The Twelve Days of Expat Christmas

by Rachel Pieh Jones December 20, 2016

To be sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” (be sure to really drag out and dramatize day five). We did a Djibouti version of this for a family talent show a few years ago. To read those lyrics, click here: Twelve Days of Djibouti Christmas. On the first day of Christmas […]

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Ten Things I Love About Christmas Far Away

by Jerry Jones December 19, 2016

Cue the music.  Sing it with me. “Christmas Eve will find me Where the love light beams I’ll be home for Christmas If only in my dreams” Stop. What a sad, sad song.  “If only in my dreams?”  This guy spends the whole song building up the joy and jubilation, which is the magical connection […]

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Can God Save Your Life?

by Editor December 16, 2016

“We run the place ya know” said the gunman, casually revealing his semi-automatic weapon with extended magazine. The midnight air, pregnant with tension and the smell of weed, wrapped darkness around both him and my husband on the deserted road leading down into Majesty Gardens.[1] David drew a breathe, “Actually, God runs the place,” he […]

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To the single on the field at Christmas

by Amy Young December 14, 2016

  Dear friend, I want this to be a letter instead of a normal blog post because, to me, a letter feels more personal. I also started off “Dear Friend” not “Dear Single Friend” because I do not think “single” is the most interesting or defining part of you. That being said, Christmas was the […]

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I Signed Up For This

by Anisha Hopkinson December 11, 2016
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In the early 2000’s when my husband and I talked about serving overseas, we knew we wanted to serve where the name of Jesus had not been heard. Today, we live in a mountain town accessible only by air. My husband, a helicopter pilot, flies local and foreign missionaries into isolated villages. The places we […]

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A Weary World Rejoices

by Marilyn December 9, 2016
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Note: The following piece was reworked from a piece that I wrote a few years ago. There is no Christmas tree and no turkey. We have not heard “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” one time since arriving  and our gifts fit inside small stockings. Our world is stripped of some of the traps that […]

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Comfort for Advent

by Kay Bruner December 7, 2016

  The first words of Handel’s Messiah are these: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.  (Isaiah 40:1-2) In other words, IT IS FINISHED. This is where it all starts for us:  IT IS […]

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A Christmas letter to parents, from a kid who doesn’t have any

by Jonathan Trotter December 2, 2016

Your kids aren’t going to remember what you get them for Christmas. They’re just not. At least I don’t. My mother died when I was a teen, my dad when I was in my early twenties. And when I think of the holiday seasons with them, I remember them. I don’t remember their gifts. I […]

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Don’t Ask Me About My Christmas Traditions

by Amy Medina December 1, 2016

My first Christmas on African soil was when I had just turned six years old.  We had arrived in Liberia only three weeks earlier, and my mom was in the throes of major culture shock.  My parents had shipped over a few presents, but nothing else for Christmas.  My mom managed to find a two-foot […]

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The Closer We Get To Moving “Home” The More I Want To Stay Here

by Lisa McKay November 30, 2016

A couple of months ago I had an exchange on facebook with a friend of mine from university days. Sal and her husband have been living in the Middle East for the past three years. They moved there with their three young children so that they could immerse themselves deeply in the context and culture, […]

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Come As You Are

by Abby Alleman November 28, 2016

Last year, my friend told me how she loved my ‘come as you are’ way of being with others. The phrase made me stop and think about what she meant. I knew she was saying something significant. In Matthew 11 Jesus talks about how he receives us. Here is the Message version: 28-30 “Are you tired? […]

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ALO Writers’ Thanksgiving Kindle Book Sale!

by Editor November 25, 2016
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Dear ALO readers, In the spirit of gratitude and giving, we offer our ALO Writers’ holiday book sale! Kindle versions of these books are price-reduced from Friday at 12:01 AM until Sunday at 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time).  As an added bonus, the links to Amazon USA are affiliated with our site.  Any shopping you do on […]

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