When You Struggle

Don’t Ask Me About My Christmas Traditions

by Amy Medina on December 1, 2016

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My first Christmas on African soil was when I had just turned six years old.  We had arrived in Liberia only three weeks earlier, and my mom was in the throes of major culture shock.  My parents had shipped over a few presents, but nothing else for Christmas.  My mom managed to find a two-foot […]

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A couple of months ago I had an exchange on facebook with a friend of mine from university days. Sal and her husband have been living in the Middle East for the past three years. They moved there with their three young children so that they could immerse themselves deeply in the context and culture, […]

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Psalm 139, three ways

by Kay Bruner on November 6, 2016

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O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say […]

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When You Want a Different Life

by Amy Medina on November 1, 2016

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I live in a tropical paradise.  The glorious Indian Ocean is my backdrop—I can see it between the trees at my house, when I run errands around town, and when I watch my daughter’s soccer games.  For fun we take a little boat to an uninhabited island and snorkel over colorful coral.  The weather is […]

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The Remedy for the Pain is the Pain

by Tara Livesay on October 30, 2016

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When I wake up in the morning I feel the consequence of my anger before I even swing my feet to the floor. My teeth ache from nighttime jaw clenching. Anger is my go-to emotion of late. Last week my children dressed up as four of the feelings/characters from the Disney movie Inside-Out.  Their choices […]

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When God Won’t Give Me What I Want

by Jonathan Trotter on October 11, 2016

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Is he really a “good, good Father”? We sing it often enough, and truth be told, I really like singing and talking about the good character that our Abba Father indeed has. But sometimes it sounds like we’re desperately trying to convince ourselves. Because sometimes we doubt. And no wonder. Because sometimes we ask for […]

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Conflict and Our Dustlikeness

by Elizabeth Trotter on September 22, 2016

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Conflict. If you’ve been in church work for long, you know what it’s like. People abound, and conflict happens. Then there’s the big blow up or the cold exit or, even scarier, the explosive exit. I’ve been in church work for a decade and a half now, and big blowups and bad exits seem to […]

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Culture Shock: On the Up Curve

by Anisha Hopkinson on September 11, 2016

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Coming up to three years in country and most days are finally ok. It’s been almost a year since I broke out in sobs because I burnt granola, or couldn’t find oats in town, or judged a friend better at everything than I am. Through the free fall from honeymoon into disillusionment and then the […]

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No Easy Answers

by Marilyn on September 9, 2016

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My mom and dad raised five children in Pakistan. At the time, options for educating children were limited. Here is her story about kids, trust, and ultimately learning that God loves and cares for her children. All five of us have come to know the God that she trusted. ***** “Do YOU think it’s right […]

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Go to the small places

by Jonathan Trotter on September 4, 2016

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There are three places that make me feel very small. Standing at the edge of the sea, watching the never-ending motion as water is pulled by the unseen and unrelenting forces of gravity and wind and planetary motion. Standing at the foot of a mountain, pondering the historical shifting and breaking that pushed stone into […]

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When It All Blows Up In Your Face

by Amy Medina on August 31, 2016

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Sixteen years ago, my husband and I were all of 24 years old when we arrived in Tanzania for our first term.  We had only been married nine months, and we were passionate and dedicated, but incredibly naïve.  We had absolutely no idea what we were in for. We were working in youth ministry in […]

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Dealing with Conflict on the Field. Or not.

by Jonathan Trotter on August 2, 2016

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Let’s talk about conflict, ‘cause that’s fun. I mean, hypothetically, at some point in the (distant) future, you may or may not experience an uncomfortable disagreement with someone. Maybe. In this imagined scenario, the ensuing “discussion” could arise between you and your spouse or kids or co-workers, or maybe even — like this would ever […]

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