When You Struggle

When Someone You Love Dies, and You are Far, Far Away

by Rachel Pieh Jones on October 2, 2015

Holy Ground w quote

Note: This was written a year and a half ago, but still holds true for today. My Grandma Jeanne died last week. Death sucks. Or, in the gentler words of my wise (and gentler) friend Sue, “I hate death.” Even if she was in her upper 80’s and, as Lucy says, “That’s what happens to […]


Nine Ways to Save a Marriage

by Editor on September 21, 2015


If there is one place where your marriage will suffer, it’s probably on the mission field. My husband and I waltzed into marriage crazy in love and stupidly naïve. After knowing each other only 4 months, we eloped on a white sand beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Then we spent the next five years running a […]


That One Safe Friend

by Craig Thompson on September 18, 2015


Do you have that one safe friend? When I went overseas, I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t even know I needed one. Don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of friends, good friends, but I didn’t have one particular person who was committed to the role of being that one safe friend. Since then I’ve come to […]


On Harassment: Freedom from the Silence of Shame

by Marilyn on September 16, 2015

silence of shame

Long ago on a spring day in Cairo, I was walking across a small footbridge to the area of the city where I lived. I had crossed the footbridge hundreds of times, usually with one or three children hanging on to my skirt and in my arms. This time I was alone, lost in my […]


Failing at Fatherhood (how moving abroad ruined my parenting)

by Jonathan Trotter on September 6, 2015


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 […]


Ask a counselor:  when the helper needs help

by Kay Bruner on September 2, 2015

accept help

This is a question that came in several months ago, and it seemed like it needed an immediate answer, so I answered at the time.  I thought it was worth talking about again, though. The question addresses a very specific and personal situation, but I think the answers can apply to many more general circumstances, […]


Boats on Mekong

I am five months into our time in Port Vila now, and it’s been almost six months since Cyclone Pam devastated large parts of Vanuatu. All things considered, we’re settling in well. One thing that’s caught me by surprise during this move, however, is how much I think back to Laos. We spent five years […]


Harmonizing Sadness and Joy

by Craig Thompson on August 19, 2015


Let me add my voice to those who are praising Pixar’s Inside Out as a great movie for the cross-cultural community. I think we’ll be showing clips of it to expats, repats, and TCKs for a long time to come. (If you’ve not seen it and don’t know what it’s about, I suggest you read Kay Bruner’s discussion of the movie, from […]


With A Little Help From My Friends

by Anisha Hopkinson on August 11, 2015


A year ago my life could be described as a constant state of exhaustion, amoebic dysentery, language learning brain mush, and heat rash. I fought daily with my husband, picked bugs out of our food, yelled at bully neighbours, and told anyone who asked how I was doing, “Oh, I’m ok.” Yeah… I was not […]


Ask a counselor: What about conflict?

by Kay Bruner on August 4, 2015

alo tornado-01

When we first arrived overseas, I remember hearing an older, experienced missionary make this statement:  “The real reason most missionaries leave the field is conflict with other missionaries.” I thought that was so strange!  I mean, here we are, missionaries!  The cream of the crop, spiritually speaking!  Called by God!  Commissioned by our churches!  Well-vetted […]



“Feeling so fearful and alone since moving as a trailing spouse” Last month someone found my blog because they did an internet search for that phrase. It reminded me how much pain a trailing spouse endures. I remember the struggle; I remember the suffering. And while whoever typed those search terms is actually not alone, […]


Encountering God: A Tale of Two Bushes

by Craig Thompson on July 15, 2015


I want to hear God. I want to know his specific will for my life. I want him to tell me what to do next. I want . . . A Burning Bush It worked for Moses. When he was on Mt. Horeb and saw the bush that burned but didn’t burn up, he went over to get a […]