Chop! Chop! Chaplain!
by Heidi Revelo
Stratton Press

"I'm not a quiet chaplain. I'm not the one who sits in a corner in quiet contemplation with a whisper of an answer once in a millennium."

As a part-time chaplain at a 2,800-employee meatpacking factory in Nebraska, Revelo came into contact with workers from all over the world. In this book's short, sermon-like chapters, she lifts up key moments of levity, difficulty, and illumination to show the effects of her experience with them. Many of the funniest incidents surround wordplay, such as when a Spanish speaker thinks a chaplain has to do with chopping the heads off of cows. In another, a Spanish speaker and a Somali speaker compare hola and Allah.

Other encounters are not so funny. Revelo's work involves social work, counseling, and additional support. Descriptions of poverty, immigration, and relational troubles speak with confidentiality and empathy to the harshness of life for many factory workers across the country. The chaplain's can-do attitude, displayed in the many celebrations she puts on for any occasion, carries the spirit of making human connections this book celebrates. Photographs at the end add a personal touch and attest to the book's light-hearted community-mindedness.

This book is honest about the discrimination these factory workers face. Revelo confesses to having no prior multicultural training, yet her perspective is still refreshing and raw. She answers often unspoken but palpable questions, such as whether she actually touches and ministers to "those" people. Whether the person is hurting or being hurt, their stories have the capacity to touch many. Revelo states that she intends her book, career, and life to bring people closer to God. Showing how encounters with factory workers reveal the joy of her chaplaincy work and lead her closer to God and other people fulfills the intentions of this short book.

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