Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review & GIveaway: Our Witchdoctors are too Weak

Today is International Christian NONfiction Writers day here on the blog, with the review of a book that reads like a fantastic tale, but is nonetheless a true story.

Deep in the Amazon jungle, the Wilo people waited for a missionary to come teach them "God's Talk." They'd heard bits of it in Spanish and other tribal languages (which none of them spoke fluently) and they'd been asking for twenty-five years for someone to come explain it to them.

Davey Jank was the answer to their request, and over time he was joined by several other missionaries, including his wife, Marie, intent on learning the Wilo language and culture. There's no Rosetta Stone for Wilo! Davey and his partners had to learn it the hard way, and it took ten years before they understood well enough to begin teaching "God's Talk." New Tribes Mission advocates chronological teaching from Genesis onward, laying the groundwork for understanding what Jesus' sacrifice really means.

The tribal people found the strangers to be extremely interesting and spent hours peering in the windows and doors. Early on, Davey records:
I was like a TV set for these tribal people, a window through which they could gaze upon a limitless amount of curious and foreign scenes. No doubt they would be ecstatic when my co-workers arrived, as it would provide them the option of changing channels.

Davey and Marie's story, Our Witchdoctors are too Weak: The Rebirth of an Amazon Tribe, is told in an anecdotal style with a wry sense of humor. If you're interested in reading a contemporary tale of primitive people seeking truth, you will enjoy--and be challenged by--this true account.

Somehow I received two free copies of this book from the publisher, and I'd like to pass one along. In fact, I'll mail it anywhere on Planet Earth. All you need to do is share something you know about mission work, and leave an email address at which you can be reached if your name is selected. My tidbit? Three of my sisters AND three of their adult kids are career missionaries with New Tribes Mission. The countries they represent (or have represented, as some are now on home assignment) are Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, Senegal, Mozambique, and Indonesia.

Davey and Marie Jank are New Tribes Mission representatives to the Wilo people. Davey, a Canadian, was raised as a missionary kid and attended boarding school. He claims his "teachers and dorm parents suffered little lasting damage and today lead fairly normal and healthy lives." Having grown up seeing firsthand the hunger that many tribal people have for God's Word, it wasn't a stretch for him to decide to be a missionary himself. After attending New Tribes Bible Institute for two years, he went on to study linguistics and cross-cultural communications before joining in the effort to bring God's Word to the Wilo people.

A Miami girl, Marie didn't even know any missionaries until she was 33 years old. She got her degree in journalism. After several years in journalism and PR, she was convicted that the work of her hands should be for eternal things. She turned to teaching and earned a master's degree in TESOL. When the opportunity came to visit the Amazon she didn't hesitate; adventure and travel were right down her ally. But once she stepped off the Cessna airplane and came face to face with the Wilo people, she knew her destiny was tied to theirs and that her life would gloriously never be the same.

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughter.

She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency and has recently sold her first work, a novella entitled
Topaz Treasure, to Barbour Books. Visit her website and blog to glimpse inside her world.

If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment before Thursday, May 26, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com. Remember to share your mission trivia!

"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."


  1. Our church is heavy into missions, so we have opportunities to join in short term missions. Those who go come back with pictures and stories of the joy she had in sharing the Lord along with some of their difficult travels--crossing rivers, treacherous rocky roads, etc. It's like reading Acts in real life.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  2. I serve on the Missions Committe at our small Baptist church. It was such a God thing when we realized (way before tragedy hit) that we had a missions trip planned to Alabama in July. Like my pastor says, "Has it ever occurred to you that nothing occurs to God?"

    Chris Stachura

  3. Written in a relaxed, informative style, this easy to read book is excellent material to gain insight into tribal missions. Highly recommended!

  4. oops, forgot to add my email address: it's aslanzzcub (at)

    Chris Stachura

  5. Wow, sounds like a fascinating read.

  6. What a great sounding book. I beleive missions are at the heart of every internationally set Christian novel. It's that tug on the heart that comes from God to care about people from cultures different than our own. Your book sounds like such a God-thing.

  7. thanks for the opportunity to read your 'story'

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. One of my best friends from high school arrived in our school for our junior year fresh from the missionary fields of Rhodesia. Did she have some stories to tell!

    polarbear AT polarbear60 DOT org