2218) Napalm Girl

By Randy Alcorn, posted January 24, 2020 at:  http://www.epm.org

     One of the best-known photographs from the Vietnam War is a Pulitzer Prize–winning picture of a young burn victim running in terror, arms outstretched, after a napalm bomb was dropped on her village.  After months of hospitalization and multiple surgeries, nine-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc (1963- ) returned to her family.

     What doctors couldn’t heal, Kim Phuc says, was her heart: “The anger inside me was like a hatred high as a mountain.”

     But God reached out to Kim Phuc.  She found a Bible and talked with a believer who invited her to church, where Kim Phuc chose to trust in Christ: “Jesus helped me learn to forgive my enemies.”

     Fourteen years later, while speaking in Washington, DC, she met John Plummer, who had helped coordinate the air strike on her childhood village.

     John wrote of their meeting, “She held out her arms to me and embraced me.  All I could say was, ‘I’m sorry; I’m so sorry,’ over and over again.  At the same time she was saying, ‘It’s all right; it’s all right; I forgive; I forgive.’”

     Today, Kim Phuc heads up KIM Foundation International Its mission is “to help heal the wounds suffered by innocent children and to restore hope and happiness to their lives.”

     Kim Phuc’s story demonstrates Romans 8:28 in action: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  Now, no translation of that verse says “each thing by itself is good,” but “all things work together for good,” and not on their own, but under God’s sovereign hand.  I needn’t say, “It’s good,” if my house burns down, I’m robbed and beaten, or my child dies—or in Kim Phuc’s case, being terribly burned in childhood and suffering a lifetime of physical effects as a result.  But God, in His wisdom, uses our circumstances to produce something wonderful—Christlikeness—for His glory and our ultimate joy.  God’s children have “been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

     Watch Kim Phuc share her story in this touching video:

     You can also read her testimony :



Romans 8:28  —  We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.

Ephesians 1:11  —  All things are done according to God’s plan and decision; and God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ because of his own purpose, based on what he had decided from the very beginning.

Genesis 50:19-20  —  Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”


O God of love, who has sent us a new commandment through your Son Jesus Christ, that we should love one another, even as you have loved us, the wayward and unworthy, and has given your Son for our life and salvation; grant to us, your servants, in all the time of our mortal life, a mind forgetful of past ill will, a pure conscience, sincere thoughts, and a heart to love and forgive others.  Amen.

The Book of Common Worship, (Presbyterian Church, USA), Westminster, 1906, (altered), originally from The Liturgy of St. Cyril (fourth century).