HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done: An Autobiography
Author: Robert Raymond Barnett
Publisher: Ray Barnett, republished 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1999489014 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1999489012 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1999489007 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1999489004 Paperback
Related website(s): http://www.raybarnett.com (author and publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Barnett, Robert Raymond. Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done: An Autobiography (Published in 2018 by Ray Barnett). Growing up with immense poverty, secrecy, severe learning disabilities, and war-time suffering in the rough, working-class neighborhood of Killowen, Northern Ireland, Raymond Ross learns that the Ross family who raised him was not his own. He does discover and adopt his legal birth name, Ray Barnett, which puts him on a life-long journey to find his birth parents, any additional children which they had, and other relatives. Along the way, he turns his life over to God at age 13, becomes a minister, immigrates to Canada in the late 1950s, marries, and starts his own family. Spurred by the scripture, “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23), Ray sets out to accomplish what seems like the impossible.
Barnett is the founder of Friends in the West, a Christian-based human rights organization that has helped secure the release of numerous Christians and other hostages imprisoned for their faith throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and has spearheaded humanitarian aid missions to hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon, Uganda, Southern Sudan, Somalia, and other volatile regions across the globe. He is also the founder of the African Children’s Choir, a world-renowned organization that has provided an education, healing, and hope to thousands of African children—including nearly 1,200 children who have gone through the program. But can he unravel the lifelong mystery surrounding his own identity?
This riveting autobiography spans eighty years, from Barnett’s childhood, marked by loss, abuse, and rejection, through his years of adventure and travel like that of his hero, famed missionary-explorer David Livingstone, to the present. Not everyone will agree with some of the few theological concepts mentioned in the book. However, after all, it is not a work of theology but the story of what Ray Barnett has been able to accomplish, and we do not have to agree fully with an individual in all his religious beliefs to appreciate the good that he has done. Don’t Tell Me it Can’t Be Done is an encouraging reminder of what can transpire when people put their faith in God and take action, believing that if they do everything in their power, God will take care of the rest.