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Assimilate or go home : notes from a failed missionary on rediscovering faith / D.L. Mayfield.

By: Mayfield, Danielle L.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York, NY : HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2016]Copyright date: ©2016Edition: First edition.Description: xvi, 207 pages ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780062388803 (paperback); 0062388800 (paperback).Subject(s): Mayfield, Danielle L | Church work with refugees -- United States | Evangelistic work -- United StatesGenre/Form: Autobiographies.DDC classification: 266.0092 Summary: A missionary who felt that she failed at proselytising after a decade working with Somali refugees discusses how these experiences opened her eyes and renewed her faith in how God transforms the lives of the marginalised.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

From childhood, D.L. Mayfield longed to be a missionary, so she was thrilled when the opportunity arose to work with a group of Somali Bantu refugees in her hometown of Portland, OR. As the days, months, and years went by, her hopeful enthusiasm began to wear off, her faith became challenged, and the real work of learning to love and serve her neighbors grew harder, deeper, and more complex. She writes: "The more I failed to communicate the love of God to my refugee friends, the more I experienced it for myself. The more overwhelmed I felt as I became involved in the myriads of problems facing my friends who experience poverty in America, the less pressure I felt to attain success or wealth or prestige. And the more my world started to expand at the edges of my periphery, the more it became clear that life was more beautiful and more terrible than I had been told."

In this collection of stunning and surprising essays, Mayfield invites readers to reconsider their concepts of justice, love, and reimagine being a citizen of this world and the upside-down kingdom of God.

A missionary who felt that she failed at proselytising after a decade working with Somali refugees discusses how these experiences opened her eyes and renewed her faith in how God transforms the lives of the marginalised.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Author's Note (p. ix)
  • Preface: Stateless Wanderers (p. xi)
  • Chapter 1 Anticipation and Excitement (p. 1)
  • Light and Dark (p. 3)
  • O, Pioneers (p. 7)
  • Vacation Bible Schools (p. 12)
  • The Kingdom of Heaven (p. 20)
  • Refugeed (p. 29)
  • Hungry (p. 36)
  • Cockroaches (p. 40)
  • Chapter 2 Reality Sets In (p. 45)
  • Language Learning (p. 47)
  • Conversion (p. 53)
  • On Pakora (and Mutuality) (p. 60)
  • Otherness (p. 65)
  • Dear Frank (p. 71)
  • Nostalgia (p. 78)
  • The Do-Gooder (p. 80)
  • Chapter 3 Depression and Culture Shock (p. 93)
  • The Wedding (p. 95)
  • Wade in the Water (p. 102)
  • The Woes (p. 110)
  • On Motherhood, On Death (p. 117)
  • Consider the Turtles (p. 123)
  • Oh, to Be of Use (p. 130)
  • The Rule of Life (p. 137)
  • On Healing (p. 151)
  • Chapter 4 Stabilization (p. 159)
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Couch-Sitting (p. 161)
  • Marigolds (p. 172)
  • Life Lis (p. 178)
  • Idols (p. 183)
  • Vacation Bible Schools, Part 2 (p. 188)
  • The Ministry of Cake (p. 194)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 205)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Mayfield was raised by born-again Christian parents who moved frequently to help nascent church communities grow. She became interested in passing on the teachings of Jesus at an early age. This youthful wandering instilled a passionate missionary spirit in Mayfield, and her beautifully written, emotionally rich memoir centers around her years of work with Somali Bantu refugees relocated in Portland, Ore. Mayfield's initial zeal for converting everyone to Jesus and the Bible gives way to a nagging suspicion, and then a powerful certainty, that the push toward conversion is misguided. Mayfield is hardest on herself; the reader can almost see her shaking her head as she remembers what she now sees as the missteps of her early missionary career, however well-intentioned. As Mayfield's love grows for this complicated group of immigrants-mainly women and children-her prose and reflections on faith soar with intelligence and compassion. With prescient commentary on the crisis of global immigration and wise points on the nature of finding peace on our own terms, Mayfield's close observation of the difficult journey of refugees trying to make a new life abroad while desperately missing the homes they were forced to abandon is required reading in an age of increased turmoil surrounding the status of refugees worldwide. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.