Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith. 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.
“Mayfield’s breakout book traces a journey from zealous youth to collegiate do-gooder to disillusioned doubter to chastened disciple. With her immersive storytelling… she reminds us that often enough, our trivial, messy ministries matter as kingdom work.” -- Christianity Today
D. L. Mayfield s voice aches like a psalmist s; it sings out like the prophets of old. This book is not the next hot new thing. It is ancient wisdom, distilled from the daily grind, rendered in the vernacular of American life." -- Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of 'Strangers at My Door'
“I have loved watching D.L. Mayfield find her voice in the wild world of Christendom. On these pages it is clear that we are wounded healers, that the path to God is one of downward mobility, and that all the ground is level at the foot of the cross.” -- Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and director of Red Letter Christians
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