"God Helped Me to Learn to Forgive."
Reading the Bible can change a person’s life.
One of the most famous Vietnam War pictures, taken on June 8, 1972, by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut, was of 9-year-old Kim Phuc running down the road, screaming from the burns to her skin. Moved by her pain, Nick rushed her to a South Vietnamese hospital. She then spent 14 months recovering in an American hospital in Saigon. Ut’s photograph of Kim remains one of the most unforgettable images of the Vietnam War.
Kim Phuc was not expected to live. Third degree burns covered half of her body, and she required many operations and years of therapy. After two years, against all odds and with the help of doctors who were committed to her care, she was able to return to her village where she and her family began to rebuild their lives.
On December 28, 2009, NPR broadcast Kim Phuc’s story as part of its “This I Believe” series. Kim said, “The anger inside me was like a hatred as high as a mountain. I hated my life. I hated all people who were normal because I was not normal. I really wanted to die many times. I spent my daytime in the library reading a lot of religious books to find a purpose for my life.
“One of the books that I read was the Holy Bible. In Christmas 1982, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It was an
amazing turning point in my life. God helped me to learn to forgive — the most difficult of all lessons. It didn’t happen in a day and it wasn’t easy. But I finally got it.
“Forgiveness made me free from hatred. I still have many scars on my body and severe pain most days, but my heart is cleansed. Napalm is very powerful, but faith, forgiveness and love are much more powerful. We would not have war at all if everyone could learn how to live with true love, hope and forgiveness.”