There are a number of great books available to help you along your journey overseas. These are books that have been vetted by our community, and recommended for encouragement, knowledge, and skills to support you. 

Please note: these are affiliate links, which help support our ministry at no extra cost to you <3 

When Helping Hurts

Perhaps the most widely recommended book for small-scale development, When Helping Hurts provides really important perspective for what is actually helping, versus crippling, the communities we want to serve. 

Poor Economics

Have you ever wondered why someone living in a less-than-ideal home structure might have a TV? Or someone asking for food on the street has a phone? Poor Economics sheds light onto the choices impoverished families make with their money, and how we can best come alongside and empower them. 

Where There Is No Doctor

A classic, and essential if you find yourself far away from healthcare (or at least healthcare you trust). Details everything from setting bones to diagnosing malaria to delivering babies. 

Mirror to the Church

While this book is specifically referencing the Rwandan genocide, it touches on key issues of culture and differences that seem insurmountable, but are actually quite relatable in terms of faith. A difficult read, but eye opening and will help you think more graciously toward the difficult parts of your host culture. 

Serving Well

A collection of essays by the team from A Life Overseas, this book will make you feel understood, and encourage you to push on in your journey. I have laughed out loud and cried tears of feeling seen as I read this. 


Another collection of essays, this one by Elizabeth Trotter (also of A Life Overseas) detailing the many different roles women assume as we build a life in our host country. Again, so relatable and encouraging in it’s vulnerability and truth.

Third Culture Kids

The essential book on raising, or working with, Third Culture Kids. “Emphasis is on the modern TCK and addressing the impact of technology, cultural complexity, diversity & inclusion and transitions. Includes new advice for parents and others for how to support TCKs as they navigate work, relationships, social settings and their own personal development.”

Emotional Resiliency in the Expat Child

Not a faith-based book, but widely regarded as important and impactful for anyone raising or working with children overseas. Provides tools to help them process their stories and form their identities of self in their unique positions. 

Expectations and Burnout

Incredibly insightful. Every overseas worker wrestles with expectations and stress at some point, and many flirt with burnout. Learn to recognize these things as they happen, how to prevent them, and how to heal from them. Written with women specifically in mind. 

Raising Up a Generation of Healthy Third Culture Kids

From the jacket: “While we cannot know all our TCKs will go through, we can take a giant step forward by learning how to multiply the benefits of a global life and conversely pay attention to the challenges that can become stumbling blocks to healthy development. If you are working with, raising, or love third culture kids from any part of the globe, this book will give you practical ways to be proactive about the way you raise up third culture kids.”

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