that sank with over 700 refugees from Syria just last month. "I am a refugee, and I always will be. But in a way,all of us are refugees. We all are born in a time and place we didn't choose, born without language, property, or money, dependent entirely on the decisions of others for our very survival. We all are strangers in a strange land, left to fend for ourselves in a world we barely comprehend and as we find our way in this world, we need to help others do the same."

  • Ellen
    2019-03-24 07:32

    I'm surprised I didn't like this book more, since I had worked in a refugee camp with families like this one for a year with a relief agency. The book was much stronger at the beginning than the end. It began to focus too much on just the author's accomplishments, relationships, etc which is ironic since he often emphasized the preeminence of family in the Asian culture. One HUGE question was barely answered as an afterthought: what happened to the other two boats towed out I sea? How did they survive? How did they ever find out about each other again? Considering the prominent role grandmother Chung had in his life at the beginning and the way she was reduced to almost a footnote at the end, I would have to say this author became very Americanized.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-26 11:28

    I was blown away by this man's story even if I wasn't blown away by the writing. There was nothing wrong with it, just bland and factual. I really appreciated the timeliness of his story. I was young(ish) during the Vietnam War and pretty disinterested - it was winding down when I was in high school and I didn't pay attention to the news. We now are hearing of so many refugees and it is good to be reminded of what an impossible situation these people find themselves in. Dr Chung's family is truly amazing and inspirational. I also know nothing about World Vision so their work was interesting to learn about.

  • Jane
    2019-03-31 13:43

    3.5 actually. Thought the true story was incredible, with a happy ending. Preferred the first half of the book to the last half, as I learned about the boat people, and all refuges who are forced to flee with nothing. Today, as always we should open our hearts to help them. The writing was pretty business like for all the strife they had--a recounting of facts, that were horrific. 6 days adrift with no food or water, hungry children losing hope and then the miracle of the World Vision ship. Lots of divine help. Good read for growing compassion, learning history, and the current concerns of refuges. I am so blessed.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-24 12:40

    An inspiring story of a Vietnamese family who flee their country and commence a new life in the U.S. I appreciated Vinh's family memoir and am in awe of the hardships they faced as well as the miracles they experienced and the lessons they learned. Their story offers perspective into the life of a refugee and gave me a glimpse of what that feels like.So many small details are included that make the book slow and steady. At times I wished the descriptions were shorter but came to appreciate them as they brought the characters to life and helped me feel the raw emotions of their plight. This is a story that needs to be told.

  • Pat Cummings
    2019-04-01 14:47

    Recommended by a friend this show insight into the lives of boat people leaving Vietnam and becoming Americans (while retaining the strength of their culture).

  • Bonnie Brandt
    2019-04-13 07:51

    I feel horrible for giving this book such a low rating. I have the highest respect for immigrants. From my experience and observation they are some of the hardest working, most resilient, and generally amazing people. The writing was very plain, even immature, in a literary way. The author is highly trained in other fields, but not as a writer. There was a very strong religious component to to this book. That doesn't necessarily rule a book out for me, but with it being the main focus and the writing that fell short, it just couldn't make it past my 100 page test.