For the Joy: 21 Australian Missionary Mother Stories on Cross-Cultural Parenting and Life
Edited by Miriam Chan and Sophia Russell
Have you ever wondered what being a mother looks like on the mission field?
Biographies of missionaries tend to focus on stories about the mission work, while the home life of missionary families features only in the background. This is where For the Joy is unique, for it tells stories on cross-cultural parenting and life from the perspective of missionary mums.
Much of the book is relatable to everyday life but many of the stories are quite eye-opening. These mums face a set of challenges specific to cross-cultural ministry, as they ask questions such as: ‘How do you parent in a different culture?’ and ‘How do you help your kids grapple with poverty, injustice, suffering or racism they see all around them?’
Some experiences are quite out of the ordinary, like one mum homeschooling her kids on a bus in Bolivia, or a red-haired mum spending her afternoons hunting crabs and making friends with Indigenous Australian mums.
Other stories are quite confronting and heart-breaking, including one mum’s experience of giving birth in a foreign country, another mum’s recollection of her son being caught in a terrorist attack and a mum who lost her child on the field suddenly and never found out why.
The details of each mother’s story are different, yet they all share a common thread: these women persevere through trials and hardships, not because they are super-women or because they particularly enjoy the challenge, but because they follow Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross – Hebrews 12: 2 (NIV).
Read For the Joy and you will be in good company as you strive to do likewise.
Reviewed by Alfinda Herman
Purchase the book here