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About the Author
Johannes Adendorff works as a software engineer in Germany, living with his wife and children. Formerly a military man and skydiving professional, he has set down his wings in order to follow his call of faith by spreading God’s message and encouraging others to give their hearts to Jesus Christ.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In his exciting new memoir, A Different Plan, first-time author, Johannes Adendorff, weaves the threads of his life into an intriguing tapestry. From the abuse he suffered at a South African agricultural school during his formative years, to the time he spent as an elite paratrooper in Angola's dusty and dangerous bush terrain, to the adrenaline-laced sports he craved to fill the void in his soul. The reader is provided an in-depth look at one man's struggle to forgive, to trust, and ultimately, to find meaning in a seemingly chaotic world, as he accepts God’s plan for his life. Beginning at age thirteen Johannes enters into a warped version of justice at his new school, Winterberg, in South Africa. From sadistic upperclassmen, he earns the punishment of forty lashes by cane, and almost constant daily torment. For the next few years, the young boy cries out to God for relief from his persecution. After what could have been a fatal stabbing by a particularly vicious classmate, he despairs of salvation from the prison his life has become, his faith shaken and torn. Seeking relief from the horror of his past, aching to become strong and unbeatable, Johannes strives to become a member of the renowned Parachute Battalion of the South African military. Muscle separates from bone as training becomes his whole reality. Now the support and encouragement of Adendorff’s fellow soldiers, and his fierce desire to become one of the best, help him transcend the grueling conditions. However, the peace he seeks is not to be found in physical strength, and his quest leads him onward to America. Turning his formidable will towards becoming a champion skydiver, and immersing himself in the culture from New York to Florida, bring some relief through hard work. A momentary joy is found while free falling among the clouds. Yet once again the inner satisfaction he craves is missing, memories of his time at Winterberg and atrocities seen as a soldier intruding relentlessly, until, desperate for solace, he turns to his local church. Having found a woman he loves, a job he enjoys, and a new connection to God by way of his son, Jesus Christ, Adendorff is terrified at leaving the life he has so painstakingly built. Being compelled to return to South Africa is against every hope Johannes has for his future. But with the help of a loving Church family and pastor, and the absolute need to put God first even with all his doubts, Johan steps out in faith. By trusting in the Lord, Adendorff sets in motion an unbelievable, chain of events. Come along for the rest of his journey, from success in business to a miraculous end of loneliness, and finally, to the disease that ravages his body for more than a year, maiming him physically, but never once making him question God's different plan for his life.
Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good thing of the land," states 1 Isaiah 1:19. This scripture summarizes the life of Johannes Adendorff, author of A Different Plan. As a young boy, Adendorff is harassed and beaten by his classmates at Grootberg, a prestigious school in South Africa. But his constant prayers go unanswered. After he graduates, he becomes a soldier and parachutes out of airlines. Then, he becomes a skydiver. But through church attendance and a belief in God, he quits the dangerous sport. Later he returns to South Africa. He reunites with his family and accepts a low-wage programmer job. But God turns this occupation into a lucrative career with a software developer in Germany. He also finds a wife. You will learn why and how to protect your heart and how to rely on God's purpose for your life. I loved A Different Plan. The cover of the man in the kneeling position with an airplane in the background conveyed the perfect message of humility. The 308-page narrative was fast paced. The tension was high and the narrative kept my attention. The opening scene at Grootberg saddened me. The part with Thomas, the alcoholic, resonated with me and his skydiving ventures enthralled me. Each chapter was filled with familiar and new scriptures that strengthened my faith. Although this true story was Johannes Adendorff's first book, it has the power to affect many lives. A Different Plan is highly recommended.
Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite A Different Plan by Johannes Adendorff is an inspirational story, a man’s journey of faith, of crisis, and of healing, and a book that contains a message of hope for anyone who seeks a genuine encounter with God. After returning from the military, Johannes tells his parents in a matter-of-fact tone: “I’m never going to church again… I am 21, and this is my decision.” Shocked and lost for words, they stare at him, knowing not what to make of his statement. The author explains that his decision not to go to church anymore stemmed from his military experience, seeing how people disregarded the central message of the Gospel and associating their hypocrisy with something inherent in the church. The reader follows former paratrooper and software engineer Johannes as he travels from his humble origins in South Africa to the Colorado plains where he experiences the worst forms of challenges in his life, including loneliness and hardship. A man fueled by a quick rush of adrenaline, everything changes when he finally encounters God. Johannes Adendorff’s A Different Plan is a fantastic journey of faith, a story that is told with moving simplicity. I particularly loved the way the author captured the restlessness that many of us experience in youth and couldn’t help but think about some of the powerful passages in the Confessions of St. Augustine and how he felt restless, just like the author before his genuine encounter with God. There are so many spiritual insights and lessons for readers in this book and it will, hopefully, provoke in readers the desire to embrace the different plan, the path of faith and hope in a God who surprises us beyond our imagination.
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite Some autobiographies are so inspiring that readers can feel strongly connected with the protagonist. A Different Plan by Johannes Adendorff is one of those. It’s a story of faith, of hope, and personal transformation. In the very early years of his life and just after returning from the military, Johannes proclaimed that he’d never set foot in a church anymore, distraught and disappointed by the hypocrisy he witnessed in church leaders. Traveling from South Africa to Colorado Plains, his life became a roller coaster as he indulged in different skills, including sky-diving and software programming. Although he lived through an adrenaline-charged lifestyle, he suffered an emptiness within, a kind of restlessness that resulted from his conviction that something was really missing to make life meaningful. He needed God. This memoir documents his journey back to faith and how it sustained him through the incredible odds life threw at him, including cancer. There is a lot to enjoy in this memoir. It isn’t just an autobiography that seeks to present a series of events. It’s an inspiring story of how one man lost and found God, a story that will motivate and encourage readers to allow God to guide them. The narrative voice is beautiful and clear, and it comes across as powerful in the crisp and enticing prose. There are many dramatic moments in the story and the reader can see God’s hand in the events of the life of the protagonist. For instance, he writes: “I had cancer. The reality of it sunk in, but I did not make any move to answer the doctor. He looked at me, waiting for a reaction. I did not panic or even feel tears filling my eyes. I knew that there had to have been a reason for God to allow this illness.” A Different Plan is a gift of faith, a story that has the potential to inspire, motivate, and empower readers on their spiritual journey and in their search for meaning.