Author Interview with Kathleen Shumate

  1. Tell us something fun about yourself that is not in your author bio.


I have a minor planet named after me: “Kathanson” for my maiden name Kathleen Hanson. (


  1. What’s one thing you miss from North America when you are on the field, and one thing you miss from the field when you are in North America?


Most of all I miss the people in both places. But beyond that, on the field, I miss the sky and open spaces in North America, I miss the home and routines we’ve worked hard to create in Taiwan.


  1. What do you think is the benefit of writing and sharing your story?


It helps me to process the big questions I am encountering and asking, and it allows me to have a “conversation” about these big things that isn’t necessarily possible in everyday life or with the people immediately around me on the field.


  1. How do you create time/space in your life to write?


I have to set aside and guard my writing time. My husband and I communicate about what time I need, and he helps make it happen. I have 4 small children and I homeschool, so I write during nap time and arrange special times when someone is watching the children so I can focus. I cannot always wait until bedtime to write because I might be too brain dead by then!


  1. Where besides Connection can our readers read your writing?


On the Huffington Post, Story Warren, A Life Overseas, The Reformed African American Network, and Mission to the World. (


  1. What are you reading/listening to now? (especially something that is a helpful resource)


I’m reading Suffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores, by Dr. Diane Langberg. She’s an excellent therapist and wise Christian, and the book is both painful and hopeful to read. As global workers we often encounter great trauma, either through listening to the stories of others, experiencing it ourselves, and/or having secondary (vicarious) trauma, and we sometimes struggle with how to respond. This is a wise, compassionate, and useful introduction to trauma.


  1. What do you think is the best kept secret out there (in terms of an organization or resource that is useful to global workers)?


I don’t think these are secrets, but here are a few things that have been helpful to me:

  • I check out e-books from my “home” library to read on my Kindle. I also keep a wishlist of e-books on Amazon and buy a book whenever the price drops down to a couple dollars. These are great and inexpensive ways to have a wide variety of English books.
  • You can listen to all the lectures (including notes) for 45 different courses from Covenant Seminary for free. I took several of these classes for my master’s degree and have listened to a few others online. They are excellent resources for growing in knowledge and love for God. There are very practical courses like Gospel-Centered Parenting, Disability Ministry, and counseling courses, as well as historical or theological courses centered on specific books of the Bible or topics.
  • Desiring God has a whole array of books available for free online as e-books, some of which are translated. I’ve read some of these and passed on the Chinese translations to others around me. I just search for “Chinese” and select “Books” as the filter, and it pulls up the books translated into Chinese.


  1. Who (dead or alive) would you want as a mentor for life and ministry?


Suzanne Bates, my counseling supervisor in seminary. She is always bubbling with joy and overflowing with wisdom, and it seems that she always knows exactly what is needed in any counseling situation!


  1. If you could choose a kitchen utensil or appliance that best described YOU, what would you choose and why?


A pastry blender. I only mix stuff by hand, which leads my husband to joke that I’m afraid of the hand mixer and other modern tools, which is probably kind of true.


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