continuing education

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I 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:


Orphan Care

Poverty Alleviation

Cross-Cultural Ministry



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