When You Struggle

To the Displaced and the Exiled

by Marilyn on February 8, 2016

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To the Displaced and the Exiled I get it. You sit in a crowd of people and you feel your mouth go dry, the bite you just took from your scone chokes your throat. How can you be this lonely in a crowd of people? How is it possible that your passport country feels so […]

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Dear Single Missionary

by Editor on February 4, 2016

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I once was an “expert” single person. After five years in China, I knew how to travel across the world with 100 pounds of luggage, stay in hostels alone, barricade myself on bunk beds at night on 27 hour train rides, and cook for one. Sometimes it was fun, but often it was lonely. At 32, […]

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Rats As Reminders

by Tara Livesay on January 29, 2016

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In total, two rats have met their maker long before they hoped or imagined inside my home at the hands of Troy Livesay, semi-pro rat slayer. Both of the aforementioned rats were the unconscionable and  truly despicable variety that dare to come all the way upstairs in a people house.  <Gah!> On one occasion my […]

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As pertains to the state of my soul

by Elizabeth Trotter on January 24, 2016

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So I went to America. Where I felt homeless. Especially at Walmart, where there are entirely too many choices. And especially at Starbucks, where you can order coffee on your smart phone; you don’t even have to stand in line. And I felt at home. Especially at my mom’s house and with my very closest […]

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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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The Radical Spiritual Art of Staying Put

by Editor on January 8, 2016

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If any group of people has a long and convoluted history with evangelical church traditions, it’s missionary kids. Like pastor’s kids, the emotional baggage around church is piled higher than the lost luggage corner at the Johannesburg airport. We tend to camp out either around the “wounded/bitter/cynical” baggage claim belt, or the one labeled “guilt-ridden/never […]

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Happy New Year, friends!  This time around, I’ve got a question for you! What’s your self-care plan—body, mind, soul, spirit–for 2016? At the very beginning of this Ask-a-Counselor series, we talked about the cognitive, emotional, and spiritual challenges to self-care.  We examined those road-blocks to self-care, and we concluded that difficulties shouldn’t stop us from doing […]

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I Believe, Help My Unbelief

by Chris Lautsbaugh on December 30, 2015

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In work, ministry, and life we all experience frequent seasons when things don’t work out quite the way we had hoped. In missions, our internal dialogues consist of “Am I making a difference?” or “Will these things ever change?” When we are trusting for provision, for a breakthrough in our health, or seeing a life […]

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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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When Singing “Joy to the World” Feels Too Hard

by Elizabeth Trotter on December 20, 2015

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Sadness has found me this Christmas season. I bear sadness over the brokenness in the world, and I bear sadness over the brokenness in my own life. So I mourn. And I grieve. Then, as I am currently in the United States for a short visit, I look around at America’s intensely commercialized version of […]

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When your work is taken away from you

by Editor on December 7, 2015

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My husband and I moved to rural Cambodia in March 2011, and through the summer of 2012, I volunteered in a missionary clinic as a registered nurse. I helped set up the clinic, registered patients, assisted with procedures, and visited patients in their homes— a volunteer job that was meaningful and fulfilling. I was also […]

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Ask a Counselor: What about anger overseas?

by Kay Bruner on December 3, 2015

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“What are some reasons that missionaries struggle so much with anger? What are ways we can deal with it on the field? What are helpful things a spouse can do if the other spouse is struggling with anger?” What is it with anger overseas?  Why do we see so much of it? If we’re experiencing […]

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