I have often wondered how a woman could voluntarily give up all of the freedoms, protections, and rights afforded her by living in the Western world to move to a country where freedom is non-existent and danger is lurking around every corner. So, it was with great interest that I read Kate McCord’s (a protective pseudonym) book, In The Land Of Blue Burqas, where she chronicles her 5-year journey deep into the heart of Afghanistan. During this time, Kate learns the language and spends her days working at a non-governmental organization designed to help Afghan families in the community she serves. When she’s not working, she lives among the people, where she gets to know them intimately through an ongoing series of conversations about family and faith.
What I can tell after reading Kate’s book is this: Kate’s story is nothing short of astounding. Through a series of open, honest and intimate stories and conversations that recount her time in Afghanistan, Kate opens our eyes to a culture and religion that is vastly different than ours – something that we must grasp in order to understand these people. There is danger lurking around every corner. Her very presence is considered a threat to the community.
In Afghanistan the mullahs have a lock on theology and law. They define the rules, and Afghans are meant to follow them without expressing doubt or hiding disobedience. Ahmad had inadvertently revealed the threat I carried inherently when he said, “If a Muslim possess a copy of the bible, then he has already converted to Christianity.” My neighbors, coworkers, and friends did posses a copy of the Bible. They possessed it in me.
What surprised me the most about this book was how much I learned about my own faith from this book. The bible stories that Kate shared really resonated with the Afghans, opening my eyes to how similar the culture of modern-day Afghanistan is to the world in which Jesus lived in – and how radical a faith Christianity truly is.
If you are looking for a book that will challenge you, stretch you, inform you, enlighten you, and – ultimately – transform you – I cannot think of a better book for you to read. I highly recommend In The Land Of Blue Burqas as this season’s “must read” book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.