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Jantsen's Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of he
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 4th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 4th 2009)
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Jantsen's Gift truly is a story of grief, rescue and grace.

I was moved to tears (which makes it hard to keep reading) when Pam describes going through the motions when her son dies unexpectedly at 15 years old. I continued to feel her pain as she describes falling into the depths of depression. Throughout the book, she shares brief letters written to Jantsen (her son) after his death and you can see her working through the grief of losing a child.

Pam sets up a memorial fund when her son dies a
Dianne Ferguson
I am in the middle of reading Jantsens Gift, but I can already tell it will be one of my all-time favorites! it is moving me beyond words to make changes in my bring more 'meaning' after raising my girls and wondering what to do in the next 'chapter' of my life. A friend of my daughter's from Pepperdine University is part of Touch a Life Foundation and at 23 years old she has already gone to Africa twice to help Pam Cope (the author) rescue children from slave labor! My family and I a ...more
This is what Three Cups of Tea should have been. Instead of a self-absorbed romp through foreign lands, this is a well crafted story of hope that centers on the people being helped, not the one doing the helping. Although we really get to know Pam Cope through-out this book, it is in a gentle and genuine way.
What an amazing memoir!

When Pam Cope loses her 15 year-old son, Jansten, due to an unknown heart condition, she falls into a very severe depression. Upon invitation from a friend, Pam and her husband Randy, travel to Vietnam to visit an orphanage that this friend has built, and to find a way of coping with her loss/grief. There they fall in love with a Vietnamese child and decide to adopt him. Eventually they adopt another Vietnamese girl - but not before they fall in love with these children an
Pam always felt something was missing from her life, that a beautiful house, wonderful family, and great vacations just couldn't satisfy. Unfortunately, her son Jantsen dies which brings Pam, to the very precipice of life versus death. Through this tragedy Pam realizes she is meant for bigger things. After her trip to Vietnam and seeing those children, Pam realizes her life has a purpose: to ease the suffering and help as many children as she can, whether they are in Asia or Ghana.

This book chr
AJ Best
OK, first let me apologize for what I'm about to say. I am NOT a non-fiction memoir reading type of person. I want something to take me away from reality, not bring it closer to home. Now, let me apologize for being that way because Mrs. Cope and Ms. Molloy have opened up my eyes and placed me outside of my box, outside of what I would consider my comfort zone.

I figured that this book would be just an exploration of a woman's grief over loosing her son (Pam, you are a great woman) and how she ov
The cover states this is a true story of grief, rescue and grace. The grief began on June 16, 1999 when Pam Cope’s fifteen-year-old son, Jantsen, died. The rescue is her account of her work to save at-risk children, and the grace is how she has emerged, not fully whole, but in a much better place and as a better person.

This is very honest account, Pam Cope details the horrible grief she felt, the debilitating depression she suffered after the death of her son, but some of the reasons she started
"Jantsen's Gift" by Pam Cope
(from inside flap)
Ten years ago, Pam Cope owned a hair salon in the small town of Neosho, Missouri. Her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.
Then, on June 16, 1999, her life changed forever when her fifteen-year-old son Jantsen died from an undiagnosed heart ailment. Drowning in sadness and needing
Jantzen's Gift by Pam Cope

Pam Cope and Aimee Molloy are the authors of "Jantsen's Gift." This wonderful book is about a family dealing with the death of a son and brother. Jantsen is fifteen years old when he dies unexpectedly. His mother walks us through her most painful moments. Then, we feel the strength of a healing heart as she walks out of grief and into a place of peace. Throughout the book, we never lose touch with Jantsen. I often looked at the title letting it remind me that Jantsen le
Pam, your sorrow is shared.
As another mother who lost a son, albeit 39 years ago, I feel your pain and weep with you. I also rejoice with you in that gift of a son, no matter how long one was privileged to be loaned his precious life.
Thank you for writing such a heartfelt, honest account. Thank you for sharing the person who was your son. Thank you for spreading hope to everyone who has struggled with grief. Thank you for walking your amazing road on behalf of so many other grieved mothers. Than
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
A deeply moving, true story. Pam Cope seemed to have the perfect life, or rather, she was obsessed with creating the perfect life. That life revolved around her husband and two children and all their activities. But, with her 15 year old son Jantsen's sudden death in 1999, her life changed forever. Pam is very open about how her grief drove her into depression and how she struggled to find meaning in her life. Her candor is refreshing as she recounts that after all the years of attending church ...more
Kim V
Have you ever read a tragic story in the newspaper and felt moved to act, but didn't? If you are like most people the answer is yes to both parts of the question. Pam Cope, however, read a New York Times article about child slavery in Ghana and did act! She set about rescuing not only the subject of the article, Mark, but six other children held in slavery. Later she returned to Ghana to create a safe house for more enslaved children. And all of this was after she adopted two Vietnamese children ...more
At first I thought this would be the story of some clueless suburban mom discovers that their is life, and people suffering, outside of her perfect little world - which to an extent it was. But I was deeply impressed by the real and raw emotions she shared in it - her depression after her son died, her inadequacies as a mom, discovering that she was not who she wanted to be after years of trying to be perfect. Along with that, she shares her stories of traveling abroad and changing the lives of ...more
What an inspiring story -- one that really leads to some self-searching. Pam Cope was a typical suburban mother, raising two children, working at a hair salon, worrying about superficials, when her life suddenly changed. Without any warning, her fifteen year old son died of an undiagnosed heart ailment. She was devastated. For months, she struggled with severe depression and anger, barely able to parent her young daughter.

Then a friend invited her to accompany her on a visit to orphanages in Vie
All too often it takes a tragedy to helps us to put our lives into perspective. Unfortunately that is what happens to the author Pam Cope. Her son dies suddenly from an undiagnosed heart problem. She sinks into life threatening depression and no longer finds purpose and meaning in her life. Until she is faced with the task of distributing the funds they received from her son's memorial donations. Her life takes a drastic change ~ she is filled with a new love for helping the lost, lonely, forsak ...more
One of my all time favorite books. Recommended it to dozens of people who loved every page. It came out years ago and I am still in shock it never became a best seller. Pam Cope and Aimee Molloy created a perfect reading experience.
This book takes you on the author's emotional, spiritual and physical journey as she heals from the passing of her son, Jantsen. I enjoyed the author's reflections of the peaks and valleys of her life and the impact of her son's life on her decisions. Personally, the book reminded me of what's it is like to LIVE, stirred up the yearning of living a purposeful life, helping others and enjoying it. Don't we all want that? Pam found it! As an proponent of orphancare and adoption, it was heartwarmin ...more
This book changed my life. For real. I'm going to Kenya this fall because of this book. It's the true story of a woman overcoming tragedy and transforming her grief into an amazing organization that rescues children all over the world from poverty and slavery. Hunger and suffering seem to be systemic problems that cannot be changed by one person, but this book shows us the true tale of one incredible woman who is currently making a very real difference in the world. She has flown around the worl ...more
Betsy Johnson
I can imagine how therapeutic this was for the author, and life-saving for many children. The challenge is to find a balance for all.
Mary Ellmann
Very impressive and inspiring how a mother turned her grief into helping children in other parts of the world.
Try to read this and not be changed. This spoke to me personally and basically brought into question my ability to affect change in the world. A friend gave me this book for my birthday, and now we are celebrating hers by donating to the cause of freeing children from slavery. In lieu of gifts, an expensive dinner, and over-priced cocktails, we are taking those funds and using them to purchase a child from their life of backbreaking work and certain death. Our collection from one night will be e ...more
This book is really inspiring! I love how she transparently shares her grief in raw and real emotions and let's us journey with her in helping others. AMAZING! THe plight of so many children around the world who are in child labor or slavery and staggering and sad!
An inspirational book about overcoming grief and making a difference.
Good book on one woman's journey through grief and totally re-evaluating her life and her purpose. I enjoyed it because of my daughter's trip to Ghana and the Village of Hope this summer, but also because it's one of those books that provides perspective. We are so very blessed in the U.S.A. and the constant pounding of the marketing drum makes us forget that. Life really is simple and we need not complicate it. People, not things are important.
Jill Boyd
This is a good book! I can't believe what Pam Cope has done since her son died suddenly from a heart condition. Makes me feel like a real slouch in terms of world service. I guess no one told this lady that one person cannot save the world and she still has not figured that one out. The actual always presents the possible as I sometimes say. I appreciate that this book is non-sectarian.
Amy A.
It's hard to give a 5 star rating to a book that is just as upsetting, gut-wrenching and heartbreaking as it is inspiring and touching, but there it is. It would be my dream to do something like will make you want to do your part, love your children even more, and forget the silly, selfish worries in your life. It will break your heart and change your prayers.
Lisa Murphy
Pam Cope is an amazing woman. I was so inspired that she took the greatest tragedy of her life (the sudden loss of her teenage son) and turned it into something AMAZING. Her foundation, Touch a Life, is serving hundreds, if not thousands, of trafficked children in the world. Pam's book is a must-read!
Jennifer Honeycutt
Extremely inspiring book about a regular mom with no college education who knew her life was meant for something more. After the death of her teenage son she got involved in rescuing 100's of children from sex trafficking in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Ghana. I highly recommend this book! Loved it!
Feb 23, 2010 Sheila rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This book was an eye-opening and life-changing read for me. I had no idea that the things spoken of in this book even still existed today. My sterile little world of wealth and entitlement shields me from such horrors, but I think perhaps that is NOT such a great thing.
Jonna Smith
I hope you will read this! It was a life changer for me! Funny, I was not looking for something to fill so much of my heart. I felt is was already pretty full!!! Ha! Even if work in Ghana is not your calling this book is full of grace, freedom and hope for children!
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