When You Struggle

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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When your husband calls you “a shell of a woman”

by Elizabeth Trotter on July 27, 2016

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For months this spring I felt like a shell of a woman. I was empty and didn’t have anything to give. Oh, I was still doing all the “right” things. I was still getting up most mornings attempting to connect with God, and I was still relatively consistent with my commitment to exercise.  But I […]

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Don’t Peak in Language School

by Anisha Hopkinson on July 13, 2016

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{Peaking: Mountain top experiences. The phrase “Peaked in High School” refers to an adult whose significant achievements all occurred in high school.} Sophomore year of high school I joined the choir class (as opposed to the cool kid musical theater club, which required auditions. Choir class accepted anyone.), but since I’m actually a terrible singer, […]

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Do you need “A Year Of Awesome”?

by Lisa McKay on May 30, 2016

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A couple of years ago now, I read Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Following the great success of his memoir Blue Like Jazz, Miller slumped into something akin to a low-grade depression. When two producers proposed turning Jazz into a movie, Miller discovered that his life didn’t actually bear any resemblance […]

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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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When the lights go out

by Elizabeth Trotter on May 23, 2016

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I want to do all the things. All the very good things there are to do in this world. So I overcommit myself. I don’t say “no.” I say “yes” instead, and spread myself too thin. Then my soul suffers. My work suffers. My sanity suffers. My family life suffers. My spiritual life suffers. I […]

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In the Light, in the Dark, Remember

by Craig Thompson on May 18, 2016

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Don’t forget in the darkness what you have learned in the light. In Where Is God when It Hurts? Philip Yancey quotes these words of Joseph Bayly, former director of InterVarsity press and former president of David C. Cook Publishing. Then Yancey adds,  “Yet sometimes the darkness descends so thickly that we can barely remember the light.” Missionary and author […]

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