culture

The Five People Who Shape You the Most

by Jerry Jones on September 20, 2017

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” (Jim Rohn) Soak in that for a minute. Think it through. Is it true? For you personally? For everyone? For me it is one of those brilliantly profound and profoundly frustrating statements. It makes sense. A lot of sense. So much […]

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When Hard Things Happen Back Home

by Jerry Jones on August 21, 2017

There is something surreal about being on the other side of the world while major events unfold in your home country.  It leaves you feeling both connected and disconnected at the exact same time.   It is 7158 miles (11,520 kilometers) from where I am sitting right now to Charlottesville, Virginia (USA) but there is […]

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When Missionaries Think They Know Everything

by Amy Medina on July 4, 2017

A few years ago, a video started making its way around my Facebook feed–shared by lots foreigners who live in my part of Africa.  The video showed two African men shoveling sand.  There was a very large pile of sand to their left.  The two men were shoveling the sand into a wheelbarrow, filling it […]

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Dear Life Abroad — I’ll keep my identity, thanks.

by Jerry Jones on January 25, 2017

“Loss of identity.” It makes every list doesn’t it?  Right near the top.  Up there with rootlessness, culture shock and horrible toilets. When you take a two column, pros and cons approach to life abroad, the word “identity” rarely makes it into the pro column.  In fact, if you compiled the sum of all of the […]

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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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Hello World!

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 3, 2015

How do you greet people where you live? I asked this question recently on Facebook because I was working on an essay: To Kiss or Not to Kiss? (check out that piece for a somewhat more thoughtful look at cross cultural greetings). I wanted to see what greetings were like around the world. Even though […]

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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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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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Devil Dance

by Angie Washington on October 31, 2014

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Halloween. Day of the Dead. All Saints Day. This week we observe the earthly and underworld of the spiritual realm. As I regale you with tales of Bolivia, rife with ancient connections to the other-world, consider the spirituality embedded in your dwelling place. Let us begin. The Devil’s Uncle I’ve visited Potosí in the mountains […]

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Avoiding Mission Drift

by Chris Lautsbaugh on October 29, 2014

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We’ve seen Christian organizations publicly wrestle with change in recent times. InterVarsity is facing this pressure to allow non-Christians to be a part of their leadership. This is resulting in them being banned from certain campuses. Will they change some of their core values? World Vision battled with adopting new policies, leading to a back […]

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What’s For Dinner?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 13, 2014

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Grossest thing you’ve eaten in your life overseas? Favorite recipe? Share in the comments and be entered to win a copy of the Djiboutilicious Cookbook.

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Reflections of God

by Chris Lautsbaugh on April 11, 2014

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Many times in missions, we speak of the difficulties with greater frequency than the good things. We talk about racism. We speak of our various phases of culture shock. Stories of being hurt by those we work with abound. Even at times, we venture into difficult topics like trauma or loss. What of the positive? […]

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