Rachel Pieh Jones has a very cool life — and it’s almost hard to believe. The mom of three moved to Somalia years ago with her husband and three-year-old twins, for her husband’s job at a university. Soon after, the family moved to Djbouti and Rachel gave birth to her third child in a pretty dangerous scenario where no healthcare would be available if anything went wrong.

She ended up writing about that birthing experience for the New York Times and has since made a long, happy life in the Third World. From the Horn of Africa, Rachel has written an incredible book, run the Somalia marathon and started a running club for girls to encourage them to stay in school.

She’s raised her children and offered up valuable perspective on American Christianity and life overseas in publications like Christianity Today, Deadspin, Runner’s World and more. In this interview, we talk about raising Third World kids, what it was like to write about the “Mother Theresa” of Somalia, Annalena Tonelli — an incredible, Catholic woman who gave her life for impoverished Muslims.

Rachel mentions, almost as a side note, that she is battling a non-aggressive cancer and honestly, that section of our conversation may have been the most inspiring of all to me. This lady has things to do and she isn’t letting cancer get in the way!

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