Stories from the Horn #132

June 22, 2021

Book Update: Pillars

Read the Spirit has a wonderful cover story featuring Pillars. Read it here.

Persuasion Podcast (they are doing a book giveaway this week, check them out on Twitter or Instagram to win a copy of Pillars!)

The Storied Recipe

And at Do Good Better, we continue in our book club discussions. Every week I post questions online and once a month we gather for a live Zoom call. You can join here.

Now, on to the news links!


News from the Horn

Djibouti is launching its space program with two satellites. We pass this on our drives to our favorite beach and we always say, “It is Djibouti’s space program!” So I’m glad to know they are branching out:

Somali Book Fair in Minnesota. So bummed to have missed this!

Finding the Last Person in the World Infected with Smallpox. This is an updated look at a fascinating story I researched for my own book about disease in the Horn of Africa: Stronger than Death.

The long road to recovery from the worst recorded storm to ever hit the Horn of Africa

Somalia’s Puntland region considers banning female genital mutilation

US civil affairs officers offer English language activities at the American Corner in Djibouti. I also helped another American put on some writing courses for local journalists at this center.

Ethiopia and Djibouti maintain a strong relationship despite outside foreign pressure

Russia’s economic interest in Djibouti

South Dakota unit deploys to Djibouti (SD is a state neighboring my own state of Minnesota)

Heat wave shuts down schools in Minneapolis. You might think those of us in Djibouti would scoff, but we don’t. Heat is not joke and kids can’t focus especially behind face masks when the temperatures are so high. Yes, it is over 90 degrees almost all the time here but we have air conditioning at school. When the power goes out…imagine! So we empathize with Minnesota!

On a Rampage: the African Women Fighting FGM


What I’m Reading

(I haven’t included a list of the books I’m reading for a few weeks but am bringing it back by popular demand.)

How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice, by Jemar Tisby. He also wrote The Color of Compromise. How to Fight Racism is an excellent, challenging, and practical book as a follow-up to the first.

Islamophobia: What Christians Should Know and Do about Anti-Muslim Discrimination, by Jordan Denari Duffner. Such an important book, also practical and useful. I recommend reading this (and Tisby’s) in a group or with a friend, to discuss ways to move from reading to action.

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted, by Suleikha Jaouad. Devastating and vulnerable, honest and so painful. This is a cancer memoir, so be warned. I cried multiple times. My cancer was like a cold compared to this. I am still stunned by her raw story-telling and willingness to wrestle with the pain.

Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women, by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Shumacher. What an amazing book. So lovely and uplifting and honoring. I appreciate Elyse’s voice here and the challenge she puts to men and women to lift each other up as kingdom brothers and sisters.

Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church, by Diane Langberg. Another important book for our times if you are a Christian. There is so much goodness in the church, and power used well can help everyone flourish. But when it gets twisted with sin, spiritual power is crushing.

And a great Kindle deal: Threading My Prayer Rug by Sabeeha Reman, a Muslim memoir.


Personal Update

I will be traveling for the summer to see family, friends, and my doctor. I plan to continue sending Stories from the Horn.

If you come across great links, feel free to send them along!

Have a great week,

Rachel