A Survivor of Dysfunction

As a boy, his family is torn apart. As a man, his country is. By God’s power, he survives.


John Davies was only a child living in Sierra Leone in 1962 when his mom became involved in an adulterous relationship with the local reverend. And his family was just the first victim of the pastor’s lust and covetousness.

When John’s dad disappeared as a result, the eight-year-old was forced to figure out how to live on his own as a street boy. As the family scattered and the reverend continued to assert authority over his neighbor’s household, the adulterous relationship he engineered deepened. John’s mother was infatuated to the extent of losing her core and lashing out against the security, love, and affection of her little ones — choosing instead the pleasure of her newly found lust.

Before and after his ordinances as a full-fledged reverend, the pastor’s womanizing spread like the tentacles of an octopus unto other families. Though he eventually escaped to the United States to leave behind the church he pastored in that little village of Freetown, it would always feel the polarizing effect he had on the congregation.

Because of that pastor, families were put asunder, bastard children were bore by wives of his neighbors’ household, and scars were left behind — scars he hoped would never cross the Atlantic Ocean to haunt him.

But God always has plans unknown to man. He protected and charted the street boy’s journey and walked him “through the valley of the shadows of death,” miraculously rescuing him through a chain of tumultuous events. The boy, John, and his young family eventually make a dramatic escape to the freedom of the United States — the very place the man who tore apart his family sought solace decades ago.

“It’s not where you start that matters”

Proving the power of God, Dysfunctional One is John’s compelling memoir that also proves the power of determination and a strong sense of purpose, patience, and perseverance. As the abandoned child who was left to navigate life on the shores of Africa survives by the skin of his teeth from childhood to young adulthood, he garners the survival skills that help him love and protect his own young family.

Dysfunctional One recounts the fascinating life story of a man who is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. What happened between his childhood and adulthood is remarkable and uplifting — to say the least. After coping with a deeply dysfunctional family, John must survive three of Africa’s brutal civil wars — which means everything from the slums of refugee camps, to the clashing political scenes in Freetown and Monrovia, to life as an English-speaking West African refugee in francophone Senegal.

Responding to a reporter recently, John said, “I’m not the kind of person who bursts into a room and starts telling my life story, but the people I have bared my soul to over the years have constantly spoken about the need to compile my life into a book. There’s value far beyond the story itself, as a beacon of light for those whose life is blighted by darkness and hopelessness. That was once me.” He continued, “It just goes to show that, God willing, it’s not where you start that matters — but rather how you navigate the waters of life and chart a course for where you’ll end up. It’s never too late to change; something millions of people are hoping to hear.”

As a way of giving back, John has donated royalties from the proceeds of his book to worthy causes through the following non-profit organizations:

  1. The American Cancer Society
  2. Career Education Scholarship Fund (CESF)
  3. Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) in Maryland
  4. Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC)

“A real story about real people”

Since its release, the memoir has garnered a string of positive reviews on Amazon and other forums. One review recently said the book contained “all the elements to help inspire and motivate people in all sorts of hopeless situations.” Another reader wrote, “Such a moving, touching enduring story. This is a real story about real people. It will move you to tears, inspire compassion, and motivate you to be a better husband, wife, stepdad, stepmom, brother, sister to your love ones. Nothing but 5 stars for this one.” Another critic wrote, “ . . . if you think the movie, Blood Diamond, was a masterpiece, wait til some film producer and director take this one to the big screen.”

The Red City Review gave the book four stars, saying “ . . . this volume is a reflective and revealing account about an area of the world that not too many people of the general public are familiar with. Reading in parts as a sort of text book, it could even be useful in college classrooms in the vein of African Studies.”

John Davies is now an MBA working on his Ph.D. He is founder and CEO of Global Alliance Solution, LLC, a consulting firm situated in Washington, D.C.

Dysfunctional One is available in paperback and digital versions at bookstores around the country and at Amazon worldwide, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. To obtain your paperback copy in 2-3 business days and with the author’s autograph, order directly from www.dysfunctionalone.net.

Image courtesy of Direct Relief

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