I adore author Sara Miles.

As soon as I read Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion, a memoir about Miles’s journey into faith, her love affair with communion, and her quest to feed the hungry mouths of the San Francisco community where she lives, I Googled her name. Finding her website, I emailed Ms. Miles about my love for her book and inquired about whether or not she’d be willing to read Churched and possibly endorse my book. She agreed, and a few weeks later, I received her glowing review of my work.

Since that time, I’ve followed Miles’s writing career closely and was ecstatic when I learned of the title to her second book, Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead. For those of us raised in evangelicalism, “Jesus Freak” as a title might seem cliche or old-fashioned, even a rip-off of the DC Talk song (and book) by the same name. But such a judgment toward Miles entitling her book “Jesus Freak” would be hasty and uninformed. For one thing, if Sara is aware that there’s a 1990s DC Talk song with the same, my guess it’s only because she’s Googled the title and not because she’s ever listened to it for pleasure. For somebody like Sara, an open-minded liberal who’s openly gay and a novice to practicing organized Christianity, the given title of Jesus Freak is in my opinion, brilliant.


In Jesus Freak, Miles offers readers a bird’s eye view of her everyday faith, from conversations with friends who think her “Jesus revelations” are crazy to a host of personal and theological reasons as to why she believes in a real resurrected savior. Furthermore, in addition to the journalist turned nonprofit-guru turned author writing in detail about why she takes the things Jesus says literal, Miles also shares honestly about the fears and joys that often come when one attempts to be Jesus in the here and now. One thing’s for sure, Miles can write; her prose flows easily from the humorous and lighthearted into the deep and painful and back again.

In the same way Take This Bread caused me to rethink how I viewed and partook of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus Freak caused me to wonder when the last time a stranger or friend thought of my love and passion for God as freakish.  

For Miles, freakish isn’t about standing “on a box in the middle of the city,” but about being the beauty, grace, and reality of Christ in everyday experiences. And again, in Jesus Freak, that way of life is no cliche.

Quote From Jesus Freak: “But Jesus is real, and so, praise God, are we. Every single thing the resurrected Jesus does on earth he does through our bodies. You’re fed, you’re healed, you’re forgiven, you’re pronounced clean. You are loved, and you’re raised from the dead… Go and do likewise.”

Read an excerpt from Jesus Freak here.

Purchase Jesus Freak here: Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead

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Recent newspaper clipping…

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Though I’ve spent my fair share of time this week soul-searching and emotionally lamenting all of the circumstances and experiences I’ve encountered in Uganda, ultimately, this isn’t about me or my emotions. As a writer and a person of faith, it’s easy for me to get caught up in “me.” Of course, more than you will ever know, my experiences during the last eight days has made me want to change, and hopefully the changes I make in my own life will be good and helpful to some degree. But let’s be honest: If this trip was only about “my change,” I should stop writing and you should stop reading…

But it’s not about me and my personal change.

Today I saw real change, change that started with something that World Vision was doing for people. Today, I met people who once had to walk day’s journey to get cleaner pumping clean water in their own community. I witnessed people pursuing healthier lives. I watched as forty or so children learned the truth about HIV-AIDS. I hugged people who were cheering because a health center that World Vision erected allowed them the benefit of receiving their vaccinations without having to walk miles and miles to do so. I met people who were learning how to grow crops in their own backyard.

As some of you know, I’ve been working with World Vision in some capacity for four years. Since the beginning I’ve believed in their work to help suffering children and families all over the world. But this week I witnessed World Vision working. The gatherings of people I met weren’t about me getting to meet poor people–any ministry or non-profit–can introduce me or anybody else to poverty. But sadly, not nearly as many can show somebody poverty and then tell them how they are planning to change that poverty into sustainable living. During my time as an author and speaker, I’ve worked alongside many non-profit organizations/ministries, and most of them have good intentions and are helpful to a certain degree. But when you’re entrusting a certain amount of money to a ministry or non-profit on behalf of a child, good intentions don’t often lead to sustainability.

So I thought I’d give you my personal reasons as to why I love and believe in World Vision… and why I trust them to do their best to not simply save people’s lives… but to help them live better lives…

I believe in World Vision

… because its goal is never to enable… it desires to empower…

…because every World Vision worker believes in the words on this sign
…because they aren’t afraid of being controversial when it helps people remain healthy

…because this HIV-positive woman is receiving medication because of World Vision and now volunteers to care for others with HIV-AIDS

…because these kids as well as their families have a health care facility that helps heal them when their sick and educates them to live healthier so they don’t become sick again…

…because this orphan now has a home with more than twenty women on a farm with chickens, pigs, cows, and crops… and has future…

…because this baby’s mother is receiving HIV medication, and now has a much better chance of seeing her daughter grow up and not make the same mistakes as she did…

…because this woman has a deep well within walking distance where she can now get clean water for her two children…

…because the man who gave my friend this avocado learned how to grow his own avocados…

…because this 19-year-old is a World Vision sponsored child who is now studying to become a teacher and volunteers his time caring for orphans and widows who have been affected by HIV-AIDS…

…because World Vision works with a multitude of local churches (at least, in Uganda) and never turns a child away because he/she is Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or from any other religious or non-religious background…

…because World Vision is not simply about saving a “child,” World Vision is about helping to sustain communities…
And ultimately, it’s World Vision’s hope that one day that community can live healthily without them…
That’s just a few of the many reasons why I love and believe in World Vision… more to come…

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