November 2016

A couple of months ago I had an exchange on facebook with a friend of mine from university days. Sal and her husband have been living in the Middle East for the past three years. They moved there with their three young children so that they could immerse themselves deeply in the context and culture, […]


Come As You Are

by Abby Alleman on November 28, 2016

Last year, my friend told me how she loved my ‘come as you are’ way of being with others. The phrase made me stop and think about what she meant. I knew she was saying something significant. In Matthew 11 Jesus talks about how he receives us. Here is the Message version: 28-30 “Are you tired? […]


ALO Writers’ Thanksgiving Kindle Book Sale!

by Editor on November 25, 2016


Dear ALO readers, In the spirit of gratitude and giving, we offer our ALO Writers’ holiday book sale! Kindle versions of these books are price-reduced from Friday at 12:01 AM until Sunday at 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time).  As an added bonus, the links to Amazon USA are affiliated with our site.  Any shopping you do on […]


I’m Not Very Good at Gratitude

by Elizabeth Trotter on November 22, 2016

I like to think of myself as a content, happy person: my life is good, and I lack for nothing. At least I used to think I was content and happy. That was before I realized — to my horror — that my prayer journal was filled with lament. Not thankfulness, not appreciation, but lament, through […]


Are We Complaining Too Much?

by Craig Thompson on November 21, 2016

Authenticity. It’s a big buzzword today, popular among millennials, pastors to millennials, mom bloggers, and . . . missionaries. Sharing shortcomings and struggles has many benefits, not the least of which is showing other imperfect people that they’re not alone. But where that sharing grows and grows, there is bound to be pushback. One person’s honesty is another person’s […]


How Much Awesomeness Can We Really Handle?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on November 18, 2016


I have this theory that we get about one awesome story per decade. If you go to many conferences or read books and then hear the author speak or read their second book, things start to sound the same. The same stories are retold, the same lessons reexamined, the same wisdom gained. I’m guilty of […]



Just three weeks before we moved to China we celebrated with some of our very best friends.  Their son was turning 7 (that’s him totally owning the noodles).  We partied like we were shipping out tomorrow (even though we still had several days left and we were taking a plane). The ironic twist to that story […]


22 Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Cross-Cultural Worker

by Amy Young on November 14, 2016


Christmas is around the corner and often our supporters want to send us Christmas presents because they love us and because they truly want to bless us. I hate to admit that a lot of money goes into packages filled with stuff that isn’t needed or wanted. But I still believe that supporters want to bless us with […]


So You’re Thinking About Serving Overseas?

by Anisha Hopkinson on November 10, 2016


Thinking about serving overseas? Great! These are exciting times! I wish you and I were having coffee. This is definitely a coffee conversation. Hopes and dreams are meant to be shared face to face, but in the absence of that, this will have to do. You’ve got a lot to think about and if I […]

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Relax! God was at Work Before you Arrived!

by Marilyn on November 9, 2016


In August of 2015 I had the privilege of going to the Kurdish area of Iraq to work with refugees. On my first day there, I was traveling to a mobile health clinic when I got into a conversation with a pharmacist. One year before she lived and worked in Qaraqosh in the Nineveh province of […]


Psalm 139, three ways

by Kay Bruner on November 6, 2016

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say […]


It’s Not All About War: Balancing our Kingdom Rhetoric

by Jonathan Trotter on November 3, 2016

How we motivate people to care about cross-cultural missions matters. Should we try to motivate people to care about cross-cultural missions? Should we try to motivate people to do cross-cultural missions? Yeah, I think so. But when our talk of Kingdom and Mission skews too much to an emphasis on war and doing battle, people […]