Cross Cultural Workers

Mental Health Resources for People Living and Working in Cross-Cultural Settings

What Cross-Cultural workers Ought to Know about Books for their Care

(Recommended Reading, 2007)

Ronald Koteskey

download as a pdf | download as a doc

Have you ever walked into a bookstore, even a Christian bookstore, and felt overwhelmed? With about 24,000 new Christian books published yearly, it is little wonder that most people are puzzled about what to read. Although lists of recommended books appear in print from time to time, many books are hard to locate unless you have access to an academic library or interlibrary loan, or they are so expensive that a cross-cultural worker can hardly afford them. Here is a list of books that are available, reasonably priced, and helpful.

Criteria for including a book.

The following criteria were used to decide whether or not to include a book:

  • In Print. To be listed in this brochure, it must be listed in the current edition of Books in Print, so it should be available.
  • Reasonably Priced. None of the books included cost more than $25, and half cost under $15.
  • Variety. Some are written for the general public, some for cross-cultural workers, and all from a Christian perspective.
  • Complete Data. Price, ISBN number, and complete publication data are included, so when friends ask what you would like, any bookstore should be able to order the book.
  • All these books can be ordered on-line at and/or (check both for prices, including shipping). They can also be ordered from MTI by mail, by fax, or by phone.


The Art of Coming Home. Craig Storti, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME, 2002 (ISBN 1-877864-47-1) $21.95; 5 chapters, 203 pages. Written by a Peace Corps volunteer specializing in cross-cultural adjustment and repatriation, this book includes sections for the spouse and children as well as sections for exchange students, volunteers, military, and cross-cultural workers.

Re-Entry. Peter Jordan, YWAM Publishing, Seattle, WA, 1992 (ISBN 0-927545-40-3) $9.99; 8 chapters, 3 appendices, 150 pages. Written by a cross-cultural worker for cross-cultural workers, this book includes sections on short-term service, what to do before you go, and debriefing in a group context.

Homeward Bound: A Spouse’s Guide to Repatriation. Expatriate Press, Vancouver, BC, 2000. (ISBN 0-9686760-0-6) $16.95; 6 chapters, bibliography, index, 192 pages. Written by the wife of a cross-cultural worker for wives of other cross-cultural workers, this readable, humorous book is filled with practical advice for women and family life.

Care of TCKs

Don’t Pig Out on Junk Food: The MK’s Guide to Survival in the U. S. Alma D. Gordon, EMIS, Wheaton, IL, 1993 (ISBN 0-9617751-1-4) $12.95; 6 chapters, 9 appendices, 8 types of resources, 160 pages, index. Written for MKs by a fourth-generation MK, this book offers helpful practical advice from MKs to MKs about all aspects of transition to the USA, from preparation to identity to relationships. Each chapter includes great illustrations, questions for reflection, and work sheets.

Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up among Worlds. David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME, 2001 (ISBN 1-877864-72-2) $19.95; 18 chapters, appendix, 333 pages. Written by authors with many years of experience working with TCKs, this book not only reveals what TCKs are like, but goes on to devote 7 chapters telling how to maximize the benefits of being a TCK.

Raising Global Nomads:  Parenting in an On-Demand World. Robin Pascoe, Expatriate Press, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 2006 (ISBN 0-9686760-3-0) $24.95; 10 chapters, 230 pages, appendix.  Written by the mother of TCKS, this book is filled with personal experiences as well as much practical advice on living in other cultures.  Much has changed in our world since 1993 when the author wrote her parents guide.  This update considers implications for TCKs growing up outside their passport culture in this globalized, digitized, terrorized world.

Fitted Pieces: A Guide for Parents Educating Children Overseas. Janet R. Blomberg and David F. Brooks, Share Education Services, St. Clair Shores, MI, 2001 (ISBN not available) $22.50, 8 Chapters, 667 Pages. With 84 articles (50 from Interact) appearing in the eight chapters, this is without question the most comprehensive book available on the education of third culture kids. It is a valuable resource for people considering the education of their children overseas.

Problems from the past.

Healing for Damaged Emotions. David A. Seamands, Chariot Victor Publishing, Wheaton, IL, 1991 (ISBN 0-89693-938-3) $11.99; 12 chapters, 144 pages. Written by a cross-cultural worker/pastor/professor, this book looks at the effect of memories of events in the past that have never been faced and result in anger, guilt, depression, inferiority and perfectionism. We can find freedom from this lingering emotional pain that continues to effect us.

Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide (Rev. ed.). Gary R. Collins, Word Publishing, Dallas, TX, 1988 (ISBN 0-8499-3124-X) $24.99; 38 chapters, 711 pages, index. Written by a prominent Christian psychologist to help Christian leaders in their counseling, it is a good source for anyone who wants a clearer understanding of human behavior and the biblical basis of counseling. The book covers personal, developmental, interpersonal, identity, family and other issues.

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Dan B. Allender, NavPress, Colorado Springs, CO, 1990 (ISBN 0-89109-289-7) $16.00; 13 chapters, 301 pages, bibliography. This book offers guidance in the middle of the confusion, rage and fear of those who have been sexually abused as children. Though you may not realize it, someone you know has been sexually abused, and this book will help.

Relationships with others

Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Sherwood G. Lingenfelter & Marvin K. Mayers, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1986 (ISBN 0-8010-5632-2) $12.99; 9 chapters, 125 pages. Two cross-cultural worker-professors developed this questionnaire/model that results in a personal profile on twelve basic values that often result in disagreements between people, even people from the same culture.

Caring Enough to Confront: How to Understand and Express Your Deepest Feelings Toward others (Rev. ed.). David Augsburger, Regal Books, Ventura, CA, 1981 (ISBN 0-8307-0733-6) $12.99; 10 chapters, 143 pages. A professor of pastoral counseling shows you how to be a peacemaker by "care-fronting" someone with whom you have a conflict. It is effective when used with people from western cultures.

Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry. Duane Elmer, InterVaristy Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1994 (ISBN 0-8308-1657-7) $15.00; 12 chapters, bibliography, 189 pages. A cross-cultural worker-professor contrasts handling conflicts the American way with handling them in other cultures. This is useful for maintaining relationships with cross-cultural workers from other cultures as well as nationals to whom you are ministering.

Personal Issues

Honourably Wounded: Stress among Christian Workers. Marjorie Foyle, EMIS, Monarch Books, Grand Rapids MI, 2001 (ISBN 0-8254-6023-9) $14.95; 14 chapters, 288 pages. Written by a cross-cultural worker psychiatrist with a lifetime of cross-cultural worker service in India, this book offers a broad overview of many topics gathered under the general topic of stress. Written for practical self-help, this is the best general book to buy if you can afford only one.

Frontline Women: Negotiating Crosscultural Issues in Ministry. Marguerite G. Kraft (Ed.), William Carey Library, Pasadena, CA, 2003 (ISBN 0-87808-356-1) $17.99; 12 chapters, 11 contributors, 225 pages. index. Written mostly by women for women, this book covers many women’s issues including stress, roles, loneliness, life-style, self-image, marginality and the demonic. As noted in the forward, women need to read this book to be encouraged and men need to read it and wake up.

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992 (ISBN 0-310-58590-2) $14.99; 16 chapters, index, 304 pages. The title says it all, and you understand that if you are letting other people control your life.

One final note. If people in your sending country ask what they can do to care for you, suggest that they read Serving as Senders, Neal Pirolo, San Diego, CA, 1991 (ISBN 1-880185-00-8) $7.95, 207 pages and/orThe Reentry Team, Neal Pirolo, Emmaus Road International: San Diego, CA, 2000 (ISBN 1-800185-07-5) $9.95; 10 chapters, 319 pages.

Ronald Koteskey is
Member Care Consultant
GO International