Preparing & 1st Year

witness the miracle

So, it’s been a heavy year. There’s been a lot of tears and raw grief. There’s been a lot of therapy and the chance to heal in healthy relationships. Right now, there’s a season of counseling aimed at dealing with the trauma in my life. Yes, heavy, I know. Which is why my soul has […]

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

by Craig Thompson on April 22, 2016

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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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Infidelity on the Mission Field

by Editor on March 31, 2016

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Standing at the kitchen counter, drying dishes with a towel and wiping the sweat from my neck, I knew it was finally time to come clean to my husband. “I have been attracted to him for months.” And I wasn’t talking about my husband. He looked at me, without much surprise, and said, “I think […]

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The Language Learning Mother

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 16, 2016

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I moved to Africa with two-and-a-half year old twins. One of the first things people ask me about that year is how I learned language, because I did. And I don’t feel like I abandoned my kids or neglected my husband in order to do it. I’m focusing on the Mother here because I typically […]

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Help Make Your Relationships More Resilient_ 10 Important Questions To Answer About How You Handle Stress

Moving overseas is a massive and sudden change. Living overseas is the process of adapting to a million smaller changes, one day at a time. And, guess what? Change = stress. Don’t get me wrong, stress is not necessarily bad for us. Without some pressure in our lives, we stagnate. We need external and internal […]

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When your team isn’t all you expect it to be

by Editor on January 19, 2016

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Our first year of living in China was marked by the expected symptoms of culture stress: frustration, dark thoughts about all Chinese people everywhere, helplessness, hopelessness, tears. And loneliness. So much loneliness. We arrived without any team members, hoping to prepare the way for others to join us, but having no idea if they ever […]

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Searching for Home

by Editor on December 22, 2015

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It’s hard to describe the turbulence of soul that comes from being on the move, always unsettled. You cannot be still and breathe deeply. You cannot love the wild-growing front-lawn tulips too much, or the way the sunlight turns the living room into a golden elven forest in the afternoon. They will soon be gone. […]

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Jumping Off the Pedestal

by Editor on November 6, 2015

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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 […]

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Same Same, Thankfully

by Editor on November 3, 2015

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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 […]

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How to Help TCKs Manage Probing Questions

by Editor on October 22, 2015

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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 […]

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Failing at Fatherhood (how moving abroad ruined my parenting)

by Jonathan Trotter on September 6, 2015

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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 […]

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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 […]

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