Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In the Land of Blue Burqas

In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord (which is a protective pseudonym) is a description of McCord's five years spent living in and ministering to the women of Afghanistan. Mainly through sharing anecdotes of her time there, the author shares many simple yet profound truths she learned about Jesus, being a follower of Christ, Islam, and the Afghanistan culture.

The author's humble and teachable spirit struck me in the first few pages and is one of the most prominent aspects of this book. The cultural adaptations she made in order to fit into her community and not offend those she was working with are impressive, as were the lengths she went to in order to understand both the religious and cultural lenses through which the people of her community saw life. McCord's accounts of different conversations she had with both the men and women in her area of Afghanistan were informative on two levels. The most obvious is that it provides a small window of insight into both the cultural and religious aspects of a country with which America is heavily involved in, though most of us have little to no understanding of its history or its people.

The less obvious is how the things McCord did and they way she approached things allowed her to have open and honest conversations with her neighbors about important topics which had the potential to be divisive, yet were simply instructive.  Her account was an encouragement and challenge to me about how I interact with those around me, especially those with whom I may have very little in common. The hope of Jesus Christ transcends every barrier humanity has created; McCord is a great example of how His followers can help knock those barriers down in constructive and healing ways.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Afghan culture, living in a different culture, or learning how to better connect with others.

I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Moody Publishers Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255