Author: Linda K. Thomas

Reviewed By: Anne Holmes

Linda Thomas has a favorite phrase, “Quaint I ain’t,” which certainly describes the stories she tells her granddaughters in this book, a chronicle told in letter format, of the four years she and her husband spent in Africa as missionaries.

Linda begins by telling us that all she ever wanted was to live a quiet, secure life in a little white house with a picket fence and a rose garden. She figured that when she grew old, she’d be the kind of woman who knit blankets for her grandbabies while sitting in her rocking chair.

  • She never dreamt she would ever leave her kids and parents so that she could go live on the other side of the planet.
  • She never expected she would ever see – much less have to learn how to use — a pit latrine
  • She never thought she would willingly drink tea from a pot cleaned with cow’s urine, be charged by a hippo or have a baboon poop in her breakfast

But life is full of unexpected twists, turns and challenges. And as a result, she experienced all of these and so much more when her husband Dave — who she describes as a “free spirit who seldom limits himself to coloring within other people’s lines” – comes home one day and suggests that they tithe their time by spending a few years in Africa as representatives of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Of course, we are all old enough to know that life doesn’t always bring us what we anticipated. And, that God works in mysterious ways. Linda waited four months for God to show her whether or not Dave’s idea was a good one. And in the end, they went. While they experienced many trials like those mentioned above they also experienced many blessings, not to mention the beauty and grandeur of Africa.

If you have ever considered what it might be like to try a second career as a missionary, you’ll want to read this book. Linda shows that working on the mission field is doable, as long as you are willing, flexible and strong in your faith. She also points out that in many parts of the world, not just in Africa, the needs are enormous. And so are the rewards.

And even if you would never consider transitioning yourself into a life of service as an overseas missionary, you will enjoy Linda’s delightful letters from Africa. Just to understand what life is like on the other side of the world.

I highly recommend this book.

Originally Published on

Anne Holmes Boomer-in-Chief of NABBW
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