The Very Worst Missionary

A Memoir or Whatever
Narrated by: Madeleine Lambert
Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (270 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After finding Jesus at a suburban megachurch, young Jamie Wright trades in the easy life on the cul-de-sac for the green fields of Costa Rica. There, along with her husband, kids, and the family cat, she intends to serve God and make converts.

But she soon loses faith and falls into a funk of cynicism and despair. Fortunately, Knives the cat is there, looking on with just enough disinterest to make her laugh...and dare her to try another way. That other way turns out to be telling the truth. She launches a renegade blog, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, which against all odds soon wins a large and passionate following around the world.

Slowly, she begins to see that being a bad missionary - awkward, doubtful, skeptical - can mean that you're just the kind of person someone else might be willing to hear...and that loving others is just as much about changing yourself as it is about converting them.

©2018 Jamie Wright (P)2018 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about The Very Worst Missionary

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The VERY BEST memoir

I was reading the ebook while listening to the audiobook version, and I was so struck by how fast it read, and how captivating and real the story was. There is pain, satire, self-reflection, and so much thoughtfully crafted, beautifully radiant faithfulness and truth in her story. I have so much respect for Jamie’s courage in calling out bullsh*t. Personally, my own time in the mission field is filled with many similar memories and crazy, messy, weird moments. I am grateful for the author’s voice, her wild badass humor, and her bold unfiltered way of speaking truth. This is one hell of a book. Thank you Jamie Wright, your voice is a gift to the world and you are valued.

4 people found this helpful

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  • B
  • 03-10-19

Mixed Thoughts

Jamie Wright honestly opens up in this book but I feel like she is talking "at" me rather than "to" me, the reader. She assumes I won't identify with some of her thoughts and uses "language or tricks" more to grab my attention rather than to empasis her feelings/opinion. I've worked in the Christian community overseas and what she experienced and saw is quite common in other areas of the world, too. I appreciate her putting it out there in such a blunt way but wish she would of delved a bit deeper into how she managed day to day in those 5 years. I do think that her "title" will grab people's attention and perhaps get people thinking and "acting" a bit on the "landmines" she has thrown out there. I appreciate the book and am glad she had the courage to write and publish it.

3 people found this helpful

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Great book, but robotic sounding performance.

Loved the book and the message. The reader sounded like a robot, though. Would have preferred Jamie to read.

3 people found this helpful

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Funny, thoughtful Memoir

Especially if you grew up in the church or went on a goofy short-term mission trip, this book is for you.

2 people found this helpful

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Funny, heartfelt, important.

Any additional comments?

Jaime bravely shares her real, raw story of how she became “The Very Worst Missionary” and all the good, bad, and hysterical that is life. Along the way she points out flaws in the missionary system, but this book is hardly anti-missions. She wants better for everyone involved. True relationships. Loving our actual neighbor.

2 people found this helpful

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Fresh breath of air

So I had never heard of Jamie, I had just finished "Inspired" by Rachel Held Evans and TVWM popped up in my recommended. I saw the title and read the description and I knew I had to read this. I too was a missionary and was jaded by Western missionary practices, at the end it left me numb to God. I appreciate Jamie's realness. Thank you Jamie for sharing what too many of us have been afraid to share, that sometimes being a missionary is bullshit.
And thank you for reminding me that God uses us even when we fuck up. <3

1 person found this helpful

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One of my new favorites!

I loved this book! Jamie is hilarious and had me laughing through the entire book. Not only that, but she speaks major TRUTH and brings some light to a real issue in Christian culture. Such a good read!

1 person found this helpful

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Poignant, Gritty, Thought-Provoking and Real

I've followed Jamie's blog for several years. This book didn't disappoint. There are moments so tender, so poignant as she discusses God in her busyness as a young mom or her years-long battle with depression. There is unflinching and needed critical dialogue on the short-term mission "industry." And in between a lot of F-bombs and plenty stories about Knives the cat is God's hand moving so clearly in her story. This is a must read, especially for people wanting to have a real conversations about missions. And it is a life-giving read to anyone thirsting to see vulnerability instead of trite christian jargon.

I also enjoyed the reader. I was disappointed that Jamie didn't read it. But this reader really gets the tone and doesn't try to christian-ize sarcasm, which I've experienced in other books...ahem all Jen Hatmaker books that she didn't read herself.

3 people found this helpful

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Didn’t like the book

Being a Christian missionary myself, I was looking for some content to learn more about other people’s missionary experiences. I know everyone’s story is different and God bless her for writing her own, but I am still confused about what exactly went wrong that she is just so against short/ long term missionaries now. I understood that she liked it, but said that she didn’t, while expressing herself in a pretty vulgar way. Also she has a pretty dirty mouth, and I was embarrassed to even listen to the book with other people around because of all the swearing. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Challenging in more ways than one

I appreciate this book and how the author drew her conclusions about the standard missionary model we seem to use. I agree, sending uninformed people to foreign countries to try and "westernize" and "Christianize" them is wrong. We end up "pushing" an American Christianity and our resources and our ignorance send the message that any other way of following Jesus doesn't interest us. We "push" our method of Christianity rather than ministering to others. This book will challenge you to think differently about how we minister (or send a missionary) to people in a foreign country.

But I was also challenged in another way. Because the author has a valid point about our missionary model, yet, she then goes out of her way to make it difficult for some people to read. First, she is very black-and-white in her conclusions. I got the impression she has made up her mind, and I'm wrong if I don't agree. And seconed, I'm also wrong if I have trouble with her swearing. I, too, use foul language, mostly in my self-talk. I'm not proud of it. And I don't use it when I want someone to consider my point of view. I could only conclude the author wants to make sure we all know, this is her memoir and if we don't agree with her, that's not her problem... It's ours.

The book is valuable to understand that everyone processes their relationship with Jesus for themselves. It does make you think, and for that, I'm grateful.