Items May Have Shifted: When Missionaries Get Rerouted, by Maxine McDonald. Pioneers, 2023. 146 pages.
Many of the most popular missionary biographies paint a picture of heroic figures, often in primitive settings, who stay for many years and become beloved by the people. But things are different now. Pioneers found that half of its field workers who had served for ten years or more had lived in more than one country. Often they saw themselves as “lifers” with a one-way ticket to the first place on their hearts, but issues with visas, civil unrest, health, or family needs took them somewhere they never expected. So, how do they navigate that? What’s it like?
Hear four American missionary couples and a single woman, all serving with Pioneers, tell their stories in Items May Have Shifted.
This book is currently available in three formats. Help yourself to the one that fits your budget and reading preferences.
- Read the book online (free; registration required)
- Get a Kindle edition (US$.99)
- Pick up the paperback on Amazon or elsewhere (US$15.99)
Disclaimer, I work for Pioneers and was part of the editorial team that created this book. It’s part of our ongoing effort to demystify missions for those who would go and those who send, that both might have a more accurate picture of what it takes and what it may look like to serve cross-culturally in today’s world.
Readers may be interested in a few other 2023 titles related to mission transition. We previously reviewed Grit to Stay Grace to Go, by Sue Eenigenburg and Eva Burkholder, and Liturgies and Laments for the Sojourner, by Alicia Boyce, Heather Fallis, and Tamika Rybinski. Another new book that caught my eye, though I haven’t read it, is Rerouted: Caring for Missionaries When Unexpected Trials Bring Them Home.