cross-cultural

An Open Letter to the Kind People in My Host Country

by Craig Thompson on February 20, 2017

Dear neighbors: When my wife and I and our four children stepped off the plane in your country, with our 12 carry-on bags—and all our plans, enthusiasm, expectations . . . and naiveté—you welcomed us. In fact, the customs agent greeted us with a smile. And during the following years that we lived among you, we lost count of your kindnesses. We […]

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Thoughts on Sharing our Stories

by Marilyn on February 6, 2017

“Perhaps the greatest danger of our global community is that the person in LA thinks he knows Cambodia because he’s seen The Killing Fields on-screen, and the newcomer from Cambodia thinks he knows LA because he’s seen City of Angels on video.” ― Pico Iyer Years ago at a dinner party in Egypt, our English host was waxing wise about China. […]

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When the Mission Field Comes to You

by Chris Lautsbaugh on June 29, 2016

While rounding a corner on a run in the United States the other day, I came across a Muslim women clad in a headdress and robes. I could see her cower off the sidewalk a bit as this white, American man came plodding her way in middle America. You could sense her apprehension and read […]

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When There is No “Other Hand”

by Marilyn on May 9, 2016

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Although I’ve not seen it in years, Fiddler on the Roof is one of my favorite shows/movies. I’ve watched the movie many times and seen the performance live as a musical theatre production at least twice. The scenes that have found a permanent place in my memory are what I call the “other hand scenes.” These […]

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I Believe, Help My Unbelief

by Chris Lautsbaugh on December 30, 2015

In work, ministry, and life we all experience frequent seasons when things don’t work out quite the way we had hoped. In missions, our internal dialogues consist of “Am I making a difference?” or “Will these things ever change?” When we are trusting for provision, for a breakthrough in our health, or seeing a life […]

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People are not our Project

by Chris Lautsbaugh on September 30, 2015

As a zealous, young missionary I seemed to make  the same mistake over and over. Now as a veteran, I find the same never-ending truth must remain continually before me. People are not our projects.   We never set out to do this intentionally. Our mistakes are made in ignorance. Our desire is to do good, […]

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When a margin-less season really is just another grace

by Richelle Wright on July 22, 2015

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The last several weeks have been nothing short of overwhelming: kindergarten graduation high school graduation soccer championship realizing I probably need shoulder surgery… again fun with overseas visitors – friends we know from Africa who are either studying in the States or were visiting their former colonies camping two brand spanking new licensed drivers unexpected […]

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They Are Not Ready…

by Chris Lautsbaugh on May 20, 2015

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“They are not ready…” These may be some of the most frequently uttered words when missionaries consider passing the baton of leadership. They can also be the most painful. One of the leaders I work with shares the story of being a young, oppressed worker in South Africa during the time of apartheid: A white […]

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view of the city

  Of all the difficult things we do in cross-cultural moves, finding places to live is near the top. We want to create space and place – we want to create home. And often our expectations are a planet away from our reality. At one point while living in Cairo, we were hunting for a flat […]

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The Language of Sport

by Chris Lautsbaugh on March 26, 2015

Language study is one of the hardest and most time-consuming efforts missionaries make. There is, however, a language which is common to the world and far easier to learn. This is the language of sport. When my family arrived in South Africa as lovers of sport, we missed a trip to the Super Bowl by […]

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Missionary or Indiana Jones?

by Editor on March 6, 2015

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When we talk about missions, how do we frame the conversation? Is it about adventure for God? About putting your life at risk for the gospel along with a helping of pride? Today our guest poster, Tera, talks about this. Once you read it, will you join the conversation at the end of the piece? […]

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Money Gives us Power over People

by Chris Lautsbaugh on February 24, 2015

Last month at A Life Overseas, we discussed the dangerous stories we can tell in order to raise funds. This requires further consideration if we provide funds, pay national workers, or are just generous in any way. While the debate on this one is hot and heavy, I doubt we can make absolute statements. “Always […]

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