A Resource for Missionaries in Transition {and a give away!}

by Amy Young on January 15, 2016

 looming-transitions_coverLooming Transitions: starting and finishing well in cross-cultural service, a book I wrote with you in mind, was launched this week. I love to hear the back-stories on books or movies, so thought I’d share with you how this book came to be. In 2007 I transitioned back to China after a three year study leave. About eight months into my transition being (mostly) over and life up and running in China, I was feeling (mostly) settled. My organization asked to lead a workshop on how to finish well, geared toward people who would be returning to the U.S. after having lived and taught in Asia. I jumped at the chance; fresh off my own Band-Aid ripping off experience, I figured I had help to share.

All I needed to do was conduct a little bit of internet research, read some articles, throw in a few personal stories, and voilà one basically ready-made presentation. My plan went off without a hitch until I did my first internet search. Almost everything about “ending chapters” in life was related to retiring. Retiring is certainly a major area for looming transitions and finishing well. But what about all of the transitions that we go through when an end is coming, yet life will still go on after the transition?

The first year I presented the workshop, I pulled together a few thoughts and told myself the problem was my late start in the search. Information was out there and I would find it. During the next year, I found little help for the workshop. I went back to the list of ideas I had created the first year, added more meat to them and the idea of a book began to grow.

This book is for those who will be going through a major life transition, either moving to the field or preparing to return to your “home” country. It covers all of the potential moves you might make: to the field, back to your home country for a Home Assignment or furlough, or if you sense for now your time on the field is coming to a close. Chance are you’ve been around someone who left the field without finishing as well as they could, either because they shut down too early or started too late.

Allowing parts of yourself to die in order to create space for new life and seasons is not for the faint of heart. But it can be done. The burning question this book answers is how can you keep your soul fertile and sanity intact during transitions?

There are no simple platitudes offered in Looming Transition. You won’t find “three easy steps to anything.” However, you will find suggestions for your soul, your stuff, and your sanity.

This book is intended for the 4-6 months before you move and benefits of Looming Transitions include:

  • 11 ways to stay connected to God through transition
  • 7 areas of your personal life that can experience revival in the midst of upheaval
  • 5 places to look for messes in your life (and ways to keep the mess in check)
  • 4 key aspects to know about yourself and loved ones going into a transition (one example is How to know if you are pre- or post-griever (and why it matters))
  • 5 significant arenas to start early
  • It’s not all about you: 3 important steps that allow others to end this season of your life well
  • Insight on how to grieve a transition that is slow in coming
  • How to identify and manage stress leading up to a transition

Looming Transitions is available on Amazon—both in paperback and kindle. In addition, I’ve created graphics you can use for blogs, newsletters, and social media as a small way to help those of you in transitions! If you could help spread the word to mission committees, organizations and people you know who will be transitioning to or from the field, you can be a part of helping more to start and finish well in cross-cultural service. This book can also be offered at a discount for purchases of 10 copies or more (messymiddle (at) gmail (dot) com).

Because I know many of you are in need of this book now, I’d love to offer three copies to readers of A Life Overseas. Leave a comment about the type of transition you’re in or who you’d give this book to and three winners will be drawn and notified on Monday.

With blessing, Amy

*** The giveaway is now over and the winners have been notified. I am blessed and humbled by this community! To slow me down and keep me grounded in your needs, for the drawing I wrote each of your names on a piece of paper and prayed for you. The outpouring of comments has reminded me of how very much we need each other, we need A Life Overseas, and we need resources. Very blessed to be a part of all that’s going on here as we know the truth that life is hard, God is good, and God is sovereign and do our best to understand and hold all three in tension.

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About Amy Young

Free resource to help you add tools to your tool box. When Amy Young first moved to China she knew three Chinese words: hello, thank you and watermelon. She is known to jump in without all the facts and blogs regularly at The Messy Middle. She also works extensively with Velvet Ashes as content creator and curator, book club host, and connection group coordinator. She writes books to help you. Amy is the author of Love, Amy: An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China and Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service. Looming Transitions also has two companion resources: 22 Activities for Families in Transitions and Looming Transitions Workbook. You can listen to it too.
  • Amy Thompson

    I would love to have a copy of this book. We will return to the States for partnership development/home ministry later this year. Thanks.

  • Liz Read

    I would love to have a copy… Going through a ministry transition at the moment and getting married so lots of new things. Would be good to read it together as we begin the journey together.

  • Jeff J. Johnston

    I am about a third of the way through this book. Loving the sense of humor while sharing valuable experience.

    • Jeff, this humbles and delights me. This was my hope. Thank you.

  • Trisha

    Pick me, pick me!

    • Trisha

      Whoops. Forgot to say, I will be going on my first furlough in March after 3.5 years overseas.

      • I love this 🙂 . . . I’m known for my “whoops!” 🙂

  • mymessymanger

    We are preparing for a move overseas, and I’d love to read your book!

  • Britt

    I’m preparing to go to SE Asia for a year and then return back to local church. Many transitions coming up.

  • Tina

    My husband and I are preparing to go to Western Europe for two years. While we have gone on Short Term Missions Trips before this will be the first time that we will be transitioning overseas for an extended time. This book would be such a blessing as we embark on our new life journey!

  • What an awesome book! I would read it myself as my family looks at moving soon and share with my friend who recently moved back from Guatemala!

  • Catie

    My husband and I are moving in August. Thanks for sharing this book at just the right time! We would love to have a copy to use over the next 7 months!

  • We’ll be transitioning back to the States this year after several years in ministry in Romania. We’d love to read this book!

  • AnneJisca

    Last year, we transitioned to living in West Africa. Health reasons brought us back to Canada after only 7mths. Only 4mths after that, we transitioned to our next missionary posting, and we’re looking at another transition in the summer/fall. It’s been a pile of major transitions, on top of each other, with no time to think or process each one. Would love to read this book!

    • Anne! What got to me was “no time to think or process” . . . I really hope that you and your family can do both.

  • bekah

    I just moved to the Middle East where I am ‘working’ and man… knowing it would be hard, living here two years ago for 3 months, and yet living here now full time… it is hard. So hard.

  • Dana

    I’d love to win this and add it to our on-field team’s little collection of books.

    • This is part of my hope . . . that it will be added to on-field libraries around the world!

  • Dave Lewis

    I just bought a copy, Amy. I’ve followed you at Velvet Ashes for a long time now and I’m convinced your book is going to be phenomenal. Thank you for taking the effort to produce it!

    • Dave, I’m a words of affirmation person, so when I first read it, it was a huge burst of wind for my soul. Thank you . . . now I just hope it doesn’t disappoint :). But even if I do, I’ll keep showing up here and at VA! Again, thank you.

      • Dave Lewis

        I received your book yesterday afternoon; I finished it this afternoon. Very few pages are not highlighted or annotated. Do you accept speaking engagements? I’d like to talk. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you my email address.

      • Dave Lewis

        I received my copy yesterday afternoon; finished reading it this afternoon. Nearly every page is highlighted and/or annotated. Do you accept speaking engagements? I’d like to talk. If you are interested, let me know and I’ll send you my email address.

        • Dave, I do. Actually, my true gift is speaking, it comes much more naturally than writing :). But over twenty years of writing newsletters has trained me in writing. I’d be delighted to talk you! You can email me at amy.young (at) velvetahses.com

          Looking forward to chatting. Amy

  • jeffandsusanlehman Lehman

    Our family is moving to North America after 13 years of teaching overseas. We would love a copy of this book!

  • Deborah

    I would love a copy of this book as I’m moving from small town Canada to Paris for long term missions this year!

    • Wow . . . exciting! But also, that’s quite the change 🙂

  • Melissa Toews

    I have two friends in transition right now, and would love to give this book to both of them!

    • Melissa! I love seeing a familiar face :)! Hi!

  • Lisa Gertz

    My parents have recently returned to the US after a few decades in Africa. I’d love to give them this book!

    • Oh I love a daughter looking out for her parents 🙂

  • Miranda

    We are struggling after being asked to leave east Africa because of our son’s ADHD behaviors. It has been really traumatic and hard adjusting to American life and school especially when we would all rather still be in Africa. Your blog has been life giving. Thank you!

    • Oh Miranda, what a lot you and your family have on your plate. I would imagine the emotions are all over the board. Sometimes I really don’t get what God does. Have you heard the phrase that our souls travel by horseback? I would imagine your soul in on a horse somewhere in Africa while your body (bodies) are in America. As some point it will catch up, but there is no rushing it. Prayers, my sister, prayers.

  • Talie Nordilus

    I am 6 months shy of going into the field for the next three years. I feel ready to get the ball rolling yet not completely confident if I am finishing well in my current community. Would definitely love a copy!

  • Michelle

    I am at the very beginning stages of transitioning back to the U.S. later this year after what will be almost 3 years of serving in Central America. This book would be a Godsend.

    • I hope you win it! If not, maybe you could ask a supporter to give it to you as a present? Blessings, Michelle!

  • Becca

    Seven months in to our family’s move to SE Asia and I’m glad I’m mentally giving us this whole first year (if not first term) to “settle” and let the winds of change simmer down. Because the transition continues! I echo all the posters who agree this book would be relevant to this unique season of life.

  • Adam Willard

    We’re still on the field in rural Madagascar right now (our third term), but we’re training a group of 5 other new missionaries in their first 2-year term with Africa Inland Mission, and they’ll be transitioning to home assignment/furlough later this year (and possibly for some of them, just transitioning home, though we hope not). We use a combination of book resources and practical experience, as well as constant mentorship to train them. If we received this book, we’d share it with them to help train and prepare them for transition at the end of their first term.

  • Jessica Ann

    6 month into my transition from the US to Ethiopia. This book sounds awesome!

  • Ps8

    Seems like transition is becoming a normal phase in our lives. We’ve lived in 4 countries in the last 8 years because God’s perfect plan is to move us around. It always comes with new challenges…and much grace. Great book topic for sure.

  • Susan T

    We will be heading back to our assignment after a year of study in the States. Looking forward to learning more about your book.

  • Kaben Kramer

    Hi Amy, I’m a TCK who is now leading Member Care for a smaller agency and would love to dive into your work. This seems too important to miss!

    • Kaben, I was a member care director on the field for 10 years! Hello :). I do think this would be helpful . . . at least that was my most sincere hope and prayer!!

  • stacy

    Getting ready to transition back to the US this looks like it would be a great resource for us!

  • GP

    Hoping to serve in Mongolia for several years as a university teaching fellow. Would love to be prepared for my transition with the book!

  • Miriam

    Well done in writing a book that is not related to retiring and I’m looking forward to read it! I’m currently on my first furlough. While preparing for furlough, I could hardly find any information on what to expect during this time and how to make this transition go well. The things I found on the internet were very anecdotal, but not really helping me to process things well. As I am now getting ready to return to my host country, I’d love to prepare myself better!

    • Miriam, thanks for this comment! I found the same . . . so much related to retirement and almost nothing for other life transitions! And really, our whole life is one transition after another, not just one big one at the “end” of work.

  • Melissa

    Looking forward to reading this!!! We have been in Cambodia for three years and are preparing for our first furlough in America this coming March!

  • Christine Marie

    I could really use this as I’m an independent missionary…been back and forth from India to U.S. the last two years establishing and raising money for a children’s home. I’m being led to transition to the U.S. in the next few weeks(kicking and screaming).

  • Kathryn Vasquez

    I am looking forward to reading this book. I have a lot of important people in my life moving on to different places, and I am staying in China. I am not transitioning so much as it feels like my world is transitioning around me. 🙁

    • Yes! Even if you’re not the one leaving, you’re still transitioning. Thanks for teasing this point out.

  • Marian Sims

    After 26 years serving on two continents we are returning to the states. We are saying goodbye to jobs ,places, friends,and are waiting to know the next step.

    • Oh Marian, 26 years is a long time. Prayers and blessings.

  • Stacey

    We just moved back to the States one week ago today after 12 years abroad. My children are 11 & 12 and have lived their whole lives there. We didn’t take many trips back and no real extended furloughs. We’ve moved “back” but we’ve moved to a new region in the US where we don’t know anyone really and will be transitioning jobs as well. We are excited but totally overwhelmed.

    • Excited and overwhelmed sounds like the theme song for this season 🙂

  • Kristin

    We’ve been on the mission field for about 14 years, & we’re preparing for a 1-year home assignment in the USA starting in June. In some ways it feels far away, & in others, it feels like it’s crept up on us, & we’ll never have enough time to figure out exactly what needs to be done & then to just do it all. Our kids are older this time, too, which means transitions will feel a lot different than when we went back 5 years ago.

    • Oh man, I get that! The sense it’s ages off and yet also crept up!

  • Rebecca Shead

    We’ve been living in Chile for the last 9 1/2 years, and are returning to live in Australia in July. Would love tips on how to leave well, for us as well as for our 4 kids (ages 15, 14, 11, 8)

  • CJDonga

    After 8 months on the field since our previous unexpected stay in the USA, we left the field suddenly again due to my father’s poor health. I feel like we’re always in transition. I know that this world is not my home, but I have a strong desire to settle somewhere.

  • CJDonga

    After 8 months on the field since our previous unexpected stay in the
    USA, we left the field suddenly again due to my father’s poor health. I
    feel like we’re always in transition. I know that this world is not my
    home, but I have a strong desire to settle somewhere. Your book looks very helpful.

    • This world may not be our home . . . but it sure is a long layover!

  • Rachel Janzen

    We’ve been living in Rwanda for 4 and a half years and are heading home for our first home assignment in the states. I want to transition well and also help my kids transition back to the US, as well. We also have teammates retiring this summer after living in Rwanda for over 30 years, so I think this book would be helpful for them, too.

  • Leona O’Keefe

    We may be heading home early (again) due to health reasons. It feels like we are easy abandoners of the country we have been serving in, and there are so many unanswered questions of what our time at “home” will look like. Some help with this transition, especially regarding our relationships here, would be fantastic.

    • “Easy abandoners” sounds like a lie from the pit of hell. Don’t believe it. But those unanswered questions, that’s familiar territory 🙂

  • Jill Ann Troyer Tabiendo

    Oh, goodness gracious!! What transition have I not experienced in the last year and a half?? Our third son graduated from high school at the same time my daughter graduated from college. We had been overseas serving for 19 years and my 2 youngest sons was born there. At the time he was transitioning to college, we were transitioning to the States for a 7 month home assignment, choosing this particular time so that we could be in the States for his transition but also so that our youngest wouldn’t have to do this again before he graduates. All went fine until we returned a year ago.
    We had sublet our home so that we would have a place to return to but also so we wouldn’t have to put everything in storage. When we returned we would be staying there until we could find other housing because it was time to downsize and move a little closer to where we were ministering. We found adequate housing but it wasn’t available until May and this was the end of Feb. We asked if we might stay until that time and they said that they wanted us to leave. We were living in the upstairs and they were in the downstairs and the only things we shared were the stairwell and the kitchen. But they wanted us to move so we had to find something temporary for 2 months. We found a 1 bedroom efficiency apartment where our son had to sleep on the couch and I cooked on a hot plate and we ate on a coffee table.
    We finally were able to move into our home the beginning of May. I was there 6 days before I flew back to the USA for our daughter’s Grad School graduation, while at the same time to prepare for her wedding the end of June. That all went off without a hitch. When we returned to Spain, our daughter and son in law stayed with us for the summer, going to Greece, Rome and Morocco for their honeymoon. So 5 of us were living in a 3 bedroom apartment where one of them was an office.
    They returned to the USA in August, my youngest returned to school and I had a meltdown.
    All the issues that you can sweep under the rug or ignore in relationships come out during these times and I’ve reached the age, and I hope maturity, to be able to recognize that there is some relational work that needs to be done in my family for us to survive as a family and as missionaries.
    So, once again I am in the USA with my youngest. We moved into an apartment 10 days ago and he is doing online school this semester for the second half of his junior year. We are transitioning to an area we’ve never lived in before and to a schooling venue he’s never done before. I am now here alone. My husband is closing up the house and putting it in storage and returning at the end of the month. We will be getting counseling separately and together and hopefully the whole family sometime in the future.
    I have been very intentional in doing the prep work for transitions, especially the more times we did them. But there are those transitions that you just don’t anticipate.
    So I would love to read your book and hear what suggestions you have so that we can help those we know who we have contact with who are doing this transition things!!

    • Alicia

      Bless your heart! I was tired after reading your first paragraph! May God give you much grace these days.

      • Me too, Alicia! Jill, wow, you and your family have faced so much. My main hope is that you have people who can help was this with you —

  • Alicia

    I look forward to reading this gem! We are transitioning back in to the US after living in Morocco for 9 years. Many tears yet much to be thankful for. It will take time to feel settled again.

  • Georgie

    My hubbie and I and three littlies (ages 5, 3 and 1) are just a few months away from leaving life overseas to return permanently back ‘home’. Can we somehow not just survive this major unexpected life change but cope well and maybe even flourish in all the upheaval??

    • They can . . . it won’t be without stress and emotions being all over the board! But it helps to know you’re not alone and can have some strategies for coping. I’ll be praying for you.

  • Karen

    I will be heading to Nicaragua in April for my first experience living overseas. This is very exciting for me and I want to do all that I can to begin well. In my role, I will be leading others through these transitions, so I welcome all the insight I can gather from others.

  • Laurie

    My husband I serve with a Mission organization (Missionary Maintenance Services) who prepare people and planes for world wide mission service. I work with the apprentice women. So, after reading the book myself I would give/share with our apprentices here in the hanger as they prepare to service anywhere that God might call them in the world.

    • This excites me! All the places you may touch!

  • Krystal Zollinger

    Thank you for writing this! We work so hard to learn how to get to the field but never give much thought to how to leave well. I would love to gift three to two friends who have recently re-entered life in the US after differing circumstances. Then, another for me as I grieve the loss of best friends that no longer live on the same continent.

    • Yes! I applaud all the effort and resources that is invested in people moving to the field! Yay! I’m hoping that other seasons of the life of a missionary will begin to be valued a bit more too.

  • Barbara Conner

    This went right to my heart: “Allowing parts of yourself to die in order to create space for new life and seasons is not for the faint of heart. ” After 25 years in Mexico, we are preparing for our retirement. How will I say goodbye to those who have become family to me? How will I fit into the lives of those I love in the US who have lived so long without us? Am I a “pre” or “Post” griever? Yes. Grief and joy exist together.

    • And now your comment has spoken to me. Thanks for putting flesh to these ideas. Blessings and prayers!

  • Liz Eck

    Looks really helpful!

  • Anna Priscilla

    I just returned from serving in Brazil for 3.5 years a month ago and I never thought I would return neither did I want to, but at the beginning of last year I felt God saying it was time to return and throughout the year I have felr great peace about it even when friends and leaders said I couldn’t leave or would ask to pray against my return. My first time in Brazil I spent 10 months and when I returned to USA it took me a good 3 months to readjust now you can imagine why I was worried about returning this time, I was expecting the worse not to mention i have forgotten some English. One month home and I feel good as if this is where I am supposed to be and everyone that I asked to pray for me prayers have worked. I would love to read your book and I want to help others when they come off the mission field. Anna @ anna.ebersole@gordon.edu

    • Anna, you’ve hit on a key part of transitions . . . each one is unique. Which is encouraging and maddening :)!

  • Sydney

    My husband, 18-month-old son and I returned from Ecuador in August and though it was 6 months ago now, we very much still feel “in transition.” We served with an overseas church planting ministry for 7 years and are now following a new leading from God toward other things – we are currently in Oregon and just had baby #2. There is a family we are close to that will be transitioning out of the same ministry and I would definitely give them a copy. I haven’t seen a book like yours before on this topic and really look forward to reading it, thank you!

    • Thanks Sydney, this is in part why I wrote it . . . a hole seems to exist. Like the other writers of this site, we just hope for a few less 🙂

  • Mary Britton

    Thank you for taking the effort to write this book. I am excited to dive into the information as we are a family of five on our 4th furlough in 10 years with no idea when we might finish our term of service–our life is a constant balancing act between cultures. We will return to Uganda in July with plans to continue serving indefinitely with an organization which ministers to the children and other village members in a remote area of central Uganda.

  • Carol Rogers Smith

    Amy, thank you for doing this important work. I would like to ask for a book for a friend of mine who has returned form seven years in Uganda with her family of six. They have been home eight months and she recently told me,” Every one is doing well , except me. ” Part of our ministry is to be supporters of missionaries in the field and in transition. She is such a godly young woman and has a great sense of humor. We have shared some of your posts before. Thank you!

    • Oh my heart goes out to her! Humor is a blessing, but it doesn’t give you a free pass on pain 🙂 . . . you laugh and hurt! 🙂

  • Lisa L

    I have been living overseas for over 16 years w/an m organization. RIght now, my organization is going through a downsizing so we have been asked to pray through the possibility of leaving the Field permanently or possibly transitioning to a new role. So, in a few months from now, I have no idea where I will be living or doing….but trusting that the Father knows! Regardless, it is guaranteed that I will be going through a transition of some sort and would definitely utlize this book as a resource for myself and share it with others who are going through the same thing. 🙂

  • Summer Hartzler

    My name is Summer and I feel like my life is in a constant state of transition. I moved to the field four years ago but during my first term I moved 3 different times, and changed ministry job roles. Now back in the states for my one year home assignment but having been constantly on the move doing tours and seminars…now I’m just five months away from returning to the field, and feel like I haven’t really been able to find out how to transition well, without shutting down emotionally. This book sounds amazing, thank you for writing it!

  • Laurie

    We will be transitioning to the U.S. from Rwanda for a 2-year assignment(My husband in a new job). It will be our 9th move in 15 years of marriage. We’ve lived in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Belgium before our current assignment. We have two boys, one will be transitioning to Middle School, the other doing Middle & High School so he’ll experience 3 different schools over the next 3 years (we plan to be overseas again). My father passed away 3 years ago, leaving a family torn apart by relational strife – which we will be entering into when we move back to the U.S. One of our closest friends will be moving back overseas after a year in U.S. so I would give this book to them. Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve really enjoyed your writing at Velvet Ashes too!

  • Kylie Dold

    I love the void this book will fill in missionary resources! I work for a missionary organization, Family Missions Company, that serves in a few different countries with missionaries that often go through transitions like this. I would give this book to my close missionary friend Sarah who has followed the Lord on a vigorously itinerant path over the past two years, serving in India, Ecuador, and Haiti, thinking each would be a long term mission but finding the Lord had special but different plans. She has yet another transition ahead of her in a few months and this would be a wonderful gift to help her through!

  • Sarah

    My husband and I are currently in transition after having to return earlier than expected from serving in Afghanistan. We had to leave early due to health problems and security issues, including the loss of some of our friends and colleagues. It has been a painful and difficult transition back to ‘normal life’ in our passport country. We would greatly appreciate this book as a resource, particularly in helping us stay connected with God during this challenging time.

  • Peter Anderson

    My wife and I are in our sixth year of ministry in a Muslim community in the UK, and will be returning to the US at the end of it. We expected to live and work here much longer, so the realisation that we will need to leave—partly due to logistics, and partly due to calling—is feeling pretty overwhelming. We’re not sure what’s coming next, and trying to figure out how to end our time here well, prepare for the future, and eventually articulate our transition to our supporters. We’d be happy for any resource that can help with that!

  • Matthew Nash

    We have transitioned from 4 years in Africa as missionaries and still struggle with adjustment. We need this book personally and so much in the missions community! I know hundreds of people that need to read this.

  • Catherine Peacock

    We are leaving China after 13 years this summer so your book is perfect timing for us! Looking forward to reading it.

  • Lori Hershberger

    Although I’ve lived in Thailand for about a year and a half, it still feels like I am adjusting. And when I go home to visit my family, even if its only for a few weeks, it throws me for another loop of adjustments. The next few years look like they hold more adjustments! I would love to have this book!

  • C.U.

    My life has been about transitions. We serve in West Africa for seven years, then we came back, did more Bible school and moved to a different part of the country and took many short term trips in the last five years. Now we are headed back overseas to East Africa to serve in a few months. Would like to know better ways to navigate through all these transitions in serving God. Thanks

  • Kristy

    Amy! I am so excited your book is out. While we have been “home” for almost 5 years, this book is perfect timing as we just found out we will have to move soon. When we got back to the US I didn’t really take time to grieve/process as I was busy helping my husband with his transition (he’s from Argentina and had never lived in the US) and had a new baby. This book is so timely as I walk through this new transition and process some of the transitions of the past few years that I never have before.

  • Matthew Wright

    Hi Amy — my wife and I do pastoral care for missionaries from our home in Greece. We have been through our own share of transitions – to the field, back off the field, then back to the field again 4 years later, then from one field to another. We also love to come alongside other workers making transitions as well as MKs making the transition to (or back to) their passport countries for college. Anotehr aspect of our work is that we serve as coaches for young adults on an 11 month, 11 country journey of discipleship through missions. (Cue transition overload!!) We’d love to get a copy of this book to add to our library as well as to evaluate our own transitions.

    • I read each comment and wish I was independently wealthy and could give it to everyone. Maybe some day I could come to Greece in person and do some workshops with you!

      • Matthew Wright

        That’d be great!

  • melissa

    Isn’t overseas ministry always a transition?!?! 🙂 We are getting ready to go on a six-month ‘home’ assignment…with transitions to various places during that whole time. I already look forward to coming ‘home’ to our host culture!

  • Joy

    I have loved “a life overseas” blog and the personal connections I have found to my own story and that of my TCKs! So glad that you are getting all this out there. My story is…came to the field with husband and baby…..decade later I am leaving with 3 babies and mourning my husband. I never had a problem with re-entry on furloughs, though my husband did. My worst fear now with (this perhaps final) re-entry looming is that I will lose my control and lash out at the people who love us but HAVE.NO.IDEA. People expect that I will be okay just as soon as I get myself and the babies “home.” That is the furthest thing from the truth. Truth is we are flourishing here. Our work is here. Our life is here and now NOT back in the sending country. For 10 years we poured our lives, heart and soul into this land. You can’t just pick up and pretend the ten years didn’t happen. Everyone just expects us to come “home” including financial supporters. No one asked me what I wanted or what we needed. However, God thru smarter and wiser people helped me quickly work thru the growing bitterness. Now all that is left is the fear that, while I am strong enough (with God’s help) to deal with struggles in our present home, I won’t be patient with people that don’t understand we need that time to grieve what we lost thru the transition.

  • Joy

    Also–One of the things that has really helped me is gathering all this material that is currently out there on the web/books (reading it first and feeling so connected, and not alone!) and knowing that as we set our date to transition back in the next couple months I can be sending books, articles and youtube videos that I have found recently (Thank you, thank you, God) to everyone at home so that they can start to try to understand what we might be going thru. I really believe that more people are starting to see this as a need for the support communities in the passport countries to understand. So thankful for people like you who can get this info out there where it can help people like me and many, many more. Will be definitely be buying a copy and also asking others to do the same.

    • Joy, I agree, it’s exciting and encouraging to see that more and more materials, awareness, and support are available :).

  • Jessica P

    Hi, Amy! This sounds like a great resource. My husband and I give oversight and pastoral care to our church’s missionaries who are scattered around the world. We have our own transitions in ministry, but also guide and encourage our missionaries through their own transitions. Thanks for writing this and I’m adding it to my Missions Must read list. Blessings!

  • Kim Atkinson

    Oh my! This is so very exciting! We are preparing for a one year furlough and I have been struggling with how to mentally prepare instead of just bracing until it all ends!! I am so looking forward to reading this!! Thank you for the chance to win!!

  • DavidandSarah Harder

    Hi Amy! Reading this article about your book made my heart so excited, I just kept thinking ‘yes’ ‘yes’ ‘yes’! Finally a resource focused on transition!’ I desire so much to thrive in transition, it can feel very overwhelming at times.

    Thank you for taking the time to consider us for a copy of ‘Looming Transition’.

    My husband and I are currently in the middle of our first major transition- transitioning to long-term cross cultural service in SE Asia. We are in ‘partnership development’ phase and anticipate moving from the States to SE Asia a year from now.

    I took up blogging as a way to not only share our journey with others, but to help myself process this journey of moving and serving overseas, and to hopefully help others who are in the same process, too, as we move along ????: http://www.wingsofdawnproductions.com

    I am SO thankful you have a heart for this and the experience and wisdom to share with us, what a blessing!

    In His love, Sarah Lynn

  • Lindsey Alexander

    Hi Amy! My name is Lindsey Alexander and I’m writing to you from Johannesburg, South Africa where I moved just a few months ago. I work for Wycliffe Bible Translators and first served a term in Papua New Guinea, finishing just a year ago. This last year has been a roller coaster of transition as I left one assignment in PNG, had a furlough in the USA for a few months, had language school in Brazil, got engaged and moved to South Africa! With my marriage coming up this year, more transitions are in store! I sure wish they got easier! 🙂 Thanks for writing your book– I look forward to reading it sometime! 🙂

  • Carrie

    Your book sounds wonderful. Our family of 5 soon to be 6 in March just moved from Russia after 12 + years to the Philippines, 7 weeks ago. We will be there until the summer then plan to have a short furlough in States before we move to Central Asia. I would love to read your book.

  • The giveaway is now over and the winners have been notified. I am blessed and humbled by this community! To slow me down and keep me grounded in your needs, for the drawing I wrote each of your names on a piece of paper and prayed for you. The outpouring of comments has reminded me of how very much we need each other, we need A Life Overseas, and we need resources. Very blessed to be a part of all that’s going on here as we know the truth that life is hard, God is good, and God is sovereign and do our best to understand and hold all three in tension.

    • Alisha

      Ah! I am too late! Oh well. 🙂 Let me know if you hold another giveaway soon…and thanks!

    • Kristy

      Thank you Amy! Prayer…so key! Jumping on amazon now to buy your book 🙂 I’ve already recommended it to a bunch of people…I know you, I know your writing, I know it is awesome (without even reading it).

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