What if you used these “7 Household Rules?”

by Amy Young on June 21, 2021

I preached on Sunday about “What does it mean to be the family of God?” In preparation I studied about how family language is used in the Bible; I also pondered how family language forms us. The idea of being siblings (plural) is used more than 150 times and the singular form of a sibling […]


Does Change Ever Get Easier?

by Abby Alleman on June 16, 2021

As I drove around in my very new neighborhood, I recognized a few things. I was a minority ethnically. As I shared with people about where we’d come from, they couldn’t warn me enough about the change in weather we’d experience between Orlando and Chicago. (Many of our neighbors in Florida had called us ‘crazy’ […]


Why I Will Not Say “I Never Made a Sacrfice”

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 15, 2021

This was my original post on A Life Overseas in 2012 when the site launched. Today it is my last regular post. I am stepping away, pulled by my other writing, being in seminary, family, and work and I know there are fresh voices out there to hear from. It has been an honor to […]


When the Backpack is too Heavy

by Marilyn on June 11, 2021

Sheila Walsh tells a poignant story of her son wanting to leave home at the tender age of six. Evidently he set out with his backpack and jacket, heading toward a pond near home. She, wanting to allow freedom but aware of his young age, kept a watchful eye from a window where she could […]



by Editor on June 9, 2021

by Jacqueline Scott When we head into another culture to live among the local people, our hope is to understand them at least enough to become someone they will listen to. But the reality is that we are clueless, especially when their culture is very different from ours. It’s good to recognize that. It’s where […]


A Poem for Our Pandemic Fears

by Editor on June 4, 2021

by Krista Besselman There’s prevalent fear, or at least a concern, That life as we knew it may never return. This year has been grim and distressingly strange. We gave up so much and got what in exchange?   We mourn what has been such a difficult year. We look to the future and can’t […]


Imagine this scenario: You get up at 5 am on a Sunday morning. You wake your groggy teenager, who protests loudly and grumpily enough to put everyone in the house in a bad mood. You rush around to get everyone out the door by 6 am so that you can make a two hour drive […]


You know that feeling? It’s a sick one. In your gut. Sometimes you catch it early. Two minutes down the road on the way to the airport. “Did you pack the swimsuits?” “Yes.” “Socks?” “Yes” “Underwear?” “Yep.” “Boarding passes?” “YES! I got everything ok?!” “Sorry . . . (long pause) . . . passports? “Shoot! Turn around.” […]


When Hard Things Happen There While We’re Here

by Craig Thompson on May 27, 2021

Ten years. That’s how long we served overseas. And next month, that will be how long since we moved back to the States. This year, this month, is also a milestone for Joplin, MO, where we live. It’s the ten-year anniversary of the F5 tornado that devastated our city on May 22. I’ve mentioned the […]


7 Ways We Secretly Rank Each Other

by Amy Young on May 24, 2021

Last week a friend wondered in passing, at the end of email, why some reasons to leave the field are more respected than others. She knew a couple who was leaving because their young adult children were not doing well in the US. Instead of being supported in their decision, they were asked why they didn’t […]


Washing the Feet of Jesus

by Editor on May 20, 2021

by Rahma It was a normal afternoon. We were just finishing up the school day (at the free kindergarten we run in the slum community we live in).  All the students had gone home, and another teacher and I were sweeping the playground area. The other teachers were cleaning up inside. Suddenly, I heard the […]


God of Loss and Love

by Marilyn on May 16, 2021

Yesterday I unexpectedly found myself by a lone bench on an empty ocean front. A boat was just off the shore, solitary but securely anchored in the sea. I ached with the unexpected beauty, the symbolic solitude of the boat. I felt like this boat. Alone, aching, but securely anchored. As I stood there, I […]