I was always blown away by the number of funerals. During the years our househelper in Tanzania worked for us, I lost count of how many times she asked for time off to attend a funeral for a family member. She was my age, but during those years she lost her mother. Her mother-in-law. A … Continue reading This Pandemic Can Help Us to Identify With the World’s Poor
by Rachel K. Zimmerman I was sitting at a table for four at one of the more exclusive country clubs in Florida. My friend and I were in fancy dresses, trying to enjoy a nice dinner with some relatives. I was headed back overseas a few days later. My anxiety always peaked a few days … Continue reading Are You Poor?
I learnt the hard way what NOT to do in poor communities. When I first came to Cambodia 22 years ago, the place was a mess. People were poor. Dirt poor. Frankly, you’d have had to be a heartless zombie not to respond. And the missionaries came flooding in. We were full of compassion and … Continue reading One question to help you evaluate ministry among the poor
My neighbors were evicted. I came home to find their worldly belongings – a couple of dirty sheets, a filthy pink pillow and assorted clothing – piled in a puddle outside my front door. They had previously been living crammed together in one of the tiny, windowless rooms that line our alleyway. Apparently our landlord … Continue reading There’s no such thing as the “deserving poor”
Partnering directly with poor churches is a promising way to do mission for affluent churches. Skip the middleman and Go Direct is the mantra of this internet age. I personally like the idea of this approach because of the possibility it holds for real, long-term, mutual relationships to emerge between rich and poor. But if you’ve … Continue reading How to partner with a poor church without screwing everything up
Katherine Boo talks about the western ‘conceit that poverty is ennobling.’ Tracy Kidder, in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, quotes Paul Farmer, “There’s a WL (white liberal) line – the ‘They’re poor but they’re happy’ line.’ They do have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but that’s entirely different.” I am of the opinion … Continue reading Please Don’t Say, “They Are Poor But They’re Happy.”
by Abigail Follows We launched to India as newlyweds. After an 18-hour bus ride into the Himalayan mountains, we strapped ourselves into two giant backpacking backpacks and walked into a village. Several years, two kids, and many life lessons later, we found ourselves wondering how to help our kids love the country where they were … Continue reading 7 Ways to Enjoy Your Host Country
Yet again, I found myself seething as I got up from the table and walked out the door. My heart was pumping fast, my hands were shaking, my jaw was clenched, and my eyes were bulging out of my head. Why was this happening again? I think am an Angry Missionary. Maybe you are too? … Continue reading The Angry Missionary
Expatriates are told to prepare for Culture Shock and expect to experience it within their first year. But what about after that year? What about after seven years? Nine? Fifteen? What about the frustrations and tears, hurt and stress, internal (or external) cries for ‘home’? What about those days when you will do anything to get.out.of.here? After the … Continue reading Beyond Culture Shock: Culture Pain and culture Stripping
For the most part I am able to control myself. But every now and then I read something that I cannot stop myself from annoying those around me with. So, you are welcome that though I wanted to write to you every seven minutes as I read Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to … Continue reading Book Discussion Guide For You and “Pillars”
by Rahma Ten years ago, I moved to Indonesia with one suitcase and a heart full of hope. I planned to live in a slum, learn the language, and seek the Kingdom of Jesus. Of course, the first year had many challenges. There was so much to learn and adjust to: the language, washing clothes … Continue reading Finding Jesus in a Slum
by Rebecca Hopkins Women may struggle finding their voice in meetings. They may want to grow in their roles, but don’t have anyone willing to mentor them. They may not be considered for high-level management in Christian non-profits. And their work often goes unnoticed and unsupported, particularly when a couple is sharing one support-based salary. … Continue reading Is There Gender Bias in Christian Non-Profits?