Laughter as an Act of Rebellion

by Jonathan Trotter April 2, 2017

“There are times when the most effective way to teach a certain truth is by laughing very hard.” G.K. Chesterton, as described in The Bookman (1912)   There are times when laughing very hard is brave defiance; a dare to the darkness impinging. Satan, the lying burglar, loves to steal joy. But Jesus, the rough-hewn […]

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Regarding Burnout (and some ideas for avoiding it)

by Elizabeth Trotter March 31, 2017

Last year I flirted with burnout. I was camping out along its edges, and I didn’t even know it. Only after some conversations with my husband and with a spiritual director, did I recognize what was going on and how I’d been complicit in my own spiritual sickness. These are the things I’m doing to […]

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The Gift of a “Second Salvation”

by Editor March 29, 2017

Last July Jesus asked me to follow him to the hardest place I could imagine. After only seventeen months in the Middle East, that region I’d loved for years, he asked me to follow him back to America. It didn’t make sense to me or my husband. What about the years we’d spent studying and […]

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Adding to Your Story-Letter

by Craig Thompson March 27, 2017

Ahhh, newsletters. (And by “Ahhh,” I’m guessing you know what I mean.) Living outside your passport country means finding ways to keep people updated about what’s going on with you. Some of those people need to hear about what’s happening and some of them simply want to. The newsletter can take care of both, which is a good thing. But sometimes […]

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When God is Too Late

by Editor March 24, 2017

I spent a lot of time thinking that I somehow missed something, because I was single longer than all of my family and friends. I had a failed engagement and I lived in such an obscure place, I thought that it was too late for me. I was looking at others, comparing myself, when I […]

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Leaving Happy or Leaving Well?

by Jerry Jones March 22, 2017

We’re bracing around here, for the annual Expat Exodus. If you’ve lived abroad for more than a year you get the reference.  It may look different where you are but it’s always a part of the gig . . . people leave and often they leave in herds.  So, in the context of finishing another […]

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How Living Abroad is Like Marriage

by Rachel Pieh Jones March 20, 2017

Compatibility is an achievement of love. It shouldn’t be its precondition. Alain de Botton The same could be said for living abroad. I hear many people say they ‘fell in love with Africa’ as soon as their feet touched the ground off the plane. I’m not sure how Kenyan or Nigerian or Burundian tarmac has […]

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When You Are Getting Married . . . and your teammate isn’t (Part 2)

by Amy Young March 17, 2017

Normally a Part 2 comes just a few days after a Part 1. So, if you have forgotten about Part 1, no problem. In brief, last month I shared a letter Janice wrote to me in which she is getting married and her roommate isn’t. “My roommate really desires to be married. She is mid-30s, and has […]

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An invitation to the 2017 Velvet Ashes online retreat

by Danielle Wheeler March 16, 2017

We’re all fans of Sabbath here, right? Or at least the idea of Sabbath. We know we need to take time away from our responsibilities to physically rest and spiritually renew, but actually doing it? Well, that proves to be a challenge for us. Constant needs clamor for our attention. Even if we are able […]

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Hard Truths

by Anisha Hopkinson March 12, 2017

At a recent ladies’ retreat the speaker asked, “What are the hardest truths to believe about God?” Before moving overseas, I thought I had a pretty good handle on Christianity. If you’d asked me about hard truths just 3 years ago, I might answer: Um, interpreting the book of Revelation? Moving overseas complicated a lot […]

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Before I called you, I saw you

by Marilyn March 10, 2017

Within mission circles, the term “call” or “called” is loaded. It is loaded with story and passion; with grit and determination. It is also loaded with hurt and condemnation; with wrecked dreams and spiritual baggage. A few years ago I wrote a piece called “Lost to a Call.” It was a short essay, written from […]

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Ask a Counselor: three dysfunctional missionary marriage patterns

by Kay Bruner March 7, 2017

I see missionary marriage dysfunction falling into three broad patterns: disconnection addiction abuse Let me tell you a bit about each pattern, and share some resources that can help. DISCONNECTION Disconnection is the easy one to deal with. All you need to fix the problem is: two people willing to invest in the relationship, and the […]

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