missions

Is Missions a Joke? Answering the Critics

by Amy Medina on August 10, 2018

Editorial note: A Life Overseas is a place to share stories and have conversations about cross-cultural missions and international living. In this space we avoid personal attacks. The following piece is a critique of ideas currently being circulated among the missions crowd. It is not a personal attack on anyone whose words are quoted here, […]

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Fictitious Billy and God’s Highest Calling

by Marilyn on August 9, 2018

Fictitious Billy grew up in Pakistan. He loved Pakistan with all his heart. He loved riding the trains and looking out dirty train windows at the passing scenery. The train would go from dry desert to lush, fertile areas in those long train rides. He loved going hiking in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountain […]

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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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  One of the best-known yet least known stories in the Gospel of John is about a woman known simply as the “Samaritan Woman.” The familiar story tells us that Jesus had left Judaea and was returning to Galilee. The trip took him through the region known as Samaria where, tired and thirsty, he sits […]

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Failed Missionaries and “But God…”

by Marilyn on April 9, 2018

When my husband and I left what was supposed to be a three-year missions commitment in Pakistan after one year, we were angry, hurt, and deeply wounded. We didn’t leave Pakistan, but we did leave a missions community that I had been a part of since birth. This community had raised me, loved me well, […]

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Check out this collection of our most-read articles

by Jonathan Trotter on April 5, 2018

Consider this the Table of Contents for a book on missions, cross-cultural living, grief, TCKs, MKs, missiology, common pitfalls, transition, short-term missions, relating to senders, and a whole lot more. I figured it was time to compile our most-read posts and present them to you, organized by topic. So here they are, 85 of our […]

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Someone alleges abuse. Someone in power rushes to hush or silence the accuser, sometimes even using Scriptures or “biblical principles” as the gag. And it’s so wrong. It’s poison, offered as cure, both to the victim and those close by. But there’s an idea I’ve been developing that just might be an antidote. At least […]

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“Our missions work has lacked the diversity necessary for it to be as effective as it could be. There is a dearth of leaders of color, voices of people who are living in communities that are being ‘served.’ The intentions for most are rooted in a strong sense of call, but we have to correct […]

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I hear you. Some of you are angry and disenfranchised. I’m on Twitter. I know. You see the church and politicians wedded at the hip, and you throw up. You feel like the American church has sold her soul and is rejoicing about the bargain. You’re embarrassed, like a cool kid with an uncool mother, Mac […]

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Missions Means Choosing the Desert

by Amy Medina on December 1, 2017

Earlier this year, I went through a season of insomnia.  A chaotic furlough, a new job, and lots of life change brought on anxiety, which bred sleeplessness, which bred more anxiety, until I was a mess. I lay awake many nights and begged God, “You know I need to sleep.  You know I can’t function […]

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A Salute to Faithfulness

by Marilyn on November 8, 2017

My father died two weeks ago. It was not a tragic death, except as all death in our broken world can feel tragic; his life was rich and full, lived across oceans and continents. He was a veteran missionary and pastor who loved God, his family, the Church, and people in general. As I think […]

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On Fundamental Sadness and the Deeper Magic

by Jonathan Trotter on October 25, 2017

Some call it pessimism. Unspiritual. A sickness best treated with peppy music and cliché-riddled Christianese. They caution and guard against sadness, considering it a rabbit hole (or a worm hole) leading nowhere good. Others call it holy. Jeremiah-ish. Defending it with the label of realism – open eyes that see things as they truly are. […]

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