struggle

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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Clenched Fists and Heart’s Desires

by Marilyn on January 9, 2019

It’s a New Year here at A Life Overseas and as I type I’m looking out at the barely visible mountains that surround our home here in Northern Iraq. On clear days, you can see the snow-covered mountains in Iran and they are beautiful. Today as I look, the entire area is covered in milky […]

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‘Tis the Season of Incongruity

by Marilyn on December 9, 2018

Deck the halls with calls for charity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! ‘Tis the season of incongruity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! #CottageChristmas or starving children? Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! My heart is caught and I cannot win this thing! Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laa. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do this. The sense of incongruity is overwhelming me this Christmas. I go from essays […]

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Capable of Complexity

by Marilyn on November 11, 2018

I loved growing up overseas. I loved that I knew how to traverse the globe at a young age, that I grew up on curry and hot pakoras, that I could see some of the highest mountains in the world from the grounds of my boarding school. I loved the colorful stamps in my passport – […]

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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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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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Dear New Missionary

by Amy Medina on August 1, 2017

Dear New Missionary, I spent last week with about 40 of you, helping with your training. I saw the fire in your eyes and the urgency in your prayers but heard the waver in your voice.  I saw myself in you, 16 years ago, when it was I who sat in your chair with the […]

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Every summer I begin thinking about change and transition, about reentry and culture shock. With the first warm breezes of the season, I am transported to places and times where this was my reality. And I begin to hear stories from others who are going through these transitions. The stories are told in photographs and […]

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Dear Supporter, I wrote you a newsletter today.  I told you about the success in our ministry, about the lives being touched and the happy stories.  Everyone was smiling in all the pictures.  But there is so much more I wish I could tell you. I wish I could tell you that lots of times […]

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The Measure of Success

by Anisha Hopkinson on January 12, 2017

The year I failed algebra for paying more attention to boys than the teacher, mom and dad grounded me for the entire summer. Freedom on one condition: I had to take algebra summer school and achieve an A in the class. I worked my rear end off. I puzzled out each equation in the math […]

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When You Want a Different Life

by Amy Medina on November 1, 2016

I live in a tropical paradise.  The glorious Indian Ocean is my backdrop—I can see it between the trees at my house, when I run errands around town, and when I watch my daughter’s soccer games.  For fun we take a little boat to an uninhabited island and snorkel over colorful coral.  The weather is […]

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When It All Blows Up In Your Face

by Amy Medina on August 31, 2016

Sixteen years ago, my husband and I were all of 24 years old when we arrived in Tanzania for our first term.  We had only been married nine months, and we were passionate and dedicated, but incredibly naïve.  We had absolutely no idea what we were in for. We were working in youth ministry in […]

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