The Writing Team

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. After eight years of life in Cambodia, it was hard to imagine living any other way, but covid brought them back to the States earlier than expected. She is now figuring out how to live in her passport country again. Elizabeth blogs at www.trotters41.com and is the co-author of Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-cultural Christian Worker

 

A Life Overseas photoMarilyn Gardner. 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.

 

Jonathan TrotterJonathan Trotter. Jonathan and his wife Elizabeth served as missionaries in Cambodia from 2012 to 2020, when COVID-19 happened and they relocated to Missouri, USA. Before crossing the Pacific, he served as a youth and worship pastor for ten years and worked as a trauma nurse for three. Before all that, he went to law school, passed the bar, and became a licensed (but not practicing) attorney. In Cambodia, Jonathan provided marriage coaching, pre-marital prep, debriefing, and transition and grief coaching for cross-cultural Christian workers, NGO folks, Cambodians, diplomats, and others. Some were believers and some weren’t. Additionally, he helped lead an international church with folks from about 30 countries. His goal is to gently walk with people, whatever their nationality and background, towards Jesus and the healing and freedom he gives.  www.trotters41.com | facebook: trotters41 | twitter: @trotters41

 

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.

 

Monthly Contributors

Abigail Follows. Abigail once asked God to make her a missionary. She promptly forgot her request, but God didn’t! As a result, Abigail and her newlywed husband Joshua launched to India in 2010, where they ate with their hands, hiked the Himalayas, and served as friendship evangelists. In 2018, they and their two energetic kids packed up and moved to a new continent, with a new target language and new religious surroundings. Abigail is passionate about equipping people with practical skills for joyful obedience, because God’s plans are beautiful, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. Abigail is the author of Hidden Song of the Himalayas: Memoir of a Gospel Seed Sower in the Mountains of India. You can get to know her at www.abigailfollows.com.

 

Amy Young. Life enthusiast. Author. Sports lover. Jesus follower. Equipper of cross-cultural workers. Amy is the founder of Global Trellis, co-founder of Velvet Ashes, hosts reading challenges at The Messy Middle, and is the author of five books (Looming TransitionsLove, AmyEnjoying NewslettersGetting Started, and Connected.)

 

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 ClearingCustoms.net.

 

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 16 years teaching third-culture kids and training pastors, and they adopted 4 amazing Tanzanian kids along the way. In 2020, the Medina family relocated back to California and Amy is now serving with ReachGlobal as a pre-field coach to newly accepted missionaries. Amy believes the best conversations happen in the kitchen and is always thrilled when her dining room table is full of guests. Amy blogs at Not Home Yet, and you can find her on Facebook or Twitter @AmyEMedina.

 

 

Quarterly Contributors

Anna Glenn. Anna is an agricultural missionary who has been living in Liberia, West Africa since 2016. She and her husband work with Hope in the Harvest, an organization that is committed to both agricultural and personal transformation in Liberia. Before moving to West Africa, Anna studied international development work at Texas A&M University and then worked as an agricultural extension agent back in her hometown of Baltimore County, Maryland doing community development work and education. She writes about faith, agriculture, and life in West Africa on her personal blog: www.glennsgoglobal.wordpress.org.

 

Anita Rahma. Anita grew up in a family that loves Jesus and cares deeply about global social justice issues. Her high school years were spent as a TCK in the Philippines, where God captured her heart and began calling her to a life of ministry. After graduating from Eastern Mennonite University with a degree in Culture, Religion, and Missions, Rahma joined Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor (in partnership with Virginia Mennonite Missions) to live and serve in a slum in Jakarta, Indonesia. For the past eleven years, she has lived in a slum community, now with her husband and two young sons. Rahma and her husband are founders of House of Hope, a free kindergarten and afterschool program in their slum community.  She is the author of Beyond Our Walls: Finding Jesus in the Slums of Jakarta.

 

Emmy Lou Lopez. In the icy winter of 2008, Emmy and her husband Cole moved to Afghanistan, where they began learning life and language. After their first child was born, they moved to a more conservative corner of Afghanistan, where Emmy began wearing a burqa and learning yet another language. Their time in Afghanistan stretched into nearly seven years before they transitioned to the Arab Gulf, where they have been residing since 2015. Emmy spends much of her time with Afghan and Pakistani women. She loves mountain gazing, bird watching, and early morning runs. Emmy believes that openness about the darker aspects of global work deserves more attention, but is best served up with a healthy dose of humor and self-reflection. 

 

Tanya Crossman. Tanya 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 enjoying rediscovering everything she loves about China. She can be found online far too often, usually on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and occasionally at her website.

 

Alyson Rockhold. Alyson and her husband served as missionaries in Tanzania, Haiti, and Zambia for a combined total of 4 years. She used her Physician Assistant and Public Health degrees overseas. When Covid forced her back to Houston, TX, she pivoted careers and started a ghostwriting business. She loves helping people achieve their book-writing dreams. Alyson stays connected to Tanzania through serving on the board of the Divine Mercy Centre, a ministry that feeds and houses the elderly in Tanzania. You can click here to sign up for her encouraging, monthly newsletter and get a free copy of “Be Still,” her 7-day devotional.

 

Lilly Rivera. Lilly is a happy wife and mama to three brave TCKs. Originally from Latin America, she has moved cross-culturally many times. Her family has been living in the Middle East for six years, and she is currently pursuing accreditation in Christian counseling. Lilly is passionate about books, being outdoors —  preferably near a lake or the ocean — and welcoming people into her home. 

 

Abby Alleman. Abigail is a lover of story. She has endured many sorrows but has experienced the true joy of overcoming as God redeems her pain. Out of this place she writes of the good and hard of her overseas life and her current life in the Chicago area where she has just moved to minister to refugees. She has three rapidly growing children, an exceedingly patient husband, and one amazing God whom she adores—they are the beauty and sustaining strength of her life on this long road Home. She blogs her life and love of story at Abigail Alleman.

 

Julie Jean Francis. Julie has lived as an alien and stranger in Southeast Asia since 2012 among a large, unreached people group (less than 1% Christian) with her only teammate and husband of 15 years. Together they raise their many Third Culture Kids. She likes drinking tea, ministering to children, and talking about loneliness, the power of the Word, and the faithfulness of God in hard times. Julie is the author of Bowing Low: Rejecting the Idols Around Us to Worship the Living God and its companion Bible study. You can find her online here.

 

Past Contributors

Rachel Pieh Jones. Rachel writes about life at the crossroads of faith and culture. Her work is influenced by living as a foreigner in the Horn of Africa, raising three Third Culture Kids, and adventurous exploration of the natural world. She is the author of Pillars, Stronger Than Death, and The Expat Cookbook.
 
Anisha Hopkinson. Anisha was born to Chilean and Texan parents, first tasted missions in Mexico, fell in love with an Englishman in Africa, and now lives in Indonesia. 
 
Kay Bruner. Kay grew up in Brazil, Nigeria, and the wilds of Kentucky. She and her husband raised their four children in Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and currently reside in States. Kay is a Licensed Professional Counselor and author of As Soon as I Fell.
 
Kathleen Shumate. Kathleen received her master’s degree in counseling and has worked everywhere from NASA to a homeless shelter for pregnant women. She and her family were missionaries in Taiwan before returning to the States to start CrossLife, a ministry that empowers families around the world to cultivate life in the home. She is the mother of seven children.
 
Lisa McKay. Lisa is a psychologist who specializes in stress, resilience, and humanitarian work. She is the author of the memoir Love At The Speed Of Email, the novel My Hands Came Away Red, and the founder of the long distance relationship website, Modern Love Long Distance. She lives in Australia with her husband and their two sons. 
 
Tara LivesayTara and her family moved to Haiti in 2006, where she worked as a midwife for Heartline Ministries. She currently resides in Texas, where she co-directs The Starting Place Birth and Wellness Center and continues to direct Heartline from afar. Tara is the mother of seven children and grandmother of five.
 
Jerry Jones. The Culture Blend.
 
Richelle Wright. Our “Wright”-ing Pad
 
Chris Lautsbaugh. No Super Heroes
 
Alece Ronzino. Grit and Glory | One Word 365
 
Sarah Goodfellow
 
Adele Booysen. 
 
Kelley Nikondeha. 
 
Michelle Perry.
 
Levi Benkert.
 
Dustin Patrick. @dustinpatrick
 
Justin Schneider. @JustSchneider

 

Founders

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, Laura has also been a freelance writer and photographer for Compassion International and has been published in several other online spaces. You 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:  www.angiewashington.wordpress.com, as well as on Facebook: atangie, Twitter: @atangie, and Instagram: @photosangie.

 
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If you’d like to submit a guest post, please email Elizabeth at emarietrotter@gmail.com 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!

 

7 thoughts on “The Writing Team”

  1. 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. lisaenqvistwriter.com
    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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