"We do not tell our stories. Our stories are the tellers of us." - Little Bee In his 2010 novel, Chris Cleave tells the story of Little Bee, a young Nigerian girl, and Sarah, a British woman, whose lives are forever changed when their paths cross on a Nigerian beach. Both of these main characters take turns narrating their sides of the story, until all the pieces fall into place and the reader understands the tangled web that their two lives have created.Read More
“Had I been so keen to know God my Father, Lord, Friend, and Savior that I had missed the Bible’s consistent teaching that God is also other, higher, stranger?” (8). It is this question that Krish Kandiah sets out to address in his book God is Stranger (IVP, 2017). He posits that in the parts of Scripture we tend to neglect may just be the stories we most need to grow a whole, robust faith.
After years of focusing on the “simpler, happier, apparently more inspirational” stories of the Bible, Kandiah finds himself in a refugee camp where he meets refugee families and listens to their stories of unimaginable suffering. As he flips through his Bible looking for Scripture to comfort and encourage them, most of the verses highlighted in its pages seem hollow in comparison to the tragedy of global displacement.Read More
“Make America Great Again” Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, so familiar to us now, is a battlecry of hope for some Americans, while for others it is a sinister harbinger of a less inclusive era. In the year since President Trump’s inauguration, countless opinions have been written to dissect his policies and measure his motives. And while it is still only possible for God to reveal what lies in a man’s heart, 2017 has shown us that many Americans are nostalgic for a time in our country’s past when they believe things were simpler. A time when globalization had not yet required us to live alongside people of other religions and cultures. A time when upholding your own values also meant upholding nearly everyone else’s.
Whether you too feel this same nostalgia, or are opposed to its very basis, Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear by Matthew Kaemingk is a book you need to read.Read More
First They Killed My Father is a Netflix original film directed by Angelina Jolie and based on the book with the same name written by Loung Ung. At the age of five, Loung survived the Cambodian genocide, which was carried out by the Communist Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979. Through Loung’s eyes the audience witnesses the evacuation of Phnom Penh, the scattering of her family, her fight for survival while training as a child soldier, and ultimately, her journey to freedom and reunion with her siblings.Read More
A Better Country, by Cindy M. Wu, was published by William Carey Library in June 2017. At just over 50 pages, it is a concise study of refugees and what the Bible teaches about the displaced. This book fills a gap in Christian literature that trains believers how to think about the refugee crisis in specifically biblical terms.Read More
Jessica Udall begins her self-published book, Loving the Stranger by telling her readers that the words she has written come from her heart. But after completing her book last week I would have known without a doubt that it was written from her heart, even if she had not explicitly said so. Jessica has spent over a decade loving and serving immigrants; she has also become an immigrant herself, living in Africa for a time with her Ethiopian husband. She understands both roles in the story of strangers and welcomers, and she has seen first hand how they can transform one another in beautiful ways.Read More