Craig Thompson

Thank You, Dear Shepherds

by Craig Thompson on December 22, 2016

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Looking for Mic-Drop Methods in Missions

by Craig Thompson on October 24, 2016

I don’t much trust stories that end with “And they all lived happily ever after.” That’s because experience has taught me that princes often turn out to be less than charming and fairy-tale princesses turn out to be, well, only in fairy tales. Of course, we don’t hear “happily ever after” a lot any more, not because we […]

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Little-h heroes

by Craig Thompson on September 21, 2016

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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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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Goodbye: Making a Hard Word Easier

by Craig Thompson on July 22, 2016

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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The Secret Life of Walter, a Missionary

by Craig Thompson on June 20, 2016

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[With apologies to James Thurber and Walter Mitty.] “I’ll take the kids outside for a while so you can have some uninterrupted time,” says Walter’s wife as she softly closes the door to his office. It’s time to work on their monthly newsletter, and he turns to the keyboard. Tap, tap, tap, ta-tap tap . . . “Walter?” she yells back […]

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In the Light, in the Dark, Remember

by Craig Thompson on May 18, 2016

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Don’t forget in the darkness what you have learned in the light. In Where Is God when It Hurts? Philip Yancey quotes these words of Joseph Bayly, former director of InterVarsity press and former president of David C. Cook Publishing. Then Yancey adds,  “Yet sometimes the darkness descends so thickly that we can barely remember the light.” Missionary and author […]

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Culture Stress, when There’s No Hook to Hang It On

by Craig Thompson on April 22, 2016

When most people open up their closets in the morning, they usually ignore the out-of-style shirts on the edge, the wrong-color sweaters, the too-tight pants. Instead, as much as they can, they grab something that looks right, something that fits right, something that feels right. When you transition between countries, your cultural closets get switched. Your choices become limited, and you often have to put […]

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Standing Up Crooked Together

by Craig Thompson on March 21, 2016

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Standing Up Crooked There’s a tree near Colorado Springs that I admire. It’s a pine tree sitting on the property of The Hideaway Inn and Conference Center, where my family and I attended MTI’s Debriefing and Renewal several years ago. This tree is surrounded by other pines, but this one’s different. While its trunk starts out […]

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Inside Job

Stephen W. Smith wrote Inside Job for leaders, leaders who find themselves trying to “climb the slippery, treacherous slope of success,” often falling with a crash and landing in a heap below. Stephen was once among them. When he began life after graduate school, he says, “I developed an addiction to work that was applauded by every organization I worked for in my […]

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Why I Quit My Job as a Missionary to Scrub Toilets

by Craig Thompson on January 22, 2016

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About this time last year, Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger, successful advertising professionals in South Africa, left their lucrative jobs to travel the world together. While the blog they maintain, full of wonderful adventures and beautiful photos, has gained a lot of attention in the press, the post that made the biggest splash came six […]

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