Craig Thompson

You’ve probably heard it many times. Simply put: The number-one reason missionaries leave the field is because of problems with coworkers. The trouble is, it’s not that simple. First of all, the best source I can find for this, or something close to it, is the in-depth study ReMAP (the Reducing Missionary Attrition Project), conducted by […]

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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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Diane Stortz knows firsthand what it’s like to have children serving overseas, to want them to follow God’s calling, but also to want them close by. In 2008, she, along with Cheryl Savageau, wrote Parents of Missionaries: How to Thrive and Stay Connected when Your Children and Grandchildren Serve Cross-Culturally (InterVarsity Press). Since joining the ranks of […]

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When It’s Hard to Want to Want to Be Back

by Craig Thompson on April 26, 2017

Our pictures are on the walls! It’s been a year since I wrote about the long process I and my family were going through fitting back into life in the States and not yet feeling at home—still not having our pictures hung up. Since then, quite a few things have changed, and I would be remiss if I […]

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Adding to Your Story-Letter

by Craig Thompson on March 27, 2017

Ahhh, newsletters. (And by “Ahhh,” I’m guessing you know what I mean.) Living outside your passport country means finding ways to keep people updated about what’s going on with you. Some of those people need to hear about what’s happening and some of them simply want to. The newsletter can take care of both, which is a good thing. But sometimes […]

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An Open Letter to the Kind People in My Host Country

by Craig Thompson on February 20, 2017

Dear neighbors: When my wife and I and our four children stepped off the plane in your country, with our 12 carry-on bags—and all our plans, enthusiasm, expectations . . . and naiveté—you welcomed us. In fact, the customs agent greeted us with a smile. And during the following years that we lived among you, we lost count of your kindnesses. We […]

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So, What Does God Look Like to You?

by Craig Thompson on January 27, 2017

Imagine getting a handwritten invitation from God the Father requesting your presence for a meeting. You quickly get ready, and you’re on your way. When you arrive at his door, you knock twice and hear, “Come in.” You turn the knob, push the door open slowly . . . and there he is. But before […]

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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

Sorry!

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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