Practical

My House Shall Be Called

by Jonathan Trotter on April 16, 2014

Photographing weddings got me through college. It also taught me about the Church. Sometimes, your day is spent with really happy people. Sometimes, it’s spent with really stressed out people. Sometimes, the really stressed out people turn into the really happy people. You get to be around radiant brides, people who dance but really shouldn’t, [...]

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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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Say Less, Listen More, Love More

by Tara Livesay on April 2, 2014

The world is a garish, noisy neighborhood. Decibels and pixels abound. The phone in my pocket spews more information in hours than I can assimilate in years. I’m reminded of my college speech prof who counseled tongue-in-cheek, “Shout louder if your argument is weak.” There’s a whole lot of shouting these days.  -My Uncle, Rick [...]

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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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A New Racism

by Chris Lautsbaugh on March 18, 2014

Anyone working in missions will come face to face with the reality of racism at some point. Historically it has been an issue of skin color. In most nations black was wrong and white was right. I live and work in South Africa. Perhaps there has never been a nation where racism was more evident [...]

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A few words of introduction to my post for today… The essay below was written several years ago now, in an attempt to redeem one of the silliest things I have ever done in all my years of traveling. And, oh my word. There have been a lot of silly things I’ve done involving airports [...]

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Airlines We’ve Known

by Marilyn on March 7, 2014

It’s Friday. Friday means different things in different parts of the world. For some of us, Friday is our day of worship. How well I remember Scotch Presbyterians arguing that “One could never worship on a Friday” when Pakistan changed its weekend to Friday and Saturday.  A year later said Scots were worshiping on a [...]

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Their Purpose is NOT to Give Us Money

by Chris Lautsbaugh on February 18, 2014

There is a subtle mindset which can creep into our thinking as missionaries and social activists. We can begin to think that there are those who are called to go, and those who are called to give. Jesus himself said, ”The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the [...]

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Tumbling in the Undertow

by Richelle Wright on January 29, 2014

I’ll never forget the first time I went body surfing. Only a tiny part of a much larger set of events, it remains vividly stamped upon my mind… Ten years old! Traveling – on a plane for the very first time that I could independently remember! On a trip with my swim team and without [...]

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The Dreaded Question: Where Are You From?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on January 27, 2014

A young white woman asked my daughter Lucy to spin the globe and point at where she was from. Lucy rotated the globe until her hand hovered over Africa. Before she could be more specific the woman laughed and said, ‘no, tell me where you are from,’ and spun the globe toward the United States. “I’m [...]

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Disappointed by A National

by Chris Lautsbaugh on January 24, 2014

If you have been in missions any length of time, you have experienced disappointment with a national person you’ve trusted. It’s not a question of if, but when. Someone will break your trust, they might steal from you, or worse. I know of national workers who were entrusted with a ministry only to overthrow the [...]

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