Africa

When a Colleague Fails…

by Richelle Wright on September 17, 2014

How are we supposed to act when a colleague sins? It happens, and I’m not talking about the respectable sins with which we all struggle. I’m talking about the big ones – the ones that result in missionaries sent home from the field or pastors asked to leave their churches… What are we to do? [...]

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Seventy Times Seven, Conflict and Forgiveness

by Rachel Pieh Jones on September 9, 2014

  The conflict in mind as I wrote this piece was not related to a team conflict issue. I used to think that when Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven times, he meant that people would be so mean, so sinful, that they would keep sinning against me (and I against them) and I should forgive [...]

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“Banish the onion!”

by Richelle Wright on August 15, 2014

If you “google” family menu planning, you end up with over 87 million results in just a fraction of a second. I guess a lot of people really like to plan menus. Menu planning used to be a pretty big deal for me. Once upon a time, I grocery shopped once every two weeks, with a [...]

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“Why didn’t they send a tractor?”

by Richelle Wright on July 18, 2014

The idea that much is expected of those who have been given much had been drilled into me as a boy. I saw giving back as my duty – a responsibility I’d accepted from a young age. Feeling the duty to help others after graduating from college, I signed up for the Peace Corps and [...]

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Living the Expat Life

by Richelle Wright on June 20, 2014

It feels normal and strange all at once – but that’s to be expected. I have been back in my home country for nearly a year… Another year to go before we head back into the expat life and scene. The routines here are finally comfortably familiar, again! I’m still loving all the things I love [...]

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Today’s guest post is a gift to those who have just finished their first year overseas as well as to those who have been overseas for 15 or 30. Corrie Commisso takes us on a journey through her first year in Dakar, Senegal — a year of new words, new foods, new ways of interacting, [...]

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of dust and criticism

by Richelle Wright on May 21, 2014

Living on the back side of the Sahara Desert for 13 years, I became intimately acquainted with dust. Keeping desert dust from simply moving in and taking over the house? Well, I jokingly (sorta) say that THAT was my full time job. Or battle. If I stick with the battle metaphor, it was one I [...]

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Here I Am To Worship

by Rachel Pieh Jones on May 14, 2014

I spent our early days in the Horn of Africa going to the market in the morning and learning how to decipher goat from beef from camel meat that hung in fly-covered slabs and then grinding it myself, how to make French Fries from potatoes instead of from the Drive-Thru, and studying language. Sort of. [...]

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Reflections of God

by Chris Lautsbaugh on April 11, 2014

Many times in missions, we speak of the difficulties with greater frequency than the good things. We talk about racism. We speak of our various phases of culture shock. Stories of being hurt by those we work with abound. Even at times, we venture into difficult topics like trauma or loss. What of the positive? [...]

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Giving Good Gifts

by Kelley Nikondeha on March 27, 2014

The Batwa people live on the edges of Burundian society, marginalized in their own country. Local humanitarian workers tell tales of these people who thwart good gifts and show little gratitude, making them notoriously difficult to work with. One organization generously gave corrugated metal roofs for the thatch-constructed homes. But soon after the installation, the [...]

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Home Assignment Blues

by Richelle Wright on March 24, 2014

I remember when I used to think that teachers had the best job in the world BECAUSE they had a whole summer vacation. Many of my Nigerien friends think that that distinction actually belongs to missionaries on home assignment BECAUSE they have a whole YEAR vacation. Halfway through our home assignment year, halfway through our [...]

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Please Don’t Say, “They Are Poor But They’re Happy.”

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 21, 2014

Katherine Boo talks about the western ‘conceit that poverty is ennobling.’ Tracy Kidder, in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, quotes Paul Farmer, “There’s a WL (white liberal) line – the ‘They’re poor but they’re happy’ line.’ They do have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but that’s entirely different.” I am of the opinion [...]

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