December 2016

Looking Past or Really Seeing

by Richelle Wright on December 30, 2016

I was walking from a parking lot just up the road to a center where I was having a meeting recently. It was bitterly cold, a fierce wind blew more than gusted, and even bundled up, I was freezing. I usually love winter weather. After years of living in the Sahel, I appreciate… even relish… actually […]

{ 0 comments }

If your year has been a flop

by Elizabeth Trotter on December 28, 2016

For the past several years I’ve chosen a “word for the year.” Each word is meant to serve as a rudder for the year, a way to focus my attention and direct my inner life. Sometimes I very specifically sense God’s leading in the word; such was the case of “Listen” in 2011 and “Encourage” […]

{ 2 comments }

Thank You, Dear Shepherds

by Craig Thompson on December 22, 2016

8620484592_b8eb57ed79_k

I have a soft spot in my heart for nativity sets. I think it’s because the cast is familiar and recognizable, so much so that it can be altered to fit any culture and we still know what it is. It’s kind of like hearing “Silent Night” sung in many languages. We may not understand it, but we understand it. Variations on […]

{ 2 comments }

The Twelve Days of Expat Christmas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 20, 2016

To be sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” (be sure to really drag out and dramatize day five). We did a Djibouti version of this for a family talent show a few years ago. To read those lyrics, click here: Twelve Days of Djibouti Christmas. On the first day of Christmas […]

{ 4 comments }

Ten Things I Love About Christmas Far Away

by Jerry Jones on December 19, 2016

Cue the music.  Sing it with me. “Christmas Eve will find me Where the love light beams I’ll be home for Christmas If only in my dreams” Stop. What a sad, sad song.  “If only in my dreams?”  This guy spends the whole song building up the joy and jubilation, which is the magical connection […]

{ 3 comments }

Can God Save Your Life?

by Editor on December 16, 2016

By Liz Campbell “We run the place ya know” said the gunman, casually revealing his semi-automatic weapon with extended magazine. The midnight air, pregnant with tension and the smell of weed, wrapped darkness around both him and my husband on the deserted road leading down into Majesty Gardens.[1] David drew a breathe, “Actually, God runs […]

{ 2 comments }

To the single on the field at Christmas

by Amy Young on December 14, 2016

  Dear friend, I want this to be a letter instead of a normal blog post because, to me, a letter feels more personal. I also started off “Dear Friend” not “Dear Single Friend” because I do not think “single” is the most interesting or defining part of you. That being said, Christmas was the […]

{ 5 comments }

I Signed Up For This

by Anisha Hopkinson on December 11, 2016

highlands

In the early 2000’s when my husband and I talked about serving overseas, we knew we wanted to serve where the name of Jesus had not been heard. Today, we live in a mountain town accessible only by air. My husband, a helicopter pilot, flies local and foreign missionaries into isolated villages. The places we […]

{ 4 comments }

A Weary World Rejoices

by Marilyn on December 9, 2016

wondeful-counselor-v2

Note: The following piece was reworked from a piece that I wrote a few years ago. There is no Christmas tree and no turkey. We have not heard “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” one time since arriving  and our gifts fit inside small stockings. Our world is stripped of some of the traps that […]

{ 0 comments }

Comfort for Advent

by Kay Bruner on December 7, 2016

  The first words of Handel’s Messiah are these: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.  (Isaiah 40:1-2) In other words, IT IS FINISHED. This is where it all starts for us:  IT IS […]

{ 0 comments }

Your kids aren’t going to remember what you get them for Christmas. They’re just not. At least I don’t. My mother died when I was a teen, my dad when I was in my early twenties. And when I think of the holiday seasons with them, I remember them. I don’t remember their gifts. I […]

{ 4 comments }

Don’t Ask Me About My Christmas Traditions

by Amy Medina on December 1, 2016

My first Christmas on African soil was when I had just turned six years old.  We had arrived in Liberia only three weeks earlier, and my mom was in the throes of major culture shock.  My parents had shipped over a few presents, but nothing else for Christmas.  My mom managed to find a two-foot […]

{ 12 comments }