The A Life Overseas community began over two years ago; it was an idea birthed from two moms who had found their voices via their own blogs, written from the Bolivian countryside and the Asian jungle. We wanted to launch an online community where authentic conversations, honest experiences, and spiritual encouragement could be shared around a common table. The unique thing about this virtual dinner party? Most of those gathered would be hacking it out overseas– this brave, varied, transitional tribe that uniquely understands transitioning in airports and reaching across cultures and raising kids on foreign soils.
Essentially, this blog collaborative was founded on the notion that there needed to be a space for things to be said, that were not being said. We foresaw a global change shaking the ex-patriot and missionary communities and we felt a need to create a place to come together and talk about what was happening. We are so very grateful that so many others heard the rumblings and decided to jump in for the ride. Writers, readers, and commenters came together. We talked. We reasoned. We disagreed. We prayed. We were challenged to think. We were challenged to ask the hard questions.
Over 7,000 comments, 375 posts and nearly one million views later, the conversations around this global table are still growing strong. We’ve been deeply encouraged by the posts and comments and real community that has taken place in this space — both here at the blog and in the Facebook community, as well. We’ve been honored to rub shoulders with so many phenomenal writers who have lent their leadership and experience here, and we’ve been both inspired and challenged by the stories, questions and authentic struggles shared by our readers.
But, like with all things, new seasons bring new paths. This, those of us here understand all too well. And after much prayer and time, we (Angie and Laura) are stepping away from official leadership of the A Life Overseas community. We simply don’t have the time it needs, and feel the Spirit tugging us both to create more margin in our personal lives. Of course, we’ll still pop in on Facebook and with occasional posts (we won’t disappear, promise!), but moving forward a brilliant leadership team will continue to foster the community here. Most of the writers we’ve all grown to love will remain, and the new leadership team will consist of Marilyn Gardner as Chief Editor, Elizabeth Trotter as Content/Guest Post Editor, Andy Bruner as our IT Specialist, and Jonathan Trotter as Community Consultant. We are both thankful and excited for their leadership and service to this community here — both in the past and moving forward. We want you to know that we are not at odds with anyone on the team (not at all!); it’s just time for both of us to move in other directions.
Our hands might be passing the baton, but they’re also applauding already what is to come.
Thanks, friends from all corners of the world, for gathering at this table and letting us share a bit of your journey in courageous, out-of-the-box Christ-following. We’ve been honored.
A Blessing To Our Friends, Engaging in A Life Overseas
For all the people who live suspended between cultural tensions, grace be to you.
Grace for the good days when you can check even just one thing off that to do list, and that’s a colossal “enough”. Grace for the hard days when the overwhelming reality of hardships all around you and inside of you would like to crush your every last hope. Grace for the boring days when nothing is happening, nothing is expected to happen any time soon, and you have to just get through another long day of nothing. Grace, too, for those rare yet spectacular days full of the miraculous wonder of dreams come true, fun adventures, and the deep connection with the people around you so you don’t feel so very foreign anymore.
For all you who Get It. Thank you.
Thank you for not settling. Thank you for going out to see the answer to what if?
Thank you for daring to open yourself up to the unknown. Thank you for laying your hero’s cape at the feet of the least of these.
You have not gone unnoticed.
We see you. We see you questioning the way it’s always been done. We see you stepping beyond the gender box. We see you carrying bone crushing weighty matters with humility and a quiet plod. Continue on in your “long obedience in the same direction,” friends. Keep abiding in the only vine that will ever cause you to really bear fruit, and please know that you are not, ever, alone.
Keep reading. Keep commenting. Keep sharing about the cutting edge relevant matters that make this life overseas, somehow, work. As you were.