The Writers

Leadership Team

Elizabeth Trotter. Editor-in-chief. After a military childhood, a teenaged Elizabeth crash landed onto American civilian life. When she married her high school sweetheart, her life plan was to be a chemical engineer while he practiced law. Instead, they both fell headlong into youth ministry and spent the next ten years serving the local church. When her husband later decided he wanted to move overseas, Elizabeth didn’t want to join him. Now, after eight years of life in Cambodia with him and their four children, it’s hard to imagine living any other way. Elizabeth is co-author of Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-cultural Christian Worker. She blogs at

A Life Overseas photoMarilyn Gardner. Monthly Contributor. Marilyn grew up in Pakistan and as an adult lived in the countries of Pakistan, Egypt, and Iraq. Marilyn has birthed 5 kids on 3 continents and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, fifteen minutes from the International Terminal at Logan Airport. She is the author of Between Worlds: Essays on Culture & Belonging and Worlds Apart – A Third Culture Kid’s Journey. She works as a public health nurse in Boston and heads back to the Middle East as much as God allows. She loves God, her family, and her passport in that order. She blogs at: Communicating Across Boundaries.

andy Andy Bruner. IT Specialist.Andy is a TCK who spent varying lengths of time growing up in Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Waxhaw, NC. He met his wife Kay at Bryan College and off they went in 1993 to the Solomon Islands to help the Arosi people translate the New Testament which was dedicated in 2005. Since 2007 he has been working as the finance systems manager for SIL Int’l in Dallas, TX.


Jonathan TrotterJonathan Trotter. Monthly Contributor.Jonathan lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with his wife of fourteen years and their four kids. He serves with the church planting mission Team Expansion, inviting people to follow Jesus through storytelling and Disciple Making Movement principles. In addition to his work with Cambodians, Jonathan also loves learning from and sharing with international teenagers (and their parents), and regularly speaks at events aimed at expat youth. Before crossing the Pacific, Jonathan served as a youth pastor for ten years and worked as a trauma nurse for three. Jonathan felt the pull of international missions from the time he was nine, although he detoured through studies in law and nursing before finally arriving in Asia, his heart’s new home. | facebook: trotters41 | twitter: @trotters41

Monthly Contributors

Rachel Pieh Jones. Rachel Pieh Jones is the mother of three (including twins) and the wife to Tom Jones (not the singer, better). Rachel has lived in Somalia and Kenya. She currently lives in Djibouti, the hottest inhabited country in the world, where she has been sweating, running, failing, learning about and from Islam, trying to see Jesus clearly, and writing about it for the past nine years. Rachel has written for the New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, EthnoTraveler, Running Times, RELEVANT Magazine, the Desiring God blog, and others. She is also a contributing writer at SheLoves, published a cookbook Djiboutilicious, swims with whale sharks, and loses to her children at hula-hoop battles, Lego-building, and anything craft-related. Visit her blog at: Djibouti Jones, follow her Facebook page or on Twitter @rachelpiehjones. 


Kay Bruner. Kay Bruner was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Brazil, Nigeria, and the wilds of Kentucky. She and her husband have raised their four children in Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the great state of Texas. Kay is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and divides her work days between counseling and writing. She is the author of As Soon As I Fell and blogs at| facebook: kaybrunersblogfriends| twitter: @kay_bruner   She is available for counseling at her office in Dallas or via skype at a discounted rate to clients overseas.  For more information go to:

anisha headshot 1Anisha Hopkinson. Anisha grew up in Houston, Texas and realised in her teen years that emotional insecurity and a driving desire to prove your worth makes for, well… She got busted. A few more screw-ups later Jesus met her in a fit of tears, forehead to the bedroom floor. She’s been captivated by the soul mending power of the gospel ever since. At 19 Anisha set off for her first term in missions scrubbing decks and toilets on a hospital ship in West Africa. She now lives in Indonesia with her British missionary helicopter pilot husband, homeschools their wildly adventurous son, and uses written and spoken words to share Jesus with anyone who’ll listen. Anisha journals on

Amy Young. Amy wants to help people find the sweet spot between burn out and rust out with ongoing personal and professional development. Founder of Global Trellis, co-founder of Velvet Ashes, she personally blogs at Messy Middle, and is the author of four books (Looming TransitionsLove, Amy, Enjoying Newsletters, and Getting Started . You too can live in your sweet spot.



ctCraig Thompson. Craig and his wife Karen, along with their five children, served as missionaries in Taipei, Taiwan, for ten years before returning to southwest Missouri. His experiences, as well as conversations with other cross-cultural workers, have made him more and more interested in member care and the process of transitioning between cultures. Craig blogs at



amhAmy Medina. Amy grew up in an MK’s paradise on the shores of Liberia but went to high school and college in California. Nine months after she married, Amy and her husband were on their way to the coast of Tanzania in east Africa. They spent 10 years ministering to TCKs and Tanzanian students at an international Christian school, and are now providing theological training to East African church leaders. Along the way, they have adopted four amazing Tanzanian kids, who can dance way better than Amy can. Living most of her life in the tropics has made Amy an expert at sweating, cutting up pineapples, and killing mosquitoes (one-handed!). She thinks the best conversations happen in the kitchen and is always thrilled when her dining room table is full of guests. Amy blogs at Everyone Needs a Little Grace, and you can find her on Facebook or Twitter @AmyEMedina.

jjJerry Jones. Jerry lives in China with his beautiful blended family. Together they are on an adventure that has taken them around the world and back . . . and then around again. Specifically 7 years on the East side of the planet (China), two years on the East side of the U.S., and now back in China (on the East coast). They like the East. Jerry is a cross-cultural trainer and coach, which basically means he gets to help foreigners. It’s his thing. Having been a foreigner (both away and at home) for so long, he loves getting the chance to walk people through the joy and pain of crossing cultures. There’s nothing like it and he’s so blessed to work with people who have absolutely no clue what is happening around them: he can relate. Jerry blogs at The Culture Blend.


Quarterly Contributors

abby2Abby Alleman. A farm girl at heart, Abigail (Abby) loves the surprising stories God writes. Since her first plane trip at the age of twenty landed her in Barcelona, Spain, Abby knew her life would never be the same. She holds degrees in both Math and Spanish and is a former high school teacher. She has served as a translator and short-term missionary in Latin America and inner city Philadelphia. But her most treasured journey is when her big dreams came crashing to the ground, when heartbreak and humility brought her home to her family, God and eventually right to her husband, Jared. They have worked with the student ministry of CRU for nine years in both the U.S. and Hungary, her current home. She has three small kids who are lovingly called ‘sour cream blonde’ in the streets of Budapest. She blogs her life and love of story at Abigail Alleman (

Instagram and Twitter Manager

Tanya Crossman spent most of her childhood as a local in Australia and most of her adulthood as an expat in China (with stops in the U.S. and Cambodia). Along the way she unexpectedly turned into an expert on millennial TCKs, wrote a book, and starting travelling the world to speak on her favourite topic: why TCKs are awesome and how to serve them well. After completing an MDiv in Australia, she recently got married (to a TCK) and moved back to Beijing. Now she’s ejoying rediscovering everything she loves about China! She can be found online far too often, usually on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and occasionally at her website.



Laura Parker. As a child, Laura wanted to be Amy Carmichael, and in college, she wanted to be an English teacher living in an African hut. When her first attempt at overseas missions became an epic failure, lasting three months instead of several years, she began to think that foreign ministry was perhaps more difficult than the books made it out to be. This was a truth made clear during her second stint living overseas, this time with three small children, in SouthEast Asia. As a freelance writer and avid blogger, Laura wrote gritty and honest about her time in the field, building a community of missionaries, hungry for authenticity about  the difficulties of living overseas. In addition to writing for her personal blog, LauraParkerBlog, Laura has also been a freelance writer and photographer for Compassion International. She has been published in RELEVANT Magazine, MomSense magazine, a Deeper Story, {In}Courage, SheLoves and other online websites. Currently, she is the Vice President of Communications  for a counter-trafficking NGO, theExodusRoad, which was founded by her husband. You can find her at her personal site, LauraParkerBlog and can follow her on twitter at @MrsLauraParker.

Angie Washington. Angie recently returned to the United States after living in Bolivia for over a decade doing various missionary works. She and Laura met through their blogs many years ago. The online connection grew into a friendship. ‘A Life Overseas’ was born from the visionary foresight of Laura and the organizational strength of Angie. If you would like to hear more about re-entry and what life looks like after a life overseas you can find Angie on her blog:, as well as on Facebook: atangie, Twitter: @atangie, and Instagram: @photosangie.

Past Contributors

Kathleen Shumate.
Lisa McKay. Lisa McKay Writing
Richelle Wright. Our “Wright”-ing Pad
Chris Lautsbaugh. No Super Heroes
Alece Ronzino. Grit and Glory | One Word 365
Sarah GoodfellowBut Now to Live the Life
Adele Booysen.
Kelley Nikondeha.
Dustin Patrick. @dustinpatrick 
Levi Benkert. BringLove.In / @levibenkert
Justin Schneider. @JustSchneider
If you’d like to submit a guest post, please email Elizabeth at and write Guest Post in the subject line. Please note: due to the volume of submissions, we are not able to reply to every one. Thank you for your understanding!


Lisa Enqvist September 29, 2016 at 9:53 pm

This is a wonderful forum with superb content. I grew up as an MK after WWII (China, Ceylon). Later after a personal struggle, not wanting to be a missionary, I surrendered.
I’m writing about that now in a book I might call “The Captain’s Daughter”. My dad had bought a former minesweeper he rebuilt to be a Gospel Ship. That ship separated our family for months at a time, forcing us together for school holidays in its cramped cabins. No joyride.

This forum is rich with the experiences of others who have gone through – or are going through – the multiple mix of joys and sorrows in a life overseas.
I’m glad I found you. Thanks for creating this!

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