Running to the Fire, by Tim Bascom

June 4, 2015

Tim Bascom’s family, from small-town Kansas, returned to Ethiopia as missionaries when he was 15. “Build­ing Christ’s King­dom—as my parents were trying to do under the violent regime in Ethiopia—required an ex­treme form of pick-up-your-cross-and-follow-me self-denial,” Bascom says. Americans weren’t particularly welcome at this time when the country was under the control of Marxist revolutionaries. Yet Bascom was drawn to this country, and to the excitement of being somewhat under threat as a white foreigner living in a Christian boarding school in Addis Ababa. Bascom’s memoir has a bifocal vision; he writes as “an older self” looking back and trying to make sense of his younger self.