Preparing & 1st Year

by Jessica Dais There is a lot you can accomplish as a missionary in a foreign country, regardless of whether or not you know the local language. However, there’s something to be said about the special connection that’s forged when you speak in someone’s native language. There is a deeper level of empathy on your […]

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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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God’s Tender Mercies {and a survey}

by Amy Young on November 19, 2018

Hello ALOS friends, Before we jump into the meat of this post, I have a request. After writing Looming Transitions  to help you with their transitions  and All the News to help you stay on the field via good communication with supporters, I want to help people navigate their first year on the field. In December […]

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Senders Make Sacrifices Too

by Elizabeth Trotter on October 10, 2018

Much of the time living in Cambodia, I don’t feel like I am making huge sacrifices for God. In fact, I’ve found many things to love about living here. I am so settled here that I sometimes forget that other people have made sacrifices for me to be here. Reminders come in the form of my children, when […]

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The American teacher stood in the staff lounge with a cup of yellow broth. Look at this, he laughed. It looks just like beer! A Tanzanian staff member just stared at him. Do you drink beer? she solemnly asked. He paused for a moment. Yes, he said. I do sometimes. That was the end of […]

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Advice I’m Taking From Myself

by Editor on August 19, 2018

by Elizabeth Hill I love advice. Good advice, of course. I love life hacks. I love wisdom. I love learning from people who’ve done something before. Some people need to make their own mistakes; I prefer to learn from others (and make mistakes in brand new areas). To that end, I’ve been making a list […]

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Gourmet Expat Food: When Dinner is Popcorn and Bananas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 15, 2018

(this post was originally published on the Multi-Cultural Kids blog) My first day in Somalia my two-year old daughter fell off the roof and I had to make spaghetti from tomatoes (no jar of Ragu) and beef (ground by yours truly) and noodles boiled in water that my husband drew from a cistern out front. […]

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In her post “Closer to the Truth about Current Missionary Attrition: An Initial Analysis of Results,” Katie Rowe looks at the findings of a recent survey of missionaries, showing that respondents rated “lack of missionary care” as one of the most common reasons for leaving the field. One of those who commented on the post […]

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by Ryan Kuja In my last post, The Call is Not Enough, I wrote about how the missionary vocation is about much more than showing up somewhere ready to serve. Calling is a starting point, not an end point. It is an invitation into theological, psychological, spiritual and intercultural formation. The call is an invitation into […]

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I felt my face grow hot. I was in a small town shopping at a smaller store when a well-meaning woman stopped and asked me about the purse I had with me. “That’s a beautiful purse” she said brightly. “May I ask you where you got it?” “Oh” I said, a smile lighting up my […]

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The Call Is Not Enough

by Editor on May 24, 2018

by Ryan Kuja A few years ago, I visited a mission project in Haiti started by an American doctor. He had quite a bit of experience living in different areas of the world, using his medical skills to treat the sick. His desire to serve was clear and forthright. Yet, his project in Haiti ended […]

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