Posts Tagged ‘book’

Missionary Kid: How I Learned to Say Goodbye

Monday, January 29th, 2018


I have to admit that John Haines’ book about being a missionary kid is better than mine, so if you’re only going to buy one, buy his. Many of you have read mine, which was written from the point of view of a child. His point of view is of an adult looking back with nostalgia and wistfulness at what once was. I like the processing that he went through in a humorous, stream-of-consciousness style. If I ever re-write my own book, I will stop and philosophize from time to time like he did. The memoir of his life made me laugh and cry as I relived my own experiences.

I hadn’t even finished the prologue when I got a lump in my throat and wanted to cry.  It seems that we MK’s have explosively deep emotions that are buried out of sight like land mines. In the book, his land mine was set off by seeing a Moroccan woman who looked so much like his maid/nanny when he was young. It was like he imprinted on her like a mother figure, and then when he moved away from Morocco and hadn’t seen her for decades, he went back as an adult, and the familiar face triggered all the childhood memories. This set off an overwhelming sensation, almost as if he was re-united with his mother for the first time in years.

So I knew by page 4 that I was going to enjoy doing this review, which I agreed to do for compensation. It was the most emotionally satisfying review I’ve done. I wrote notes all over the margins as I pondered why I felt a certain way about what the author was saying (whether grief, laughter, empathy, or whatever emotion was evoked).

The personality (or voice) behind the writing had a detached bluntness and humor combined with the friendliness of a tour guide telling someone the way things are for missionary kids. This is not a religious book, and it is written to believers, unbelievers, and what he calls “innocent ones.” Each category is sometimes addressed separately. The “innocent ones” are not Christians, but they are not against Christians either, so they are taking in the story as impartial recipients.

The author is blunt about everything he experienced as a missionary kid, so I believe that MK’s especially will love the book because he says things with shocking honesty that we would never dare say at the time we were on the mission field.

There was so much MK humor in the book. For example, he mentions “lists of three being a feature of the sermons I grew up on,” and “What better home for an uprooted missionary kid than a boarding school full of missionary kids?” That second quote is from the chapter describing his interesting boarding school experiences.

Many pearls of MK wisdom were tossed out at us throughout the book. Here’s one: “Wandering like the Children of Israel in a land that was not ours, we never got to stop and savor one of life’s most priceless commodities: friends.” As you can see, he uses the language of someone who grew up with what I call church language, and he says things that are profound in a boy-next-door kind of way. The topic itself has poignancy because we constantly had to say good-bye to our friends. Hence the title: Missionary Kid: How I Learned to Say Goodbye.

The book ended in a satisfying way as he returned to the lands of his childhood. I believe that every missionary kid should go back to their motherland at some point in their adult lives to be able to come full circle and heal from all the unresolved grief of having to say good-bye so much in our lives. Last year I did just that, and I felt a sense of completion. I too felt that I had finally come home.

To grab a copy of the book, click here.

Sexual Purity for Teen Boys

Monday, February 20th, 2017


If you are concerned about sexual purity for teen boys as a parent in our day and age, you are not alone. Sexual sin is rampant in our culture, and things are getting worse as internet porn shows more and more violent sexual actions against women to be desirable. How is a young man to keep his way pure? By keeping it according to God’s Word. Hal and Melanie Young have just made this task easier for Christian parents by writing their new book Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.

Everything is covered in this book, from pornography to masturbation to sexual perversion to how to find a good wife. How to regain purity is also discussed. Everything is spoken of in a clean, frank way that is necessary for addressing these topics. The book is also thin enough to be read in one sitting. One of my teen sons finished it in two hours one morning. Another son spent two days reading it. Nothing came as a surprise to my sons because I’ve addressed sexual issues head-on every time they have been mentioned in Scripture or in literature over the years.


Dr. Tedd Tripp, author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart (my favorite parenting book that addresses heart issues instead of outer behavior) has read the book and recommends it, if you need the endorsement of a well-known Christian speaker.

For every Christian mother who has wrung her hands, wondering if her son may be viewing pornography behind her back or with friends, this book will address this awkward conversation so that your son doesn’t have to feel weird talking about this to his mother.


I praise God for a husband who was able to have the “birds and bees” conversation with our sons when they were twelve. Each of our sons heard about sex first from his own father instead of his peers, and it was mentioned as something you were only supposed to do with your spouse. This is one reason many people homeschool their kids, to control the amount of sexual smut that comes in from public schooled peers. But you can’t shelter your teens forever, no matter how much you try, especially when they leave home for college. Our sons must make up their minds to be sexually pure before marriage BEFORE they leave home.

Our teen boys must learn self-control before they face the world on their own. They MUST. We cannot leave this to chance and hope for the best.

I met Hal and Melanie a few years ago when they spoke at a homeschool conference here in Spokane. They are the real deal, people who love and honor God wholeheartedly. If you are going to buy the book, please buy it from their website to bless them : Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.

Growing Up as a Missionary Kid

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Here is the book trailer for my Growing Up as a Missionary Kid book:

I’m Susan Evans, the author of Growing Up as a Missionary Kid. I grew up in Guatemala because my parents were missionaries there. My life was totally different than a person who has grown up here in the United States. For example, a bullet flew through the window and nearly killed my sister.

Also, a bomb went off at the house of one of my close friends. That was after her family got a note telling them to get out of the country or they would be would be killed. So they actually left and went back to the States. Shortly thereafter, some guerrillas took over the house; they shot it up and there was a big bomb and everything. My family got to go out to eat for dinner because the police wouldn’t let us drive down our street.

Growing-Up-As-A-Missionary-Kid-4Another day I was standing in line at a bank with my mom. There was a soldier in the corner with a machine gun, with his hand on the trigger. As a young child, I just looked at his hand on the trigger, and I thought to myself, “Hmmm… I wonder what would happen if I walked behind him and yelled, ‘Boo!'” Then everybody would be killed, right? Because he had his hand on the trigger. I mean, that’s kind of stupid.

So that’s how I saw life.

This book is interesting because it is ground-breaking in the way that it presents life from the point of view of a child in a missionary kid situation. For that reason, church libraries ought to have this book, to remember to pray for the children of missionaries and not just the parents. Yes, the parents are doing the work that matters, but the children also are important. They could drag the ministry down if they go astray. So it’s important to remember the kids.

Another place that would enjoy this book is Christian schools because even though I wrote it for adults, this is really juvenile non-fiction. Kids really resonate with it because it is told from the point of view of a child. It’s exciting non-fiction. A lot of non-fiction is extremely dry and boring for reports. So kids will be glad if you buy the book for your local Christian school.

Other people that would enjoy this would be homeschooling parents because not only does it give an excitement for missions to your children, but it also has lots of fun ideas of what you can do with your kids. I did a lot of investigating in all my escapades from boarding school. It’s a fun book about fun experiences. For that reason, it’s a fun read.

100% of the profit of this book go to missions, and so I get zero. So it’s not self-serving for me to tell you to buy the book. It is for your own enjoyment as well as supporting missionaries.