Friday, March 23, 2018

WHAT I'M READING NOW: Jamie the Very Worst Missionary A memoir or whatever

Have you ever traveled to another country in order to paint a wall? [YES] →→→ Are you a painter? [NO] →→→READ THIS BOOK

Have you ever traveled to another country in order to build some sort of structure →→→ [YES]  Would you ever consider living in a house that you had built with your own ill-equipped but called hands?  [NO] →→→READ THIS BOOK.

Have you ever funded a teenager or a not-a-painter to paint a wall or a not-a-builder to build a house? [YES] →→→READ THIS BOOK

If you have ever gone on a mission trip, thought of going on a mission trip, supported someone going on a mission trip or been asked to give money to someone on a mission trip BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS MOMENT.  If you work for a church that has a missions pastor, buy them this book.... and depending on your relationship with them maybe apologize for the salty language!?! HAHA If you are in some sort of Christian college or whatever this should be required reading, get it and read it and recommend it to everyone. The global church will thank you.

After 12 years living and serving cross culturally in Zimbabwe (as a self-funded 'missionary') this book touches on at least 1 million conversations I have had.  I have never fit into the structure of any "missions organization" and struggled with that in various degrees for 12 whole years.  And then I read this and I found where I fit.  Thank you Jamie for writing about your experiences and what you've learned.  I am certain that this book will widen the much needed conversation around missions and what we need to do better and what we need to stop doing IMMEDIATELY without passing GO!  

Read this book if you have a sense of humor, enjoy an expletive thrown in regularly or have ever used an expletive in a conversation about a short term missions experience.
Do not read this book if you are overly sensitive to salty language.  It's ok some people are more precious than others.  If you are precious, this book may offend you.  Leave it for now.  Or like my husband, read it as an exercise in not judging those who are fluent in sarcasm and salt.

FOR SURE YES: I am here for all of these stories, for all of the truth hunting and for all of the cringes.  Jamie can tell a story well and when she does I will read it every time.  I love that this book has zero hints of "10 steps to doing missions right."  It's more about a breaking down of what is currently taking place globally and why we must do better.  And then the best part is she reminds each of us what we already know- that doing better is going to look different in each situation. Oh and Jen Hatmaker's foreword.  If nothing else this will make you want to develop a friendship like theirs and then write a book so your friend can gush and say all the good things about you!

FOR SURE NO: The butterfly eater.  This cannot possibly be a true recollection.  And yet I am sure it is.  I may even know him.

WHAT I AM GOING HOME WITH: I am going to show up for my cross-cultural life feeling a little less broken, a little more healed.  This book made me braver by reminding me that my status as a missionary "outsider" might just be the greatest gift of this Zim life I am living.  I may be on the list of the worst missionaries, but at least I am in good company right? 

FUN FACT: Our house is full of pets (dogs/chickens/ any strays that show up) that are unequivocally deemed INSANE.  Jamie's cat KNIVES makes our crazy dogs look like well trained service animals!  P.S. Vivi is currently requesting a bunny-- what are the chances this bunny will be calm and precious with no special needs? Zero. Zero chances.  

If none of this makes you want to read this book, or if you don't fit into the any of the above categories and think there is no reason to shell out the $11. I get it-- but if you would like to understand the struggles I have wrestled with for the past 12 years -- this book will do just that!