Pam’s New Book: One Plane Ticket From Normal
This book is my chance to sit down with you over a cup of your favorite caffeine and give you a glimpse into life in the Middle East. You’ll meet my friends, get snapshots of everyday life and also receive Culture Cues for how to interact with your other-culture neighbors.
Here’s the Introduction:
My host smiled, stretched out his hand and offered me a perfectly round goat eyeball. The blue iris glistened under the lone bulb illuminating the interior of this bare-walled concrete home. I was mesmerized. It seemed to actually be winking at me. I waited for our host to burst into laughter dispelling the building tension. None came. I was the guest and therefore received the “best” part of the evening’s dinner.
My mind wandered to a meal that I had had in the States just a few months before. Surrounded by friends, I laughed at their jokes, recognized the food (none of which stared back) and understood all of it. It felt normal. It was my normal.
A grunt brought me back to my senses as the gleeful protagonist continued to move the eyeball closer still. I realized in that moment that a 30-hour flight had brought me here to this strange place filled with bizarre customs and, in my opinion, highly questionable food choices. How could one uneventful plane ride from Missouri make me feel as though I had landed on Mars?
Absolutely everything was different. Then it hit me, I was simply one plane ticket from normal…back to a place I knew, understood and loved. Dorothy, could point and click (with her computer mouse and a decent credit line) and be back to Kansas…er, Missouri in less time than it would take to grill Billy’s brother.
But Jesus was asking me,
“Pam, do you want a normal, predictable life or a comfort-stretching, miracle-inducing, edge-of-faith one?”
I still look in the mirror and ask myself that question every single day.
Could I possibly learn to love and live among the people who call the Middle East their home? Am I willing to let go of “normal” to demonstrate the love of an extraordinary Savior?
The following pages are a collection of stories accumulated from our time in Egypt and Sudan. We’ve lived in a metropolis (Cairo), a city (Khartoum) and a small village along the Nile in Upper Egypt. Through it all we’ve met some extraordinary people and have lived life beyond anything we could have imagined (including various goat parts).
I’d like to introduce you to some of our friends. You’ll find that “other-culture” people are not so very different when it comes to love for family, desire for security and a longing to be known by God. Those things that are different are sometimes hilarious, sometimes sobering but all a reflection of a God who loves displaying creativity in mankind.
Following each story, you’ll find a “Culture Cue” that will help you interact with “other- culture” people that you may meet in your day to day life. Believe me, they’ll be grateful you tried to interact. I’m the “other-culture” person in this country and every smile, nod or kindness is truly appreciated.
Discussion questions provide opportunity for intercultural dialogue and examination among your friends or small group.
So if you have your ticket ready, we’ll board together! Life will never be the same again.
-Excerpt from One Plane Ticket From Normal (Release October 2016)