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June's Book
The Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver

Viewer’s Response
Jared Hodges, a bookclub viewer who lived in the Congo as the child of missionary parents, sent us this reaction to the Poisonwood Bible program by e-mail.

I grew up in West Africa and spent over a year in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), formerly Zaire. My parents were Southern Baptist missionaries who served in Zaire in 1998. While I went to school in Kinshasa, my parents lived only a three-hour flight away, by a Mission Aviation Fellowship single-prop bush plane. The roads were in such terrible shape that it was a ten-hour drive.

Two years ago, while in Mali on a mission trip, I was told about The Poisonwood Bible by a missionary who lived there. While suffering through malaria I read the novel. It brought back vivid memories of where my parents lived, but I had forgotten about the book until viewing your show.

Even though the book was set during 1959ish, I knew of missionaries who are quite like the Prices. People who, for some reason, fail to present the Gospel to others in a way that is communicable. Paul wrote that he “becomes all things to all people so that the glory of God may be made known.” Mr. Price failed in this aspect.

On the flip side of that, I also knew and know many missionaries who do not abuse either their family or the people with which they live. They love the people. In a nutshell, that is why they are there. That is the flaw of Mr. Price. Although I enjoyed the book, I believe that The Poisonwood Bible gives a false representation of missionaries and the love of Christ.

I enjoyed your show and thought that you might like to know that there was someone watching who had lived in the “Poisonwood Bible area.”

Thanks for airing a great show. KET is my favorite channel.

Jared Hodges

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