- Paperback: 424 pages
- Publisher: Resource Publications (February 22, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1532658540
- ISBN-13: 978-1532658549
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-cultural Christian Worker Paperback – February 22, 2019
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“What is it I really need?” is a key question raised in a chapter about sacrifice in Serving Well, a must read book for missionaries and for those who love them. This is a book you really need if you are ‘called to go, or called to let go.’
In Serving Well we read both the spiritual and practical, simple and profound, funny and compelling in chapters written by Elizabeth and then Jonathan Trotter; hearing from each their voices and their hearts, the struggles and the victories, ‘the bad days and the good days’ of preparing to go and serving well overseas.
Their down-to-earth yet godly insights were born from living overseas and from authentically wrestling with the ‘yays and yucks’ of missionary life. They draw wisdom from both Scripture and sci-fi authors, Psalms and funny YouTube videos, encounters with Jesus and encounters with cops looking for a bribe.
Take two books with you to the mission field: the Bible, and Serving Well.
——Mark R. Avers, Barnabas International
“Serving Well is deep and rich, covering all aspects of an international life of service from multiple angles. It is full of comfort, challenge, and good advice for anyone who serves abroad, or has ever thought about it, no matter where they find themselves in their journeys. It is also really helpful reading for anyone who has loved ones, friends or family, serving abroad——or returning, to visit or repatriate. Jonathan and Elizabeth Trotter are both insightful and empathetic writers, full of humility and quick to extend grace——both to themselves and to others. Their writing covers sorrow and joy, hope and crisis, weariness and determination. Best of all, from my perspective as someone who has worked with TCKs for over 13 years, it contains an excellent collection of important advice on the topic of raising missionary kids. Choose particular topics, or slowly meander through the entire volume piece by piece, but whatever you do——read this book!”
——Tanya Crossman, cross cultural consultant and author of Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century
“Overseas workers face a barrage of junk when they arrive on their field location: identity issues, fear/anxiety issues, and faith issues. I have worked with missionaries for well over a decade now and see how these common themes cry out for a grace-filled approach to truth and authenticity. The Trotters live this out loud, intentionally seeking a way to minister out of their own pain, striving, humor, and failure. Keep this reference close at hand!”
——Jeannie Hartsfield, Clinical Counselor, Global Member Care Coordinator, World Team
“This book is the definitive guide to thriving in cross-cultural ministry. The Trotters have distilled years of experience into pithy chapters filled with helpful tips and wise insights. Put it on your must-read list.”
——Craig Greenfield,Founder,Alongsiders International, author of Subversive Jesus
“Serving Well is more than a book to sit down and read once. It is a tool box to return to over and over, a companion for dark and confusing days, and a guide for effective and long-lasting service. Elizabeth and Jonathan are the real deal and Serving Well, like the Trotters, is wise, compassionate, vulnerable, and honest. This needs to be on the shelves of everyone involved in international, faith-based ministry.”
——Rachel Pieh Jones, author of Finding Home: Third Culture Kids in the World, and Stronger Than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa
“In this must-read missions book, Jonathan and Elizabeth unearth the underlying motivations of the cross-cultural call. Penned with copious compassion and startling transparency, Serving Well is sure to make you laugh, cry, and, in the end, rejoice as you partner with God in his global missions mandate.”
——David Joannes, author of The Mind of a Missionary
“Serving Well is an important voice in the search for honest, experienced conversation on living and working cross-culturally in a healthy and sustainable way. Dig in!”
——Michael Pollock, co-author of Third Culture Kids
About the Author
Elizabeth Trotter is the editor-in-chief for the missions website A Life Overseas (alifeoverseas.com). She writes regularly at trotters41.com and velvetashes.com and is the author of Hats: Reflections on Life as a Wife, Mother, Homeschool Teacher, Missionary, and More. Jonathan Trotter spends his days providing pastoral counseling at a local counseling center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He also serves as one of the pastors at an international church. In addition to writing regularly for A Life Overseas, he has written for the IMB (International Mission Board), Velvet Ashes, The Huffington Post, and The Gottman Institute. Jonathan and Elizabeth have lived in Southeast Asia since 2012. Before that they worked in local churches in the United States for ten years.
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It is an invaluable resource for those considering or living in the mission fields; it is helpful for those who have been and I highly recommend it for anyone who is formally involved in the sending of missionaries.
While reasonably comprehensive, the book is also very readable, written in an open, honest and sometimes humourous style. The fact that we get both Elizabeth and Jonathan's perspectives is also immensly valuable.
I shall certainly be promoting the book amongst my own community where there is a dearth of such material and missionaries are often sent with little to no preparation. I can only imagine what a difference it would have made on my own cross-cultural experience.
With all the great advice, valuable perspectives and down-to-earth commentary; the focus on staying connected to the vine, loving to the Lord Jesus and worshipping God is strong throughout. I hope this book finds its way into the hands of many who hear the call.
—Taking Care of your heart well
—Taking Care of your marriage well
—Taking Care of your children well
—Working well (with yourself and others)
—Anticipating well (recognizing some of the common pitfalls)
—Recalculating well (when things don't go as planned)
I appreciated that each chapter was clearly labeled as either by "Jonathan" or "Elizabeth" so I knew who was speaking. I also enjoyed the conversational tone and easy writing style, this book is more like a conversation with a friend than listening to a lecture you will be quizzed on. I gave it four stars instead of five for two reasons. One is the length, I'm concerned that people will see how long it is and be scared off by the sheer volume. And as a single person, it struck me that there is a chapter dedicated to taking care of your marriage, and another dedicated to taking care of your children, but no chapter on "taking care of your singleness." I'm all for taking care of marriages and children :)! But with the number of wonderful single servants on the field, asking for insights from them seems an unnecessary oversight.
Still, this book is well worth your time!
With more than 100 chapters, it covers everything from how prepare well to how to return well, with reflections and insight on moving overseas; taking care of your heart, marriage, and children; relationships, communication, pitfalls, and what to do when things don’t go as planned.
An emphasis on cultivating self-knowledge and emotional awareness comes through strong.
The book is comprehensive, funny, deep, and well written. I think it would be a good one to read or even read aloud with a spouse, friend, or teammate. You could use chapters to stimulate team discussion. Pastors and member-care types might want to read it, too, and use it as a resource to share with others.
The Trotters serve in Cambodia. Both write for the popular collaborative missions blog A Life Overseas. Elizabeth is the editor-in-chief. Jonathan spends his days as a pastoral counselor.