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Book Review column title

Happiness Is a Fat Gecko

by Frank Black, Dog Ear Publishing, © 2017,
235 pages, $14.50 (paperback), ISBN-13: 978-1-4575-5951-8

The cover of Happiness is a Fat Gecko

Happiness Is a Fat Gecko will make you realize how blessed you are not to live in a developing nation. I have known Dr. Frank Black for a very long time, and have appreciated his dedication to the Lord. Dr. Black worked in the emergency room of Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, for 19 years. He had been looking for ways to use his medical training and his Christian faith where they were most needed. He and his wife Lou Ann moved to Chimala, Tanzania, Africa, for five years. This book tells the story of their experiences.

This book does not belittle or denigrate Africa or Tanzania, but it is a strong apologetic for the validity of the Christian system. The relationship of humans to nature and the value of the moral laws that Christ taught are contrasted with witchcraft, sorcery, and native medicine. The fact that a doctor would leave one of the largest hospitals in the United States where he could have money and power, to go to a country with a shortage of even basic medical equipment, and where local people rely on shamans, is living Christ’s example.

The title comes from the fact that geckos (small lizards) are welcomed into the houses where Dr. Black worked because they eat mosquitoes, and malaria is a major plague in Tanzania.

The book is well written, easy to read, and hard to put down. The 48 short chapters contain humor, personal stories, and feelings from Dr. Black. We spend way too much time and energy fussing with each other over things that do not have much relevance to most people in the world. People like Frank Black do things that have eternal significance without a lot of recognition. I am sure this book will affect you as it did me. I recommend it highly.