Kate McCord is one brave and courageous woman of God. Writing under this pseudonym for protection, she recounts her personal experiences of the five years that she spent living and witnessing in the often hostile environment of Afghanistan.
Though I am still making my way through the book, it doesn't take long for me to become completely submerged in the semingly alien culture of the Afghan people; in particular, the world of the women that Kate spends most of her time witnessing among, and reflecting Christ's love to, as she seeks to understand their customs and beliefs.
As an American woman, she gets to spend time in the places that most Afghan women would not be able to go, allowing her to speak to Afghan people in a more open environment. But she is extremely conscious of the social rules etiquette:
'I lived in Afghanistan for five years. I learned the rules – I had to.'
As you read on, it becomes ever apparent that she is walking a fine line. With people's curiosity is ever present, she is questioned about her beliefs; which is one of the first stories. He account of an intense and potentially dangerous ride in a rickshaw with two Afghan men, put me on the edge of my seat to find out how the situation would be resolved.
Written with such deep insight and cultural sensitivity, readers will learn as well as experience vicariously the inner workings of an Afghan community. Kate includes the Dari words for specific clothing and references to social and cultural differences. Adding atmosphere and creating a vivid picture of Afghanistan, she opens the reader's eyes to a world normally glimpsed only through a news report. Her relationships are heart-warming and compassionate as she befriends Afghan women and walks alongside them in their struggles.
Kate's experience as she conveys Christ's message of love, and unpacks the beliefs of those she encounters, is an encouragement to get out there and tell people the gospel. For most of us, it is unlikely that we will ever end up in a dangerous, life-threatening situation. With such a challenging read you may be inclined to think: 'well, that's ok for her'. But actually, deep down, the message of Matthew 28:19 remains true wherever God has placed you.
This book is great for those who have an interest in the Middle East or are considering international mission work, but it's also for the everyday Christian living in a multi-faith world with an opportunity to live and speak for Jesus.
February 5th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Anna Hockley