A Book for the Cases: Dangerous Territory

“My understanding of the language of faith needed to undergo the same kind of deconstruction and reconstruction for me to love it and use it rightly”

 Amy Peterson

 

Amy’s voice is honest. In this memoir spanning two years she explores the love, grit, and heartbreak of sharing Jesus overseas in Southeast Asia. She debunks the fantasy of a miraculous adventure and shares the disillusionment that comes with “missions.” And there is that right there: she carefully chooses her words. She pays attention to the semantics of language by exploring the history of missionary work. It used to be a white privileged male evangelizing in a foreign land. Now it is also the five-day trip a youth group takes to Mexico to build a house.

Anyone and everyone considering a life overseas must read this book. It does a good job sharing the reality of ministry; it is heartbreaking. But it is also joyous and it will stretch your faith like a rubber band until it snaps.

Speaking your faith can be an internal battle, the kind that keeps you up at nights, starves you, and leaves you in a dark room without even a hollow voice. Amy writes how she truthfully wondered where God was during her highs and lows on the field. Her voice is the type of gut honesty that can really change lives.

Through the cracks in our broken lives God pours out love and grace.

Not every day is a cake walk. Sometimes you must teach the same lesson of faith over and over again. It is in the simplicity of your voice where God can move in someone’s heart. Not everyday do big miracles like raising the dead happen, but small miracles like riding a motorbike to get coffee with a student do happen.

When I put this book down I remembered a prayer from Hildegard of Bengin:

 

“You shine so finely,

it surpasses understanding.

God hugs you.

You are encircled by the arms

of the mystery of God.”

 

Silence does move us. When we don’t hear God’s voice or see his face in what we do, He is still there. He surrounds us in his love and mystery when our language of faith is broken.