“I had found people as different from me as the night is from the day. What I didn’t know then was that the seeds of my own blindness were orchestrating my thoughts. For, of course, in viewing our differences, I thought I was the sun and they were the darkness.”
– from Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith
I wanted to take a moment to praise a book I recently read, in hopes that some of you who are looking for a good read might check it out.… Continue Reading
To Lena, as you grow up
You get to be our child, and that is all you have to be. Yes, your childhood is set to be quite different from that of your North American peers, your challenges different. When well meaning people say things about being a “little missionary,” don’t take it to your heart, my dear. In North America, an accountant’s daughter is not expected to be concerned with tax code, a fireman’s child is not expected to respond to emergency calls in the dead of night, and no one is asking a trucker’s child to obtain a commercial license and know all the best routes to drive in winter weather.… Continue Reading
I want to share a fun list of some cultural attributes of Myanmar. These things have become comfortable and enjoyable for us, but in returning for a visit to the U.S., I see again how these cultural folkways might seem surprising or amusing to some westerners. (What’s a folkway, you ask? Good question. Folkways are the customs and conventions of daily life. Folkways indicate the cultural ideas about what is rude and what is polite. Cultural norms, by contrast, tend to indicate the culture’s perspective on morality, and what is right and wrong.)… Continue Reading
In our Pacific Northwest home, nature was as close as one’s backyard, or as far as a 20-minute drive to a well-wooded park. It didn’t take too much effort to get away from the sight of buildings or even other people, and was not difficult to find places where nature dwarfs humanity. In Yangon, there is no such luxurious way to get a change of pace. In the past year, I can only think of one 30-minute period of time where I could neither see nor hear other human beings.… Continue Reading
Perhaps it is because I am from the west coast of the U.S. (a region that is not as “churched” and not defined by enthusiasm about the sort of work we do), that every time I share about our life in photos or words, I am conscious of the prevailing doubtfulness towards Christians; Christians in ministry work being particularly suspicious. I write this because I share that doubtfulness; I am under no illusions that Christians are very nice people. In fact, I think a number of Christians who end up working in ministry do so because they don’t want to have a regular job, because they are trying to escape problems, or because they have an ugly savior complex.… Continue Reading
…In which I use a great deal of English to elaborate on learning a little bit of Burmese (Or Myanmar language, if you will. Since the language I am learning is the native tongue of the Burma people group, I will refer to it as Burmese for the remainder of this post. For more on the distinction between Myanmar and Burma, check out this link.)
Language learning is a great way to become childlike.
“Am I ever going to be able to communicate with anyone?”… Continue Reading
A journal of our wintertime
This has been my first tropical winter overseas. While our North American counterparts were donning scarves and hats and trotting out to the Christmas tree farms with hatchets or sledding snowy hills, we have been absorbing an entirely different sort of winter season. Sweet December—this is what the Karen and Burmese Christians call this time of year. And they are right. December and January have been pleasant months filled with cool breezes, 85-degree days and a (slightly more distant) winter sun.… Continue Reading
This fall has been a little more hectic than we anticipated! In between all the trips to medical clinics and hospitals for Breanna’s health, we still have had a great fall, and we were able to document it (thanks in part to Jim’s dad)!
This is where you go when you want to buy LOTS of tea.
Everyone in Yangon is pretty excited about the elections. One of the rules is that parties are only allowed to campaign for the 60 days prior to the election.… Continue Reading
photo credit: John Shaw
Last August, Jim and I went hiking in eastern Washington, on a route through a stunning area called the Enchantment Lakes. (It is breathtaking—just take a look here.) Due to the popularity of this particular hiking route, you had to either obtain an overnight pass to hike the Enchantments over a three-day period (which means applying for the pass over 12 months in advance), or go for the gusto and hike the entire route in one day.… Continue Reading
31 July 2015
Dear little baby,
You’ve been in utero over 37 weeks now. Two nights ago, I started to experience some unusual muscle twinges, as if my body was going through a quick dress rehearsal—or perhaps a cold reading is more accurate, as it was so mild—for the upcoming task of ushering you into the world. I woke every hour for a few hours, feeling a bit unnerved and thinking, “I could wait a few more days; could we just wait at least till Saturday, maybe?… Continue Reading