The very worst missionary A memoir or whatever

Jamie Wright

eAudio - 2018

After finding Jesus at a suburban megachurch, young Jamie Wright trades in the easy life on the cul-de-sac for the green fields of Costa Rica. There, along with her husband, kids, and the family cat, she intends to serve God and make converts. But she soon loses faith and falls into a funk of cynicism and despair. Fortunately, Knives the cat is there, looking on with just enough disinterest to make her laugh...and dare her to try another way. That other way turns out to be telling the truth. She... launches a renegade blog, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, which against all odds soon wins a large and passionate following around the world. Slowly, she begins to see that being a bad missionary-awkward, doubtful, skeptical-can mean that you're just the kind of person someone else might be willing to hear...and that loving others is just as much about changing yourself as it is about converting them.

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Online Access
Instantly available on hoopla.
Cover image
Published
[United States] : Dreamscape Media, LLC 2018.
Edition
Unabridged
Language
English
Physical Description
1 online resource (1 audio file (4hr., 58 min.)) : digital
Format
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
ISBN
9781520097985
1520097980
Access
AVAILABLE FOR USE ONLY BY IOWA CITY AND RESIDENTS OF THE CONTRACTING GOVERNMENTS OF JOHNSON COUNTY, UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, HILLS, AND LONE TREE (IA).
Main Author
Jamie Wright (author)
Corporate Author
hoopla digital (-)
Other Authors
Madeleine Lambert (narrator)
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 Library Journal Reviews

Wright reshapes the narrative around Christian missionary work, describing faith, family, and social life in the mission field of Costa Rica with a blunt wit and edgy vulnerability, expressed at times in vulgar language but also with surprising tenderness and insight. She recounts her secular Jewish upbringing, teenage pregnancy, and the quest for identity, belonging, and purpose that ensue when she marries the father of her newborn child and seeks to embrace the Christian faith he has known since childhood. Her encounter with Jesus propels the author through tremendous battles with her own personal demons: raising a child as a teen herself; forging through personal depression and the ongoing trials of married life; and navigating the hypocrisies of established church circles and ultimately surviving the contradictions of the missionary journey she and her husband embrace when they trade their suburban bliss for the missionary outposts of Costa Rica with three youngsters in tow. Narrator Madeleine Lambert's voice is engaging and versatile, but some of the humor borders on flippancy, and the swearing may offend some listeners. VERDICT The author's work may be appealing to teenage mothers or disenfranchised believers who may, like her, seek transcendence through grit and raw honesty and may find barriers in organized religion. Those considering or already engaged in mission ministry may benefit from a perspective that looks at the limits of missionary outreach without minimizing faith or human weakness.—Bernadette McGrath, Vancouver P.L., BC Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

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

After finding Jesus at a suburban megachurch, young Jamie Wright trades in the easy life on the cul-de-sac for the green fields of Costa Rica. There, along with her husband, kids, and the family cat, she intends to serve God and make converts. But she soon loses faith and falls into a funk of cynicism and despair. Fortunately, Knives the cat is there, looking on with just enough disinterest to make her laugh...and dare her to try another way.That other way turns out to be telling the truth. She launches a renegade blog, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, which against all odds soon wins a large and passionate following around the world. Slowly, she begins to see that being a "bad" missionary-awkward, doubtful, skeptical-can mean that you're just the kind of person someone else might be willing to hear...and that loving others is just as much about changing yourself as it is about converting them.