cross-cultural

When There is No “Other Hand”

by Marilyn on May 9, 2016

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Although I’ve not seen it in years, Fiddler on the Roof is one of my favorite shows/movies. I’ve watched the movie many times and seen the performance live as a musical theatre production at least twice. The scenes that have found a permanent place in my memory are what I call the “other hand scenes.” These […]

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I Believe, Help My Unbelief

by Chris Lautsbaugh on December 30, 2015

In work, ministry, and life we all experience frequent seasons when things don’t work out quite the way we had hoped. In missions, our internal dialogues consist of “Am I making a difference?” or “Will these things ever change?” When we are trusting for provision, for a breakthrough in our health, or seeing a life […]

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People are not our Project

by Chris Lautsbaugh on September 30, 2015

As a zealous, young missionary I seemed to make  the same mistake over and over. Now as a veteran, I find the same never-ending truth must remain continually before me. People are not our projects.   We never set out to do this intentionally. Our mistakes are made in ignorance. Our desire is to do good, […]

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They Are Not Ready…

by Chris Lautsbaugh on May 20, 2015

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“They are not ready…” These may be some of the most frequently uttered words when missionaries consider passing the baton of leadership. They can also be the most painful. One of the leaders I work with shares the story of being a young, oppressed worker in South Africa during the time of apartheid: A white […]

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view of the city

  Of all the difficult things we do in cross-cultural moves, finding places to live is near the top. We want to create space and place – we want to create home. And often our expectations are a planet away from our reality. At one point while living in Cairo, we were hunting for a flat […]

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The Language of Sport

by Chris Lautsbaugh on March 26, 2015

Language study is one of the hardest and most time-consuming efforts missionaries make. There is, however, a language which is common to the world and far easier to learn. This is the language of sport. When my family arrived in South Africa as lovers of sport, we missed a trip to the Super Bowl by […]

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Missionary or Indiana Jones?

by Editor on March 6, 2015

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When we talk about missions, how do we frame the conversation? Is it about adventure for God? About putting your life at risk for the gospel along with a helping of pride? Today our guest poster, Tera, talks about this. Once you read it, will you join the conversation at the end of the piece? […]

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Money Gives us Power over People

by Chris Lautsbaugh on February 24, 2015

Last month at A Life Overseas, we discussed the dangerous stories we can tell in order to raise funds. This requires further consideration if we provide funds, pay national workers, or are just generous in any way. While the debate on this one is hot and heavy, I doubt we can make absolute statements. “Always […]

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Dangerous Stories

by Chris Lautsbaugh on January 22, 2015

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Sometimes the stories we tell of those we minister to can become dangerous. I’ve been at this missions thing for 23 years now. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I often reflect on things I did in the past and cringe. Hindsight is always 20/20, but perhaps others can learn from my mistakes. One mistake […]

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Missions Field or Land of Opportunity?

by Chris Lautsbaugh on December 29, 2014

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One man’s mission field is another’s land of opportunity. I realized this in a fresh way as I was interacting with some immigrants to South Africa from Malawi. They were telling me about their home nation, Malawi. The common descriptions were of a lush, green, and beautiful nation which was peaceful. They left their homeland […]

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Rethinking the Christmas Story

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 17, 2014

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*edited and reposted from the original Rethinking the Nativity on Djibouti Jones and I encourage you to read the comments there. I am tired of the Christmas story. Clarification: I’m tired of the way I keep hearing it and seeing it and reading it. Of course I’m tired of the way consumerism has hijacked this holy […]

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25 Kilo Turkeys and Cultural Humility

by Marilyn on November 24, 2014

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We bought a turkey on Saturday – an almost 23 pounder, with no additives and gluten free (really — they had to tell us it was gluten free? Aren’t all turkeys gluten free?)  As this time of the year comes around I think of Thanksgivings we have spent all over the world and all across […]

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