Someone alleges abuse. Someone in power rushes to hush or silence the accuser, sometimes even using Scriptures or “biblical principles” as the gag. And it’s so wrong. It’s poison, offered as cure, both to the victim and those close by. But there’s an idea I’ve been developing that just might be an antidote. At least […]

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“Our missions work has lacked the diversity necessary for it to be as effective as it could be. There is a dearth of leaders of color, voices of people who are living in communities that are being ‘served.’ The intentions for most are rooted in a strong sense of call, but we have to correct […]


I hear you. Some of you are angry and disenfranchised. I’m on Twitter. I know. You see the church and politicians wedded at the hip, and you throw up. You feel like the American church has sold her soul and is rejoicing about the bargain. You’re embarrassed, like a cool kid with an uncool mother, Mac […]


Missions Means Choosing the Desert

by Amy Medina on December 1, 2017

Earlier this year, I went through a season of insomnia.  A chaotic furlough, a new job, and lots of life change brought on anxiety, which bred sleeplessness, which bred more anxiety, until I was a mess. I lay awake many nights and begged God, “You know I need to sleep.  You know I can’t function […]


A Salute to Faithfulness

by Marilyn on November 8, 2017

My father died two weeks ago. It was not a tragic death, except as all death in our broken world can feel tragic; his life was rich and full, lived across oceans and continents. He was a veteran missionary and pastor who loved God, his family, the Church, and people in general. As I think […]


On Fundamental Sadness and the Deeper Magic

by Jonathan Trotter on October 25, 2017

Some call it pessimism. Unspiritual. A sickness best treated with peppy music and cliché-riddled Christianese. They caution and guard against sadness, considering it a rabbit hole (or a worm hole) leading nowhere good. Others call it holy. Jeremiah-ish. Defending it with the label of realism – open eyes that see things as they truly are. […]


Should Debt Disqualify a Missionary?

by Jerry Jones on October 20, 2017

I don’t usually start a blog post with an “I’m sorry” . . . but I’m not above it. I offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies to anyone who clicked on this link looking for a solid, definitive answer. I don’t have one . . . but maybe you do so I would love to […]


You’re probably going to leave the field. Someday, somehow, the vast majority of us will say goodbye, pack up, cry tears of joy or sorrow or both, and depart. How will that work out for you? Well, frankly, I have no idea. But I do know that there are some things you can do to […]


When your “exotic overseas life” feels ordinary

by Elizabeth Trotter on September 25, 2017

For months now I’ve had writer’s block at A Life Overseas. I’ve been busy, yes, but mostly I’ve had writer’s block. So you haven’t seen me around here much. I have so many things to say in general (and I do so, on my personal blog), but when I sit at the computer and ask […]


Is Calling in our DNA?

by Marilyn on September 8, 2017

“So” said the kindly woman at the Baptist church. “You must want to be a missionary too when you grow up! Do you think God will call you too?”  I recoiled. I hoped she wouldn’t see the visible distress on my face. She was so kind. She was so excited about my potential. How could […]


When Missionaries Starve

by Jonathan Trotter on August 4, 2017

It’s something that’s caused the rise and fall of kingdoms. It’s confused the most erudite of the educated and been understood by the most childlike of children. It’s been cherished and treasured by some, burned and ridiculed by others, and it’s absolutely necessary to your emotional health while living and serving abroad. It is the […]


The One Question We Must Ask

by Jonathan Trotter on June 11, 2017

It’s a simple question, carrying with it the power to clarify purpose and extend longevity. It’s a question that buttresses against the nasty cousins of burnout and bitterness. It’s a question we need to ask more often. It’s simply this: “What is it that I really need?” We’ve got to start asking our cross-culturally-working-selves, “In […]