see MaishaKamili.org or our Facebook page for more info if you don't know what I'm talking aboutI don't want or need another degree. I have no use for further documentation of education. However, many times since we moved to Kenya, I have found myself needing more education in my brain. I am inadequately trained and not knowledgeable enough about cross-cultural ministry, ministry in general, cross-cultural life in general, caring for orphans, working in poverty alleviation, coming alongside a church of another culture who are trying to restore their functionality as the body of Christ. God's strength is perfect in our weakness, true. He doesn't call us because of what we bring to the table, true. But, he has guided our ministry plans through educating us on better (and worse) practices. And I believe there is much more I can learn through intentional study.
We want to add aspects to Maisha Kamili that we have no experience with (not that we had any experience with what we're already doing until we started it). I don't understand the way things work here. Why are the churches the way they are? I think it has something to with colonialism and paternalistic western missionaries, compounded by a top-down hierarchical social organization of the local culture. But I don't really know anything about this.
I began to think that a seminary degree plan with a focus on cross-cultural ministry, especially Africa and orphan care, would help. But how would I go about it? Then I saw this little infographic on Pinterest. The orange box stuck with me for weeks.
Seven years of reading to become an international expert is not bad. Ok, I have kids. I have many things to do. I want to do leisure reading sometimes. I need to do Bible study as well as academic reading. I may not be able to commit an hour every single day, and I don't necessarily have a goal of becoming an international expert, but I can certainly start reading with a purpose. I don't have a good public library, but I have a Kindle. I like to read. Why not expand my knowledge in this field by picking up a book instead of pining for formal education?
I made myself a "to read" list after perusing seminary bookstores and other readers' lists online, including some books that I've already read (they count! even though I hadn't started this intentional self-education yet). Some of these aren't available on Kindle and I will have to buy them on trips to the US or if I happen across them miraculously in Nakumatt.
I welcome your comments on these books if you've read them and comments on books in these categories you have read that aren't listed. My reading list:
Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa (Dambisa Moyo)- read It's Our Turn to Eat (Michela Wrong)- read The Kingdom of God in Africa: A Short History of African Christianity (Mark R Shaw)- currently reading, and soooo interesting
- Jesus and the Gospel in Africa: History and Experience (Kwame Bediako)
- How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity (Thomas C Oden)
- The State of Africa: A History of 50 Years of Independence (Martin Meredith)
- African Friends and Money Matters: Observations from Africa (David E Maranz)
- Christian Spirituality in Africa: Biblical, Historical, and Cultural Perspectives from Kenya (Sung Kyu Park)
- A History of Christianity in Africa: from Antiquity to the Present (Elizabeth Isichei)
- Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa (Terence O Ranger)
Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care (Tony Merida and Rick Morton)- read Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting (Johnny Carr)- read
- The Foster Parenting Toolbox: A practical, hands-on approach to parenting children in Foster Care (Kim Phagan-Hansel)
- The Adoptive and Foster Parents' Guide: How to Heal Your Child's Trauma and Loss (Carol Lozier)
- Welcome to the Roller Coaster: Real Life Stories of the Ups and Downs of Foster Care (DD Foster)
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself (Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert)- read
- Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity (Ronald J Sider)
- When Charity Destroys Dignity: Overcoming Unhealthy Dependency in the Christian Movement (Glenn J Schwartz)
Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility (Duane Elmer)- read
- Anthropological Insights for Missionaries (Paul G Hiebert)
- Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures (Sarah Lanier)
- Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile (Lois Bushong)
- To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson (Courtney Anderson) (which reminds me that I also want to read other biographies and autobiographies of missionaries)
- The Sacred Santa: Religious Dimensions of Consumer Culture (Dell Dechant)