January 2019

The Missionary Life Cycle (in Five Stages)

by Jonathan Trotter on January 31, 2019

Like any really good assessment, these five categories are totally made up. There are no peer-reviewed studies parsing these five stages of cross-cultural work. There is no quantified, objective data set; still, please feel free to say you’re in “Stage 3 – Wing 4.” That would make me happy. And remember, if you say anything […]

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Barnga: A Card Game for Culture-Stress Show and Tell

by Craig Thompson on January 30, 2019

Have you ever wanted to show, not just tell, people what culture stress is like? Have you ever wanted them to be able to experience cross-cultural confusion without having to travel overseas? Have you ever heard about Barnga? Barnga is a simulation game created by Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan in 1980, while working for USAID in Gbarnga, Liberia. During […]

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Sometimes I get bored with my life overseas. I still enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, it just loses the sizzle every now and then. The exotic allure of the “overseas” part gets pushed out by the humdrum realities of the just plain “life” part. And then I hear myself talk and I’m like, “Who […]

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When Life Gives You a Chicken

by Editor on January 21, 2019

by Emily Raan The day started out so normal. The kids even slept in! Leftover-rice porridge for breakfast and then off to town for some quick shopping. “Quick shopping” quickly turned into two hours, while we made connections with our friends around town. One man, in particular, stood out. He somehow had lost, or possibly […]

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Help build your own stool at the watering hole

by Amy Young on January 18, 2019

When I was in high school Cheers was a popular television show. If you’re not familiar with Cheers, it was a comedy set in a local bar where the regulars shared their lives, grew together over time, and in many ways were family to each other. But what solidified it was the theme song. Read through […]

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Welcoming Broken Missionaries Back

by Editor on January 16, 2019

John Chau’s death in November raised a complicated and important conversation about the role of Christian evangelism. I’m going to let that debate rage on Twitter and the New York Times and the Failed Missionary podcast. I want to launch a different conversation. I believe Chau’s dream, work, and death forces the church to consider […]

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Into the Battle

by Anisha Hopkinson on January 14, 2019

I recently watched a video of a talk we gave on our last furlough. For an entire hour we shared with our home church all the glorious things we witnessed during our first term overseas. Bible translation projects were completed. For the first time in history believers had written songs to their Creator in their […]

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Clenched Fists and Heart’s Desires

by Marilyn on January 9, 2019

It’s a New Year here at A Life Overseas and as I type I’m looking out at the barely visible mountains that surround our home here in Northern Iraq. On clear days, you can see the snow-covered mountains in Iran and they are beautiful. Today as I look, the entire area is covered in milky […]

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10 Life Lessons That Leading Worship 600 Times Taught Me

by Jonathan Trotter on January 4, 2019

It just sort of happened. As a teenager growing up in an a cappella church with an a cappella youth group, I sang a lot. In a non-instrumental church, any guy who can loosely carry a tune will be asked to carry that tune. And so I was. Over and over. And over. No guitar […]

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Go Ahead and Criticize Missions (Constructively)

by Amy Medina on January 2, 2019

When raising children, we know that it’s only God who can draw their hearts to himself. But that doesn’t stop us from reading the best books and looking for the best advice. We search for the church with the best youth group and spend way too much money on the best camps. When we’re sick, […]

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