Christmas

Thank You, Dear Shepherds

by Craig Thompson on December 22, 2016

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I have a soft spot in my heart for nativity sets. I think it’s because the cast is familiar and recognizable, so much so that it can be altered to fit any culture and we still know what it is. It’s kind of like hearing “Silent Night” sung in many languages. We may not understand it, but we understand it. Variations on […]

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The Twelve Days of Expat Christmas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on 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 on 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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To the single on the field at Christmas

by Amy Young on 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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A Weary World Rejoices

by Marilyn on 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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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 on 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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When Singing “Joy to the World” Feels Too Hard

by Elizabeth Trotter on December 20, 2015

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Sadness has found me this Christmas season. I bear sadness over the brokenness in the world, and I bear sadness over the brokenness in my own life. So I mourn. And I grieve. Then, as I am currently in the United States for a short visit, I look around at America’s intensely commercialized version of […]

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Best Christmas Advice: Act One and Act Two

by Amy Young on December 14, 2015

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Act One: several years ago In a meeting with a Chinese pastor my colleague and I asked her how foreign Christians in the vicinity of her church could support her and the church. The church is in sort-of a rural area (a relative term in that part of China) and most of the foreigners don’t […]

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Advent Longing in the Horn of Africa

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 11, 2015

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One Christmas Eve in Djibouti my family drove past a cart. It was a rickety wooden contraption attached by frayed ropes to the back of a donkey and clattered down the main road. A man sat on a makeshift seat and held a stick, hovering it above the donkey’s flanks. He wore a red and […]

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So This Is Christmas

by Anisha Hopkinson on December 8, 2015

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Before moving overseas we debated about whether or not to take our Christmas tree, a 5 foot pre-lit beauty. The perfect tree, a virtually undetectable fake. I loved it. Each year that perfect tree went up early and stayed up late. Alas, in the move as our shipment and suitcases filled with other possessions, my […]

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Missions Field or Land of Opportunity?

by Chris Lautsbaugh on December 29, 2014

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One man’s mission field is another’s land of opportunity. I realized this in a fresh way as I was interacting with some immigrants to South Africa from Malawi. They were telling me about their home nation, Malawi. The common descriptions were of a lush, green, and beautiful nation which was peaceful. They left their homeland […]

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