When You Struggle

The Ignorant Bliss of a Know-It-All

by Angie Washington on July 30, 2014

When we stomped off to mission school we knew we were headed to Bolivia. We knew the five-fold reach of our ministry would be: churches, bible schools, social outreaches, Bolivian missionaries sent out, and mass media productions. Our shiny vision statement listed everything in plural with big numbers. We knew that we knew, beyond a [...]

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Please Stop Running

by Jonathan Trotter on July 27, 2014

In my former life (and I mean that in a totally non-Buddhist way), I worked as a trauma nurse at an inner-city emergency department in the States. One of the first rules new hires had to learn in the ER was that No.One.Runs. Even if someone just got shot or stabbed or is actively dying, no one [...]

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How Do You Write Your Name in the Land?

by Elizabeth Trotter on July 24, 2014

The streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia are littered with garbage. The garbage stinks, and the open sewers reek. The construction on my street can be deafening, and I sometimes tire of all these sights, sounds, and smells. But in the middle of this assault on my (admittedly sensitive) senses, I catch a glimpse of perfection: palm trees, right in [...]

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Yesterday was my 30th wedding anniversary. My husband and I met back to back at an Indian restaurant on Devon Street in Chicago. He was a cute grad student at the University of Illinois. I was a cute nurse newly deported from Pakistan. A week later I said to someone “I think I’m going to [...]

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I have to Believe

by Tara Livesay on July 2, 2014

Sunday … The chaos begins shortly before 7am. Clothing, hair, and breakfast all seem to be reasons for little ones to fight. By the time we leave the house we’ve traded terse words over things of little consequence. We load up the kids, three crammed in back, three in the middle with whichever guest is [...]

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What If I Fall Apart on the Mission Field?

by Elizabeth Trotter on June 29, 2014

They say that living overseas will bring out all our bad stuff. They say it like it’s a warning, like it’s supposed to scare us out of going. Like only a superhuman could go and survive. And what if they’re right? What if moving overseas does bring out all our dark stuff, putting it on display for all to see? What [...]

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Cultural Immersion Checklist

by Angie Washington on June 27, 2014

How many can you check? Congratulate yourself for where you are at! 1. Attempt to learn the local language 2. Take public transportation 3. Buy food where the majority buys their food 4. Attend a typical wedding 5. Attend a typical funeral 6. Attend a typical birthday party 7. Visit a government office 8. Acquire [...]

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Missing God in Missions

by Chris Lautsbaugh on June 11, 2014

Over the last twenty plus years in missions I have learned we go through seasons. We are currently on a furlough, and it is times like these where you can see things in a way which brings greater clarity. There is something which slowly and subtely was missing from my missions. I was not misusing [...]

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One-Uppers

by Tara Livesay on June 2, 2014

For some reason 2014 is the year that I cannot seem to formulate many serious or deep thoughts when discussing my “life overseas”.  I would like to believe it is simply “a season”, and not some major personality flaw. With a virus spreading like wild-fire, life in Haiti has been especially rough for the last [...]

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When Friends Do the Next Right Thing

by Elizabeth Trotter on May 29, 2014

What do we do when the people we love do the next right thing? What if that next right thing leads them away from us? When we say yes to God, we must often say no to the places we already know. And when God leads us overseas, we enter a communal life that is punctuated by [...]

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We welcome my “neighbor” Sarah Goodfellow, who lives in Peru (I am in Bolivia), as our contributor today. I am so very excited that there are now two regular writers from South America on the team for A Life Overseas. Yeah! Learn more about Sarah on the Writers Page. Even if you do not have [...]

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Here I Am To Worship

by Rachel Pieh Jones on May 14, 2014

I spent our early days in the Horn of Africa going to the market in the morning and learning how to decipher goat from beef from camel meat that hung in fly-covered slabs and then grinding it myself, how to make French Fries from potatoes instead of from the Drive-Thru, and studying language. Sort of. [...]

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