Book review: ‘Colliding with the Call'
September 2021

In “Colliding with the Call,” former SEND North missionary Corella Roberts takes her readers on a journey through the wilderness, both literal and symbolic.  

Corella and her husband, Troy, moved with their brand-new teaching degrees and a load of student debt to a tiny community in Alaska. The pathway to the community had been an easy one: Within a week, they applied, interviewed and were hired to be two of the four teachers at the K-12 school.

“I believe God made this door into life in Alaska so obviously open for us because He knew the countless times ahead that I would look back and wonder if we made the right choice,”Corella writes. 

Cover art of “Colliding with the Call"The village where Corella and Troy work is so remote that they buy a six-month supply of groceries and her mom priority mails them fresh produce from her garden.  

In the village, they face challenge after challenge. Some—like a terrible experience with wolves—are unique to wilderness living. Others, like managing conflict among co-workers, could be experienced anywhere, but are complicated by living in a small community. Christian fellowship is limited to one other couple, and they are told time and time again that they should stick to teaching the curriculum, not to sharing about Jesus.

Corella is frank about the hardships that eventually led her and Troy to move to another, more spiritually open community. Rather than label that first teaching experience a failure, she describes this book as “my attempt to sit with the Lord in these memories and let Him tell me the truth about them. I no longer believe that we failed at our first teaching assignment; rather, I hear Him say that He was using it to refine us and make us more reflective of His glory, not our own.” 

Corella and Troy’s missions journey doesn’t end after that first teaching assignment, and “Colliding with the Call” also describes friendships and ministry opportunities made all the sweeter by the struggles that preceded them.  

Corella also describes a relationship with Jesus made all the stronger, purer, and more beautiful by the time she spent in the wilderness.  

“I had believed He let me go through those experiences so that I could be better equipped for the next assignment, still viewing myself as a utilitarian pawn in His kingdom plan,” she writes. “But it was so much more than that. He was laying the foundation for a relationship with Him that was deeper and stronger than I could have dreamed.” 

This book would be a great pre-field read for anyone considering missionary service. Corella went into ministry with big hopes and expectations, but had to shed dependence on herself so that she could fully depend on the Lord. Her refreshing transparency dispels myths about missionaries (like all people, they sometimes get irritated with their spouses, go through times of doubt, or struggle with relationships).  

But this isn’t just a book for missionaries! Corella has a knack for sharing her story and then peeling back the facts to find the spiritual lessons hiding beneath. She seamlessly incorporates stories from Scripture, and follows up each chapter with a few questions to help the reader approach their own stories in the same way—even if their lives don’t include encounters with wild beasts and extreme weather. 

“Stories are everywhere and, in my opinion, the best ones help us to understand ourselves and God better,” she writes.“God has never, not even for a moment, left you to scribble out your story alone. He has been writing and dog-earing and dripping His blood and tears all over the pages of your life. You are a walking novel full of hurt and healing, war and victory, fear and love.” 

Click here to pick up a copy of “Colliding with the Call” from your favorite book seller. 

Missions coaches help SEND missionaries not just survive, but thrive. Click below to speak with a coach who can get you started on the path to global missions.

Contact a mission coach

SEND’s member care department provides personalized support for each of our missionaries and their families throughout their careers. Read about some of the benefits of serving with SEND.


Subscribe now to stay up to date on all our recent posts, right to your inbox!

Connect with SEND

Start your missions journey by chatting with a SEND Coach.


Sign up for Explore, our monthly newsletter to help you discover your role in missions.