I usually share books I have been reading in sets of three with a similar theme. This one gets a post all its own because it comes with a free cross stitch pattern.
By: Jamie Wright
“The Very Worst Missionary is a memoir for the frustrated idealist in all of us.”
I don’t remember how I found Jamie Wright, but I remember it happened at just the right time. I keep my faith to myself because I don’t feel like I’m a good enough example of what a Good Christian should be. Jamie showed up and was like, “Eff that shit, be your badass self! Only your genuine self will do any good, so drop the act already!” I’m summarizing here, but it seems like something she would say.
Jamie’s tendency towards swearing is what earned her the title of The Very Worst Missionary (I believe the term was “Jesus shit balls Christ”), so be forewarned if coarse language bothers you. She is very genuine in her writing.
I loved this memoir of Jamie’s experience as a missionary in Costa Rica and her life leading up to it. I was aware of her criticisms of global missions but enjoyed reading the backstory and her personal involvement.
I pre-ordered the book as soon as I heard about it so I missed out on the audio version, but it is narrated by someone else so I don’t mind. I am familiar with Jamie’s voice through interviews and podcasts, so hearing someone else read would have been strange.
Speaking of interviews and podcasts, Jamie doesn’t blog much anymore, but her Facebook and Instagram are fun to follow. My favorite podcast series right now is Called, Not Qualified, which she co-hosts. If I had anything to add to the book it is that I would have liked her to go deeper into her critique of global missions. The book is an excellent memoir about her life in missions and what brought her to it but ends at her return to the United States. The Called, Not Qualified series is the perfect place to pick up after the book and does a very comprehensive job unpacking the problems within global missions.
I share Jamie’s disdain for cute sayings that are supposed to make me feel better. Like “Just do the next thing.” How exactly am I to know that that is?! I like her version much better:
Do the next most practical thing after careful exploration of the facts, so that even if it turns out to be the wrong thing at least you can say you made a solid decision based on sound research, and if after a period of evaluation you find out it wasn’t the right thing, then you can try something else. God will handle the rest.”
She also said it wouldn’t fit on a cross stitch, which of course prompted me to put it on a cross stitch.
It’s a giant cross stitch. This finishes at about 18″ x 9″ without any margins, so mat and frame this and you practically have a piece for above the sofa.
Here’s the symbol chart (Click to enlarge)
And here’s the key (Click to enlarge)
My life is such a hot mess at the moment, I think that stitching this GIGANTIC piece would NOT be the most practical thing to do. But if you get it stitched up, it would pretty much make my life if you sent me a picture.
In summary, read this book. Follow Jamie on social media. If you too are a frustrated idealist and feel like stabbing something a gazillion times, stitch this piece while listening to Called, Not Qualified.