Don and Jacquie Cartledge have been Assemblies of God missionaries since 1984. They served in Chile until 2007, teaching and directing at two Bible schools as well as pastoring two church plants. They also served in Costa Rica as Directors of CINCEL, LAC's center for language training and missionary formation. They now serve LAC in developing a missionary mentoring strategy and are mobilizing the church Cuba for world missions.
Books, books, and more books! Proverbs 12:12 says there is no end of them, so it appears I'll never get ahead in my reading and always be trying to catch up with what's new and the latest thing or idea.
Going back to a few old books, mixed with something new, is a tried and true recipe for balance in missionary life and work. I tried to narrow this down to a Top 3 or a Top 5 or even a Top 10, but found that seven worked best for me. (After all, it's the perfect number!)
So here goes:
1. John Pollock's Hudson Taylor and Maria always gives fresh perspective to where I am and what I'm going through- things never seem quite so bad after reading this book!
2. Elizabeth Elliott's A Chance to Die (a biography of Amy Carmichael, missionary to India)- same observations as #1.
3. Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret provides a spiritual foundation for all that we do and are as missionaries- not to be missed!
4. Arthur Brown's The Foreign Missionary - written over 100 years ago, many of his insights are just as real, relevant, and fresh today as they were when he wrote them.
5. John Ortberg's Overcoming Your Shadow Mission is short, sweet (well, maybe not so sweet), and to the point. It's a great book to help maintain focus and direction while working in some very distracting conditions and environments.
6. Mary Lederleitner's Cross-Cultural Partnerships is the best book I've read on missions in the last five years- I wish I'd read it during my first term on the mission field. It asks lots of hard questions and provides some really good answers!
7. Naseem Nicholas Taleb's Antifragile - I haven't even finished reading this yet, but it has challenged my thinking on so many levels about how we as missionaries can thrive and survive. I cannot imagine not knowing or seeing life without the lens of his unique insights. A must read.
There you have it: the Top Seven! Read, enjoy, and prepare to be challenged!