Book Club :: The Very Worst Missionary
Do you ever accidentally write your email instead of your name, because you're constantly needing to sign into things and or give people a way to contact you? Just me? Okay.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the multitude of Instagram Stories including snap shots of pages upon pages of The Very Worst Missionary. Red pen underlining the majority of the book and neurotic scribbles in the margins. If you follow me on Instagram and you didn't see this book coming on the blog... I don't know, there's something just not clicking in your brainspace.
Seven years ago, being a missionary was my dream job. Not specifically being a missionary, but living abroad doing aid work. Mark and I scrimped and saved and fundraised and took classes and flew around the country in order to be able to finally have this dream job. And then, suddenly to the majority of the world, we quit.
We have never shared the details of why and most people thought (still think) it was because we just couldn't hack it. You can believe that if you want. I'll even say it's true to some degree. There are things I could not hack, that we could not hack. None of them had to do with where we lived or who we interacted with. Every single one of the things that we could not hack had to do with the job we were supposedly doing.
That's what this book is about. It is her story. It is my story. It is our story. It is the story of so many people with good intentions and not enough information.
The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever
by Jamie Wright
My husband is the one who originally wanted to purchase this book. While I adore the blog (it was especially important to me when we were in and after we left Mexico), I just wasn't sold on buying it. So when I finally picked up this book, I didn't actually understand what it was about. I thought it was primarily about missions, missiology, and being a missionary.
This book is "a memoir or whatever" about her life before and in Costa Rica. It sums up what has "made her qualified" to discuss mission, missionaries, and missiology. Maybe the next one will feature more of what I thought this one would be.
While this book was not one I picked off the shelf, nor what I thought it was - this book is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The story is so pertinent to where we are as a society with aid work - both religious and secular - and so NEEDED.
I can't summarize a book like this. Every chapter, every page, every word is perfect and necessary to discuss the issue of good intentions, white-savior-ism, and coming at "mission" from a new direction.
However, I will say this:
This book is beautiful, hard hitting, and full of grace for a damaged and broken system. Jamie Wright challenges without condemning from a place of deep, unabashed honesty that inspires readers to take a deeper look at every 'good' thing.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Pick it up and read along!