Book Review

October 11, 2007 — Leave a comment

A Dumb American in a Strange Country

By John Murphy

I’ve never written a book review before, but John sent me a copy of his book and I agreed.

In 2004, John Murphy and his wife, Iryna, started Kind Road Mission in Odessa, Ukraine. A Dumb American in a Strange Country chronicles John’s physical and spiritual journey as he followed God’s leading to the Ukraine.

This book is a collection of interesting stories, lessons, and insights. John’s witty writing style is refreshing and his spiritual insights are encouraging. This book is full of practical, inspirational, funny, and beneficial lessons and stories. As John describes what he learned as he overcame the unique challenges of serving God on the mission field he teaches the reader important lessons that can help us to overcome the challenges we face in our daily faith walk.

John draws lessons from a lot of different personal experiences providing a variety of powerful illustrations. Sometimes, though, I felt distracted by the myriad of experiences and lessons that John loads into each chapter. It sometimes just felt like too much of a good thing causing me to lose focus on the simple lesson John was trying to communicate. At times this book felt more like a collection of short stories rather than one book with one central story. With that in mind, I’d definitely recommend this book for use as a devotional—especially for anyone feeling God’s call to cross-cultural evangelism.

In this book John also effectively communicates both the real challenges and real blessings of mission work, so I’d also recommend this book for young people feeling called to missions, mission teams preparing for an upcoming trip, or anyone else with a heart for world evangelism and a desire to find God where you least expect him.

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