Expat Family

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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 […]

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Don’t Ask Me About My Christmas Traditions

by Amy Medina on December 1, 2016

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Before going to live in a third world country we had a lot of people come to us concerned for our children. I remember standing so tall and proud as I answered them and said I was sure of a few things. One was that we were definitely called. Since that was the case, it […]

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Little-h heroes

by Craig Thompson on September 21, 2016

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In a university class I’m teaching, I started the semester by having the students answer some questions about themselves: What scares you? (spiders, heights, and death were popular—or unpopular, as it were.) What is your hometown, or where else have you lived? (See how I phrased that one in case we had some TCKs in the group?) Who is your hero and […]

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No Easy Answers

by Marilyn on September 9, 2016

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My mom and dad raised five children in Pakistan. At the time, options for educating children were limited. Here is her story about kids, trust, and ultimately learning that God loves and cares for her children. All five of us have come to know the God that she trusted. ***** “Do YOU think it’s right […]

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Sorry: Another Difficult, but Necessary, Word

by Craig Thompson on August 19, 2016

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Last month, I wrote about the difficulties of saying goodbye, something faced over again by those living overseas. Today I’d like to discuss another word that can come up during times of transition: Sorry. It, too, is hard to say, at least in the right way. (The following is adapted from “Sorry: No Ifs, Sos, or Buts,” originally […]

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Don’t Ignore Your Passport Country

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 17, 2016

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I have a confession to make. I don’t pay much attention to news from the United States. I’m much more likely to click on the BBC or Al-Jazeera than on CNN or my more local, Minneapolis Star Tribune. I sort of follow election news, trying to keep my cynicism in check. And I follow the […]

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Something I’ve heard a lot of expat parents say is that their whole family is “in it together” or that they are “called” together. The basic assumption is that all members of the family go abroad and live overseas together – they are bonded by the same experience. When I hear this, however, I think […]

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The Balancing Act of MK Education

by Amy Medina on July 31, 2016

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  I can still picture them:  Miss Eager, Mrs. Sacra, Miss Davis, and many more.  They gave up a good salary and a steady career to teach missionary kids in an unstable African country.  And I was in their classrooms. It was the investment of teachers like these who inspired me to pursue education as […]

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Goodbye: Making a Hard Word Easier

by Craig Thompson on July 22, 2016

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goodbye /gə(d)-ˈbī/ excl. / salutation spoken at a departure, extremely unpopular for certain English-speaking tribes, such as cross-cultural workers, TCKs, their loved ones, and the like. Many of us know from experience that saying goodbye can be hard, really hard. And practice doesn’t make perfect. In fact, it often makes it worse. But what makes goodbye so tough to voice? It’s not because it’s hard to […]

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Going Home

by Jerry Jones on July 19, 2016

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I sometimes catch myself using finger quotes when I say the word “home.”  You too? I’m writing this on an airplane and am currently 3 hours and 8 minutes away from “home”.  Simultaneously and ironically I am also 9 hours and 4 minutes away from “home.”  I’m in that weird spot that expats love and […]

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