cross-cultural

The Beatitudes for Cross-Cultural Workers

by Marilyn on October 9, 2020

Blessed are the language learners, for theirs is the gift of idioms and verbs, of words and communication. Blessed are the visa holders, for they shall never forget what it is to live as a guest in a country. Blessed are the homesick, for they shall know and understand longing and displacement, the themes of […]

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An Appeal – A Life Overseas

by Marilyn on August 9, 2020

On November 14, 2012 Laura Parker, co-founder of the A Life Overseas blog and community space posted a “Welcome Video” to the site. That was the beginning of what has now become an online community thousands strong. We are a diverse group linguistically, culturally and theologically, but we all agree that taking the step to […]

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What you can learn from “Green Eggs and Ham”

by Amy Young on June 21, 2020

If you’ve read Green Eggs and Ham by children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss, you might have found yourself sucked in by the gravitational pull of the repetitive story.  For those not familiar with the book no worries, I can catch you up to speed. Sam-I-Am (the main character) wants the other character who is never named […]

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Gandalf’s Scream, Love, and Why We Need More Anger

by Jonathan Trotter on December 5, 2019

Anger is a wonderful, powerful, amazing, informative, life-giving, protective resource. Or at least it can be. Anger can be a redemptive sword, when it’s wielded by love.  “Anger is a surgical weapon, designed to destroy ugliness and restore beauty. In the hands of one who is trained in love and who can envision beauty, the […]

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For the Times When You’re Exhausted, Discouraged, and Tempted

by Jonathan Trotter on November 3, 2019

Some truth is just worth remembering. These musings about discouragement and temptation spilled out six years ago; perhaps they can encourage people even still… We moved to Cambodia about two years ago, and it’s been good. But it’s also been very hard. I’ve had my days of doubt, fear, and deep discouragement. I’ve looked around at the poverty, […]

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On Scarcity and Abundance

by Marilyn on October 14, 2019

I’m sitting on my couch, feet stretched out. The mosque next door has just begun their Friday sermon, broadcast loud in a language that is still unfamiliar to me. The electricity is on and I am trying to be grateful instead of fearful that it will go off.  In recent weeks, I have thought a […]

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Success or Faithfulness?

by Marilyn on March 8, 2019

It has not been an easy week here in Kurdistan. From difficulty with websites to difficulty with people, there are times when I would like life to be easier. I’m sitting now at one of the two coffee shops in Rania, listening to Adele on repeat. Adele is easy on the ears, and I find […]

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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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There are some stories that remain in a family and become a part of our DNA. These stories are told year after year, but they never get old. Here is one of our stories that reminds me each year of the wonder of Christmas. My mom grew up in a small town in Massachusetts called […]

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When Missionaries Think They Know Everything

by Amy Medina on July 4, 2017

A few years ago, a video started making its way around my Facebook feed–shared by lots foreigners who live in my part of Africa.  The video showed two African men shoveling sand.  There was a very large pile of sand to their left.  The two men were shoveling the sand into a wheelbarrow, filling it […]

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An Open Letter to the Kind People in My Host Country

by Craig Thompson on February 20, 2017

Dear neighbors: When my wife and I and our four children stepped off the plane in your country, with our 12 carry-on bags—and all our plans, enthusiasm, expectations . . . and naiveté—you welcomed us. In fact, the customs agent greeted us with a smile. And during the following years that we lived among you, we lost count of your kindnesses. We […]

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Thoughts on Sharing our Stories

by Marilyn on February 6, 2017

“Perhaps the greatest danger of our global community is that the person in LA thinks he knows Cambodia because he’s seen The Killing Fields on-screen, and the newcomer from Cambodia thinks he knows LA because he’s seen City of Angels on video.” ― Pico Iyer Years ago at a dinner party in Egypt, our English host was waxing wise about China. […]

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