The Hard Questions

by Marilyn March 26, 2014

It was late afternoon and the sun was slowly setting across the solid blue, desert sky. The call to prayer echoed across the city of a thousand minarets. My blonde-haired 7-year-old looked at me, her deep blue eyes serious. “Is Faiza going to Heaven?” We were living in Cairo, Egypt and Faiza was our baby sitter [...]

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Home Assignment Blues

by Richelle Wright March 24, 2014

I remember when I used to think that teachers had the best job in the world BECAUSE they had a whole summer vacation. Many of my Nigerien friends think that that distinction actually belongs to missionaries on home assignment BECAUSE they have a whole YEAR vacation. Halfway through our home assignment year, halfway through our [...]

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Please Don’t Say, “They Are Poor But They’re Happy.”

by Rachel Pieh Jones March 21, 2014

Katherine Boo talks about the western ‘conceit that poverty is ennobling.’ Tracy Kidder, in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, quotes Paul Farmer, “There’s a WL (white liberal) line – the ‘They’re poor but they’re happy’ line.’ They do have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but that’s entirely different.” I am of the opinion [...]

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A New Racism

by Chris Lautsbaugh March 18, 2014

Anyone working in missions will come face to face with the reality of racism at some point. Historically it has been an issue of skin color. In most nations black was wrong and white was right. I live and work in South Africa. Perhaps there has never been a nation where racism was more evident [...]

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A Turnip for the King

by Angie Washington March 16, 2014

Two brothers lived in a kingdom long ago. One survived off the land as a poor farmer. The other was very rich. While tending his crops one day the farmer noticed one of the turnips had grown huge. He pulled it from the ground and it filled a wheelbarrow. The idea occurred to him to [...]

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Epic travel fails and other misadventures of expatriate living

by Lisa McKay March 14, 2014

A few words of introduction to my post for today… The essay below was written several years ago now, in an attempt to redeem one of the silliest things I have ever done in all my years of traveling. And, oh my word. There have been a lot of silly things I’ve done involving airports [...]

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On Compassion and Fighting Fatigue

by Tara Livesay March 10, 2014

A young woman laid on the bed writhing and crying out in unbearable pain. She had been coming to classes at our Maternity Center for many months. She had been given sufficient time to know us, but had never really come to trust us. Her baby had been born. She had spent some time recovering [...]

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Airlines We’ve Known

by Marilyn March 7, 2014

It’s Friday. Friday means different things in different parts of the world. For some of us, Friday is our day of worship. How well I remember Scotch Presbyterians arguing that “One could never worship on a Friday” when Pakistan changed its weekend to Friday and Saturday.  A year later said Scots were worshiping on a [...]

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Cigarettes, Multiple Wives, and Loving Jesus

by Angie Washington March 4, 2014

Imagine a man native to the region where you live. He gets Jesus. Grows. Starts a church. It flourishes. The dozens become hundreds. Your little missionary heart bursts with pride to see this man so successful. The church secretary and the volunteers overlook his hot temper and his prejudice towards people of a certain skin [...]

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Big News!

by Editor March 2, 2014

Dear Friends, We are continually so, so grateful for the ways this community and its conversations have spiraled out to the far reaches of the globe and down into the hard realities of working and seeking God internationally. Thank you for being here. We’re over 200 posts into this conversation about missions, and  1500 comments [...]

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Pardon My Dust

by Editor February 28, 2014

I taste it on my lips after a long car ride. I feel it in the pores of my skin at the end of the day. I resign that no matter how much I scrub, my feet with never be free of it. I brush it from my children’s hair at night and from my [...]

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Confusing the ‘American Dream’ for the Good Life

by Editor February 26, 2014

Today A Life Overseas welcomes Jody Fernando as a guest poster. Today Jody writes an insightful post on the ‘good life’ and the Christian message and it’s guaranteed to generate some good conversation. You can read more about Jody at the end. ****************** A deep bass beat rippled through the darkness of the dance club. [...]

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