Good News Friday, October 8 2021

sharing our good things

Sharing our good things.

Tell us something about your life in international development, faith, missions, cross-culturally…anything. Tell us something you have seen, heard about, done that is:

  • Good

  • Kind

  • Beautiful

  • Generous

  • Lovely

  • Praise-worthy

  • Honorable

You get the idea. Tell us something good.

Here’s mine:

This is kind of a strange “good thing” but in my mind it is “good” because it brings up an interesting discussion, something I love.

An Invisiblia episode this week caught my attention at first because it was a fabulous exploration of cross cultural friendship with which I found commonality. But the end disturbed me because of how American and naive it was. I’d love for some of you to have a listen and come back with your thoughts.

Here’s the link: International Friend of Mystery

Here’s what bothered me (read after you listen): The reporter and the American woman featured seem incredibly selfish in their feelings of being betrayed or gaslit by the other woman. But they do absolutely nothing to reckon with the reality of the context. If the American had been caught spying she would have been kicked out of the country, not awesome but not the end of the world. If the other woman had gotten in trouble, she would have gone to jail, been beaten, lost her job, lost her family, maybe even been “disappeared.” How dare they put their “hurt” feelings outside that very real context?! Am I off base here? I found it pretty offensive, actually and would really love to hear some people weight in.

Best News

The first ever malaria vaccine! This is huge news and it is so, so good.

Best Book Birthday

My first traditionally published book: Stronger than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa turned three this week. This week also commemorates her tragic murder in Somaliland the week my own family’s life turned upside down.

Best Honest Book Selling Conversation

My hairdresser this week asked if I earned enough off of Welcome to Djibouti to make a living. I almost peed my pants. She really thought I might and was surprised when I told her no. I sell about 0-3 copies of Welcome to Djibouti a month and I earn (depending on paperback or kindle) about $4.00 per sale. It is hard to live off of $0-12 a month - can’t even pay for my haircut. Well, she wondered, what about with all your books? I have 6 currently out for sale. Again, I almost peed my pants. That would be a solid no. I have them for sale at Amazon and Payhip (the self-published ones). The Payhip site, in four years, has earned me a total of $212.00. Not gonna live large off that either, even if combined with the $0-12. Haha! It is all good, I’m not in this for the money.

Please don’t say to an author that now with their book contract or self-published book, they are rolling in money. They probably (self included) paid more for editing and marketing and cover design than they earned, if self-published especially.

All that is to say - go get a book! Leave a review! Happy birthday to Stronger than Death!

Best New (to me) Music

Natalie Bergman and also her Wild Belle duo with her brother. Her new album Mercy is devastating, about faith and grief and love, and also stunning. Through that, I found Wild Belle and have been listening all week. Also Brandi Carlile’s new album In These Silent Days is beautiful.

Best New Book Release

I’m a Kate Bowler fan for sure. And her new book No Cure for Being Human captured me already, just a few pages in, with this line. I couldn’t read it (three times) without crying. “This is what happens to all of us. We fall ill. We get old. We can’t have that baby or keep that relationship. We missed our chance to go to school or take that job. Our parents die before we know them, and our kids forget our love. We lose people before we can learn how to live without them.”

What’s your good thing this week?