vision

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I used to want precise answers to all the questions, and I used to think I could actually obtain precise answers to all the questions. But I’m learning that the straight and narrow sometimes isn’t, and that God might in fact be OK with that. Sometimes, in our efforts to make so many things absolute […]

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5 Thoughts for the Local Church

by Chris Lautsbaugh on June 17, 2015

The local church and missionaries on the field should be on the same team, but often a wedge of misunderstanding is driven between the two. There is a danger when missionaries feel entitled to the support of a local body. Many dig their own grave in destroying relationships with their sending churches. Equally, misunderstanding can come […]

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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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When the Straight & Narrow Isn’t

by Jonathan Trotter on January 1, 2015

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My parents had their life all mapped out, and then their baby was born with chromosomal abnormalities and died at home, surrounded by tubes and oxygen tanks, only a month old. As a teenager, I had my life pretty well planned out (get my pilot’s license, be Nate Saint). But then my mom got cancer […]

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Don’t Shun the Small Things

by Kelley Nikondeha on September 19, 2014

SmallBlue

Often in community development work we focus on the big things – the massive ideas that will transform the local economy, the construction of classrooms or strategies for improving local human rights. The challenges are not small, so our work efforts expand to meet the needs – we make our best, biggest attempt, anyways. Today […]

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Send Someone Else

by Chris Lautsbaugh on May 10, 2014

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Do you ever have days you wonder why God sent you? You doubt in the dark what you knew in the light? Questions about whether we are making an impact set in. As you contemplate your next big endeavor, you feel like saying… “Please, Not Me!” You are in good company. This is exactly the […]

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A Land Flowing with Milk & Honey

by Kelley Nikondeha on April 23, 2014

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The dark-soiled land was rich with promise. As they stood on the property line looking across the verdant valley carpeted with cabbage and hills of slim trees whispering with the breeze, the 30 Batwa families could scarcely believe this was their new home. Each man had a plastic grocery bag with the family’s belongings – […]

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Please Don’t Say, “They Are Poor But They’re Happy.”

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 21, 2014

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Katherine Boo talks about the western ‘conceit that poverty is ennobling.’ Tracy Kidder, in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, quotes Paul Farmer, “There’s a WL (white liberal) line – the ‘They’re poor but they’re happy’ line.’ They do have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but that’s entirely different.” I am of the opinion […]

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Succession

by Chris Lautsbaugh on November 22, 2013

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Missionaries are good at many things. We are adaptable, we are frugal, and we often carry a global perspective. In my experience, one area we are weak in is in planning for the future. Our strength lies in our ability to respond and change, but at times this keeps our focus on the here and […]

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Avoiding the Missionary Kid Syndrome

by Chris Lautsbaugh on October 8, 2012

Missionary Family

We’ve all heard horror stories of P.K.’s (Pastors Kids), M.K.’s (Missionary Kids), and W.K.’s (Whatever other ministry oriented kid turned out bad). While my wife and I have a long way to go to declare success, here are some things we have been practicing to keep missions appealing. 1. Priorities I can hear all the […]

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