Perspectives from Abroad (Part 3): On Sharing our Lives and Connecting with the Church

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Thanks for following along with this blog series! (Click here to read Part One and Part Two) Today’s post is the final installment of testimonies from people who serve cross-culturally, sharing their experiences relating to friends, family, and the church back in their passport countries.

One of the things that compelled me to start this series was hearing other missionaries share some of the expectations people/churches had for them in returning to the US, and hearing in their voices how those expectations can take a big personal toll.… Continue Reading

Perspectives from Abroad (Part 2): Perceptions, the West, and Global Identity

Welcome to part two of a three-part series on what it is like to relate with one’s passport country after living abroad. (Click here to read Part One) This series shares a dozen different perspectives from all over the world on some of the issues overseas workers face as they transition between their passport country and another culture. Part two focuses on the realities of life overseas, the global identity one gains while living abroad, and on how the West is perceived by the rest of the world.… Continue Reading

Relating to Home: Perspectives from Abroad (pt. 1)

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I don’t know anyone working overseas who does not at times feel terribly caught between worlds. This tension is constant for most of us, and it is often heightened by our experiences in returning home, or our attempts to share our life with those in our passport countries. There is typically little or no opportunity for us to have conversations about some facets of this tension, but there is a need for such conversations to take place. We wanted to create an opportunity for others to share anonymously about their joys and challenges in engaging with people and life back in their passport country.… Continue Reading

“Remember the Signs”

 

On Tuesday, Jim and I will be flying through international airspace, headed for Southeast Asia.

This week has been a long time coming; a slow climax preceded by several years of preparation, small good byes to all the little things that are familiar to me, and accumulating the things I imagine I’ll find necessary in a foreign place (not the least of which is a good supply of Earl Grey tea).

I feel as ready as I will ever be for the unknown things that lie in my path.… Continue Reading

We Stand Upon Your Shoulders

 

 

To all who send.

We have sat in your kitchens and living rooms, drinking cup after cup of tea and coffee, swapping stories for hours. We never, ever leave feeling empty.

You have yet to run out of interest for what we do; you share our hope of seeing God’s kingdom come in the earth’s darkest corners. You ask such wonderful questions. Sometimes I get chills when I meet some of you, because it is clear you have been praying, and it is clear that you pray like you mean it.… Continue Reading

The Thing I Fear Most

I’ve found the missions lifestyle riddled with opportunities for my mind and heart to be anywhere but here and present. There is a lot of looking ahead to the next horizon (or to the horizons several decades away). Some of this foresight is needful for good planning, but much of it, when I’m really honest, isn’t foresight at all: it’s fear, fear that I’ve rationalized and justified in the name of being prepared for the ever foreboding foe: Future.

Most of my fears have to do with beauty, the fear of losing what I have in the Present.… Continue Reading