Heading home

My search for purpose in a temporary world

After mission

My search for purpose in a temporary world
By Naomi Reed
Authentic Media. 154 pages. 8.50
ISBN 978 1 860 248 535

‘We were home, but we weren’t really home at all...’ Naomi Reed describes her sense of disorientation as she re-adjusted to life back in Australia, after six years in Nepal. She had been aware that Nepal was not her real home, and yet, in her own country, she felt lost and directionless. She also wrestled with ‘what it means to be a citizen of heaven and of earth ... both at once, on the same day and in the same country’.

This is the third of Naomi’s autobiographical books. She spent the time in Nepal home-schooling her three sons and developing local relationships, while her husband, Darren, worked for Interserve training physiotherapists. The family was due to leave Nepal, when they were caught up in a violent revolution, and returned to Australia to find that they didn’t quite fit in. They missed the people, roles and sense of purpose of the mission field. There was an awareness that people in Australia were unable to identify with what they’d been through. Naomi gradually found new purpose, as she listened to God’s voice through Scripture and circumstances. She was able to develop new roles, including writing, speaking, and bringing Bible stories to life by seeing them through the eyes of women of the time.

Her style is conversational and honest, and her aim is to share the lessons she has learnt. Each chapter involves a reflection, and ends with a prayer.

I found this book very readable. Naomi is open about her struggles, and this makes it easy to identify with her. The truths that she conveys are most helpful, as she deals with such relevant issues as coping with a devastating loss, and learning to accept criticism. Highly recommended!

Janet Cordle,
Lower Ford Street Baptist Church, Coventry