Scene 2: Vincent is 7 years old, the youngest of eight children. He does not own a book, a bowl, or a ball. Five days a week, he walks 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) to and from school with no lunch and no water to drink. In the evening, he helps with some chores before going to sleep on a dirt-floor bed covered with discarded rags.
Scene 3: Vincent’s brother is hired as a policeman and pays for Vincent to finish primary and then secondary school. To use Vincent’s words, “life falls apart” when his brother dies and his mother can no longer pay his school fees. Back in his village, he plants cocoa and vanilla in an effort to help his family survive.
Scene 4: It’s 2004 now. Vincent’s mom roasts some unfortunate fish over orange flames. Mom and the kids assemble into an irregular circle to share the meal. Flame-broiled fish is a treat. But something goes wrong. A fish bone lodges in Vincent’s throat. He chokes and gasps but can’t get it out. His mom frantically thrusts her fingers down his throat. Vincent gags. He can barely breathe. His eyes water, his throat tries to scream, and he wonders if he will survive.
Scene 5: Maybe a doctor can help him! There is no road to his village so several men carry him for hours to a primitive hospital. No one can help him. In urgent desperation, Vincent prays, “Dear God, if you save my life, I will work, save my money, go to school, and become a doctor. Then I will go back to my village and save people’s lives.” Three days later, the bone dislodged without human hands. “It was God,” Vincent declares.