A Different Plan

Christian - Living
308 Pages
Reviewed on 05/15/2017
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Author Biography

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.

    Book Review

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.

Arya Fomonyuy

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.

Danita Dyess

"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.

Rabia Tanveer

A Different Plan: A True Story an Adrenaline Junkie Who Found God's Plan... and Lived by Johannes Adendorff is the story of Johannes Adendorff as he rediscovers himself and finds help in God when he needed it the most. He has known hurt, anger and hardship from the very start of his life; he learns that he can actually excel at his job. The grueling training and downright cruelty made him the best he could be at serving his nation, but he has had enough. So he travels to America and becomes the best sky diver he could be.

However, even after moving and changing jobs, he does not find peace and his destructive behavior is just escalating. He is addicted to alcohol, drugs, and he can’t have a fulfilling relationship because he always feels alone. He has no idea how he will be able to live this life much longer, but a breath of fresh air came into his life in the form of faith and Jesus. Instead of pain, nightmares and the hurt of the past, Johannes now has a brighter outlook on the future. How did that happen? How did someone like him suddenly have so much light in his life?

This is a strong and very well-created story that demands your attention and your respect. The story is very well put together and you will come to appreciate the way Johannes stood his ground and stuck to his guns when he finally found his faith and a way out of his miserable existence. When he found Jesus, he did not just accept it, he actually embraced it. A Different Plan is really a thrilling story that will bring you hope, and make your count your blessings and be grateful for them.

Melisa Du Preez

A true story and recollection of a life lived! Set in various locations it takes one on Johannes Adendorff's journey of struggle, challenge to triumph. Unbeknownst to him he was always accompanied by a silent witness who is revealed through a series of choices which Johannes makes. In the end he becomes sighted that the journey he 'lived' is not necessarily the one he is living because he realises that he is living the life God has set out for him.

Cor Eijlers

A Different Plan of Johannes Adendorff is an impressive book.

The book has captivated me from beginning to end because the writer describes the story of his own life, he is vulnerable over his trauma, his temptations and addictions, but also over how God has intervened in his life, how he opened himself for God and so discoverd that his own path of life, how beautiful that also may seemed from the outside, was a dead end street.

Life can look so beautiful from the outside and someone can seem very successful for others (a professional skydiver seems fantastic), but yet life can be deeply unsatisfactory.
Johannes describes how he comes to discover how beautiful life can be if you allow God takes over the lead over your life and how you, despite setbacks (cancer), can find rest in Jesus Christ our Savior.

It is a challenge and an adventure to make the choice to allow God in your life but as also Johannes has discovered it's an adventure with perspective, no dead end street but a way to life.

I hope and pray that this book may be a blessing for all those who read this.

Peter Palmer

My wife and I was in the center of a storm after we decided to do GOD's will for our lives. I don't read a lot yet, but this book just spoke directly to me. I couldn't put it down.
If you are searching for something in live, start with this book;
If you are going through a tough time after accepting JESUS, read this book;
Do you wonder, "Is there still hope?", read this book.
This book covers a lot of what we are currently facing here in South Africa.
I had the privilege to meet Johannes, and he is even more humble than in his book.