Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done by Ray Barnett // Book Review

Disclaimer: This book was requested for review by Lydia Sherwood. She provided me with a free copy without expecting a positive review. All thoughts are my own.


As a young boy struggling to find his way through the immense poverty, secrecy and war-time suffering that gripped his life in Northern Ireland, Ray Barnett dreamed of a life of adventure and travel like that of his hero: famed missionary-explorer David Livingstone.
As an adult, he has lived that life–leading a human-rights based ministry that has brought hope, healing and humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.
In this riveting autobiography that spans eighty years, Ray takes readers on a rollercoaster journey through his childhood in the rough, working-class neighborhood of Killowen–a childhood marked by loss, abuse, severe learning disabilities, rejection, and the crushing discovery that the family who raised him was not his own.
Ray’s life makes a sudden U-turn when, at age 13, he turns his life over to God. 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–from securing the release of Hezbollah-held hostages and imprisoned Christians, to launching the world-renowned African Children’s Choir, to unraveling the lifelong mystery surrounding his identity.nd
Don’t Tell Me it Can’t Be Done is an inspiring testament of the miracles that can transpire when we put our faith in God and take action; believing if we do everything that’s in our power to do, God will take care of the rest.


Ray Barnett’s story is very intriguing. He did so much in/with his life. He had a zeal for God and showed it in the way he lived out his life.
After becoming a Christian at age 13, he really sought to live his life to the fullest—for God. He put God first in everything he did. During his search for his biological family, after he found out the real truth of his family history, Barnett relied on God to bring him the answers in His timing; and he had faith that the answers would be the answers God gave to him. Even after his long search to find his biological mom ended in the worst way he would have though possible, Ray continued to love and serve God. He realized that he couldn’t change the past. What was done was done and he could not do anything to change that. However, what he could do is change his future. He knew, if he dwelt on the past, he would never be happy, so he trusted God and moved on to the next phase of his life.
Traveling abroad to places like Lebanon and Somalia, Barnett crossed dangerous territory to bring aa light to a dark world. He risked his life many a time to live out God’s Word. He knew that if David Livingstone was brave enough to be attacked by a lion and continue to share God’s message of hope, he was brave enough to tolerate dangers set in his path. Not only did he seek to help Christians and servants of God, he sought to help people of all type and religion, who were in need. When he discovered Hezbollahs being being held hostage along with the Chistians who were imprisoned, he devoted himself to giving them both their freedom. Working long and hard, Barnett gave more than just his time and energy—he gave his all.
When he traveled to Africa and experienced the extreme poverty most of the children there face, he founded the African Children’s choir to give these poverty-stricken children a chance. A chance to get find hope. A chance to find love. And a chance to find education. Ray Barnett did not just found this great organization, he lives it. He doesn’t just oversee the children in his care, he loves them. He treats them like his own. And he gives them the start of a new life.
Don’t Tell Me It Cant Be Done Was the perfect title for this book. It really was Ray Barnett’s philosophy. If someone told him it couldn’t be done, that was basically a command for him to go do it. He always accomplished what everyone thought was impossible. He did not care what others thought was impossible because he knew that with his God everything was possible.
The story of Ray Barnett is a story full of sadness and tragedy, but also one bursting with hope and bravery. Experience one man’s amazing strive to make a difference and relive his inspiring life in this unique memoir of Ray Barnett—Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done.

I apologize for the short review, but I have been very busy lately!


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