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Wild Indians and Other Common Misconceptions

A real life on the mission field

Contact: Audra Jennings, The B&B Media Group, 800-927-0517 ext. 104, ajennings@tbbmedia.com

DALLAS, November 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- What kind of person does God call to the mission field? Is mission work reserved for the super-spiritual, people who effortlessly forsake the luxuries of "civilization," choosing to embrace instead an existence dominated by parasites, hostile natives and the absence of indoor plumbing? In her new book, Wild Indians…and Other Common Misconceptions: A Real Life on the Mission Field (VMI Publishers, November 2007), author Carol Martin recounts the true story of her life as a missionary to the Guayabero, a tribe native to the Colombian jungle.

When Jack Keels married Carol, he knew she was not a Christian, and he breathed a sigh of relief. For several years he had been evading a call to the mission field, rationalizing that he would send money instead—unless God gave him a wife who also felt called to missions. But God had great plans for Carol's life. Only one day after becoming a believer in Jesus Christ, Carol announced to her husband, "I'm going to be a missionary."

The Keels decided to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators and headed for the jungle. Jack and Carol served the Lord gladly, braving the illnesses and adjusting to the primitive living conditions, the isolation and the constant mockery of the Guayaberos, who turned out to be not-so-wild, after all. The family developed a deep love for and trust with the Guayaberos, yet it was four long years before anyone in the tribe came forward to help the couple learn the language.

Carol's vivid memories of life in Colombia run the gamut from the comical to the tragic. She answers some of the most common questions about the lives of missionaries, describing her family's living arrangements and medical issues, the missionary kid experience and the acceptance of the possibility of martyrdom. With unaffected sincerity, she holds nothing back, even describing Jack's deep depression after their 17-year ministry came to an abrupt end—an affliction that culminated in Jack's taking of his own life.

Carol's engaging and transparent narration makes a lasting impression, particularly as she debunks the common myths about missionary life. "I hope my experiences will eliminate for the reader any misconceptions of the mission field that might be holding them back from answering the call themselves," she says. "Truly, the harvest is plentiful and the workers few."