It’s been a while since we shared our favorite titles! Some of these are books we read quite a while ago and I never got around to recommending, and some are still fresh in my mind. I will try keep my words to a minimum, and in some cases I might just include a favorite quote from a book and cross my fingers in hope that you will be inspired to read it.
Over the past year, I’ve felt especially compelled to learn more about the lives of people who are marginalized, to listen to a new set of stories.… Continue Reading
In February five years ago, I flew to Myanmar for the first time. I had never been to a developing country before. I had considered and sworn off the idea of cross cultural work back in college, my business studies leaving me certain that westerners overseas did more harm than good.
But I came to Myanmar, planning to see Yangon and Rakhine state, and experience the place my fiancé had called his home for the past seven years. It was to be a three-week visit, and for two of those three weeks, I wanted to be anywhere but Myanmar.… Continue Reading
It has been three months since we moved into this house. I have wanted to share some photos for those of you who are curious about the inside of our place (and honestly, who isn’t curious about the inside of other people’s homes?), but I’d been putting it off until we installed some shelves. Just the other day, Jim put up the last of the shelves, and the living space feels more settled now. So, without further ado, here is a little home tour.… Continue Reading
We started looking for a new place to rent in May. A variety of circumstances, not the least of which was the nearing advent of Baby #2, caused us to realize that our current home is just not the right place for us anymore.
From a foreigner’s perspective, renting a house in Yangon is an arduous undertaking. If you are new to Myanmar and cannot yet read or speak, it involves doing everything through a translator, as even the rental signs are nearly always written in Burmese.… Continue Reading
When my daughter was born, the medical staff asked what name to write down. Without looking at one another, my husband and I both replied, “Magdalena.” We had another name in mind too, but as soon as we saw her face, we knew we wanted her to carry the story of a woman loved by God and chosen as the first to see his resurrected face. In a society where a woman’s testimony and personal worth had little value, it seems no mistake on God’s part that he chose a woman as a first witness to his resurrection.… Continue Reading
“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.”
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