Ask a Missionary

John McVay

'Ask a Missionary' is a book that is written with the American student in mind and tackles the kind of questions that might be asked by someone who is just setting out in mission work. It has contributions from a number of big names in the American world mission scene.

As it is aimed at those who come from an American cultural background, it sometimes doesn't cover the possibilities that some readers might be starting from a different cultural context (i.e. British), even though it is available to purchase outside the US. The perspective portrayed sometimes comes across as reflecting quite a modernist stance, when viewing it from today's post-modern British culture. Many of the contributors have been on the mission field for upwards of 20 years so their thoughts often reflect the mindset of their generation.

Having said that, I do think that anyone who is starting out in mission might find some useful information by dipping into the different chapters of the book. As part of that first stage of 'information searching', it is a useful tool to help you consider areas that you might otherwise have overlooked.

It is very difficult to encapsulate all the different viewpoints on every area of mission work. Therefore, the book tries to give advice without narrowing answers down to one viewpoint. It also encourages the reader to explore what is the right avenue for them. It's a challenge that every new mission worker faces, made easier by seeing how others have dealt with the issues.

It has taken 10 years to bring this book to fruition. Over the years, much wisdom and tested experiences of missionaries have been accumulated and incorporated into the book. This means that any individual's search for guidance and information on becoming a cross-cultural worker will be all the richer after reading this book.

Reviewed by Cheryl Frith

Cheryl Frith has worked extensively in the Christian sector. She has been both New Student and Former Student Co-ordinator at Redcliffe College, a church administrator and Gloucester Foodbank administrator. She also provides voluntary support to OSCAR. She has previously spent several years working in Africa with Mission Aviation Fellowship alongside her husband, Mike.