Monthly Contributors

The Fine Line Between Expat Chaos and Rhythm

by Jerry Jones on July 24, 2017

People living a life overseas are a special breed.  We don’t so much make sense to the normal people do we? My family is on the tail end of a whirlwind, six week “home” (finger quotes) visit and we’ve been reminded every moment of it what a ridiculous life we have chosen. Seriously.  Who does […]

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Fight For Your Family

by Rachel Pieh Jones on July 19, 2017

Humanitarian, governmental, and religious organizations sending people abroad don’t always have the best interest of their internationally-located staff in mind. They think they do. They hope they do. Even (I think) many of them try to. But they are organizations, based back in the United States. They are staffed by people who have no idea […]

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Thank You For Hosting My Niece

by Amy Young on July 17, 2017

Dear Missionary who hosts summer teams, I write this letter to you with egg on my face. Many moons ago I spent a summer in China teaching English for six weeks to English teachers from around Anhui Province. Because it was “long enough to form meaningful relationships,” I maintained an interiorly superior attitude that many […]

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Living the Dream

by Anisha Hopkinson on July 14, 2017

By all accounts — we’ve made it. Our decade long dreams are today’s reality. My husband’s dream of flying helicopters in mission aviation is his actual job. My dream of stay-at-home mommying and writing biographies is my everyday life. Our together dream of living in a foreign country found us setting up home in Indonesia. […]

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Every summer I begin thinking about change and transition, about reentry and culture shock. With the first warm breezes of the season, I am transported to places and times where this was my reality. And I begin to hear stories from others who are going through these transitions. The stories are told in photographs and […]

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The stones that weigh us down, that keep us from mature growth.  What are they, and how can we roll them away?  So far in this series, we’ve looked at the stones of perfectionism and shame.  This month, we’re exploring approval-seeking. As we look at approval-seeking, remember that we’ve already figured out that perfectionism and […]

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When Missionaries Think They Know Everything

by Amy Medina on July 4, 2017

A few years ago, a video started making its way around my Facebook feed–shared by lots foreigners who live in my part of Africa.  The video showed two African men shoveling sand.  There was a very large pile of sand to their left.  The two men were shoveling the sand into a wheelbarrow, filling it […]

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God Bless America! (and other dangerous prayers)

by Jonathan Trotter on July 1, 2017

I love America. I love her mountains and her National Parks. I love her North Atlantic coastline and her national anthem. I love her freedom of speech and her universities. As an attorney, I especially love her Constitution and her history of Law. God bless America! But that’s a dangerous prayer, because often, with the […]

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Surviving? Thriving? How about Striving?

by Craig Thompson on June 28, 2017

“Are you thriving?” It was during our first term on the field, and our pastor asked me this question in a Skype chat in front of our home congregation. My answer? As I remember, it was in the neighborhood of “Well, I’m not sure we’re thriving, but, uh, hmmm, something, something, something, not always easy, […]

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“What are people there saying about Syria?” This question was posed to me during a Skype conversation with a friend back in the States. My answer? “I’m not talking to anyone about Syria. I’ve got things to deal with in my own personal ministry, and I’ve got things to deal with in my team ministry. […]

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Why Expats Hate June

by Jerry Jones on June 21, 2017

Summer “home” time is in full swing and while I would love to take a break from binging on family road trips, quality Gramma/Grampa time and high-fructose American corn syrup to write a new post I have finally surrendered to the reality that it’s not happening. Here’s an oldie from The Culture Blend that has been […]

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Come to the Margins

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 19, 2017

This is a repost, originally published at She Loves Magazine. It is a poem, of sorts and during these days in which so many, many people seem to be and feel marginalized, I wanted to revisit it. Come to the margins, to the railroad track where houses were burned down and women are rebuilding with […]

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