The very worst missionary A memoir or whatever

Jamie Wright

Book - 2018

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2nd Floor 266/Wright Due Jul 19, 2022
New York : Convergent Books 2018.
First edition
Physical Description
xvii, 221 pages ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Jamie Wright (author)
Other Authors
Jen Hatmaker (writer of foreword)
  • Foreword / by Jen Hatmaker
  • Introduction
  • Part 1. The odd early years
  • The very worst missionary
  • Jew-ISH
  • Tough
  • A butt-hair-milkshake love story
  • I'm not done
  • Part 2. An unconventional faith
  • Good Christian
  • Years of plenty
  • Bad Christian
  • Get real
  • Adventure us
  • Part 3. What in the actual hell
  • Raise your hand
  • Surprise
  • The butterfly eater
  • The very worst year
  • Friday-night lights
  • Part 4. Fix it, Jesus
  • The scales fall
  • Natural-born blogger
  • Practical magic
  • Suck with knives
  • Do your best.
Review by Booklist Reviews

After Wright's Jewish upbringing, her conversion to Christianity followed some of the standard arcs—wanton youth, surprised by joy—on the road to salvation. Wright is the sort of person who, no matter the circumstance, doesn't do things by halves, and nothing is wasted: Judaism gave her a firm foundation, and her hard-edged adolescence allows her to call out BS. When she becomes a Christian, it's not enough to become deeply involved in church life; she and her family become missionaries in Costa Rica. Never one to let situations simply lay, Wright soon observes that the missionary "system" is flawed, sending unfit people or too many missionaries into a field. When her observations lead her to start a blog, her writing earns the ire of many but also the devoted following of readers who find her honesty not only refreshing but a much-needed tonic. And she's also really funny. Readers who like their Christian experiences to follow certain proscriptions may not appreciate Wright's style. Those who enjoy truth, straight-up, and the work of Anne Lamott should give this a try. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Wright, founder of the Jamie the Very Worst Missionary blog, exposes her disenchantment with missionary work in this irreverent, fast-paced memoir. A rebellious teenager, she wound up pregnant at 17. After marrying the child's father, she converted to Christianity, added two more children to the family, and moved the whole crew to Costa Rica to become missionaries. It wasn't Wright's faith that unraveled during her stay as much as it was her alignment with "churchianity," she writes. Her frustration began when still living in the U.S., and it deepened when confronted with the realities of missionary work: it takes away opportunities for local laborers; the funds raised for missionary organizations are hard to track and can be easily abused by those who simply want to live in cities and hang out at coffeehouses; and it is fraught with manipulative stunts such as planting actors in the crowd to pose as converts. Conformity, Wright admits, has never been her thing; as if to prove it, she laces her refreshingly honest reflections with f-bombs. Readers don't get a sense of her intimacy with God and how that relationship changes over time, but Wright still effectively conveys to Christians that their true calling should be love. (Apr.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Shares the author's experiences as an enthusiastic convert to Christianity whose experiences as a missionary left her feeling like a cynical failure, until she started a blog that opened her eyes to like-minded Christians and the value of their perspective.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A popular blogger describes how she found Jesus at a suburban megachurch and moved her family to Costa Rica to begin missionary work, only to discover that the culture gap and incompetence of her co-workers moved her to doubt, skepticism and underachieving. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“The reason you love Jamie (or are about to) is because she says exactly what the rest of us are thinking, but we’re too afraid to upset the apple cart. She is a voice for the outlier, and we’re famished for what she has to say.” --Jen Hatmaker, New York Times bestselling author of Of Mess and Moxie and For the Love   Wildly popular blogger "Jamie the Very Worst Missionary" delivers a searing, offbeat, often hilarious memoir of spiritual disintegration and re-formation.   As a quirky Jewish kid and promiscuous punkass teen, Jamie Wright never imagines becoming a Christian, let alone a Christian missionary. She is barely an adult when the trials of motherhood and marriage put her on an unexpected collision course with Jesus. After finding her faith at a suburban megachurch, Jamie trades in the easy life on the cul-de-sac for the green fields of Costa Rica. There, along with her family, she earnestly hopes to serve God and change lives. But faced with a yawning culture gap and persistent shortcomings in herself and her fellow workers, she soon loses confidence in the missionary enterprise and falls into a funk of cynicism and despair. Nearly paralyzed by depression, yet still wanting to make a difference, she decides to tell the whole, disenchanted truth: Missionaries suck and our work makes no sense at all! From her sofa in Central America, she launches a renegade blog, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, and against all odds wins a large and passionate following. Which leads her to see that maybe a "bad" missionary--awkward, doubtful, and vocal—is exactly what the world and the throngs of American do-gooders need.  The Very Worst Missionary is a disarming, ultimately inspiring spiritual memoir for well-intentioned contrarians everywhere. It will appeal to readers of Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jen Hatmaker, Ann Lamott, Jana Reiss, Mallory Ortberg, and Rachel Held Evans.