Preparing & 1st Year

Jumping Off the Pedestal

by Editor on November 6, 2015


I live in fear of disappointing people. Supporters, our church, our organization, family, friends. I know how messy my life is, I know the things I struggle with, I know where I stumble, I know how often I mess things up, and now I worry others will know too. I have always been a pretty […]


Same Same, Thankfully

by Editor on November 3, 2015


As I am in the middle of wading through culture shock,  I am so thankful for things that seem to transcend time zones and culture. Things that I know are the same no matter where I am or who I’m with or what language I’m (kind of) speaking. Like the normal, everyday things that make […]


How to Help TCKs Manage Probing Questions

by Editor on October 22, 2015

children sitting 2013

Children think in concrete, specific terms: black and white, true and false. As parents, we train them to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” What could be wrong with that? I don’t want to raise liars, and I’m sure you don’t either. But sometimes, when you live overseas, the whole […]


Failing at Fatherhood (how moving abroad ruined my parenting)

by Jonathan Trotter on September 6, 2015


I sat on the floor, weeping. I was two whole days into living abroad, and I was already losing it. Those tears portended more, and in our first year overseas, the thing that knocked me down the most, the thing that discouraged and distracted and depressed me the most, was the sense that I was […]


The Teary Expat Mom, Shopping

by Rachel Pieh Jones on September 4, 2015

The Teary Expat Mom, Shopping

A confession… I am that woman who balances twenty boxes of shoes at the register in Payless. Four pairs of shoes per person. The same shoe in incrementally larger sizes for the kids. Buy one, get one half off. I am that woman who, in late August, needs two carts at Target. I am that […]



The Newbie. In August of 2001, that was me. Standing in the dirty house that was going to be my home, totally overwhelmed by the barrage to my senses–smoke in the air, humidity on my skin, roosters crowing. What on earth was I going to cook? How was I supposed to get anywhere? And what […]


How to Communicate so People Will Care

by Jonathan Trotter on August 6, 2015


Newsletters. Prayer updates. Itinerations. Reports. Furloughs. Presentations. Are you stressed out yet? For most of us, living and serving abroad means communicating back to senders. A lot. But this isn’t what we went to school for, and besides that, communicating in person or in print is scary. It’s exposing. It’s like learning a new culture […]


Hello World!

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 3, 2015

to kiss or not to kiss

How do you greet people where you live? I asked this question recently on Facebook because I was working on an essay: To Kiss or Not to Kiss? (check out that piece for a somewhat more thoughtful look at cross cultural greetings). I wanted to see what greetings were like around the world. Even though […]



“Feeling so fearful and alone since moving as a trailing spouse” Last month someone found my blog because they did an internet search for that phrase. It reminded me how much pain a trailing spouse endures. I remember the struggle; I remember the suffering. And while whoever typed those search terms is actually not alone, […]


Thoughts and Advice for a First-time Expat

by Marilyn on July 8, 2015

Ten commandments for Expats

A few weeks ago, someone who is moving overseas contacted me. This is her first time living overseas, she is going into the unknown, and wants to be as prepared as possible. Here is what I said to her: Dear Lucy (name has been changed) Wow – I’m excited for you and not a little […]


6 Ways to Be Certain of the “Call”

by Rachel Pieh Jones on May 4, 2015

6 Ways to Be Certain of The Call

There is much debate and discussion around The Call. Mysterious, spiritual, dreamy. Everyone else’s Call story is better. The Call is supposed to come in a flash and be so powerful that it under girds every decision and emotion and experience for the rest of your life, no questions asked, no doubts ever encountered. It […]


10 Things Flying Taught Me About Missions

by Jonathan Trotter on March 19, 2015


I love flying. It just doesn’t get old for me. I’ve jumped the Pacific a bunch; I’ve skipped over the Atlantic a few times. I have my own license to fly small aircraft, but still, every time I fly I feel like a little kid who’s milk got spiked with espresso. Sometimes I’m afraid the […]