My Story: “If only I could hear His voice”

By Denise Rhoades

Eleven years ago was a long period of searching for truth about God to feed my own soul. I’d lost my grandpa. My (now former) fiancé had called off our wedding four months before we were to be married. In short, I was in a state of life- altering confusion.

One night alone in my room kneeling by my bed, when I was at a point of final desperation, I cried out to God, tears waterfalling down my cheeks.

I can’t do this anymore. I have tried to live my life my way and all I have is a mess. Lord, I want you to take charge of my life. I am sorry for all the bad things I’ve done, the self-centered person I’ve been and horrible decisions I’ve made. I want a different life now if it’s not too late.

Early the next morning, just as I was beginning to awake, my eyes not quite open yet, I heard it.

Continue reading

Help Your Marriage Thrive Overseas! Part III

Missed Part I and II? Grab ’em here.

Moving to Africa was like seeing a new version of my husband.

Sure; in some ways it aged us and strained us in ways we could have never experienced. But it was also extremely cool to see my husband as the guy tooling around an African metropolis, learning to navigate the streets to care for his family. I would have never anticipated the overwhelming generosity he possessed; the crazy-cool gifts of cultural understanding and helping Africans through heartbreaking conflicts and difficulties. What if I’d never seen the African version of him? And as I at last realized my dream of moving overseas, we laughed out loud about the “Afro-disiac” it was for our marriage!

Continue reading

Help Your Marriage Thrive Overseas! Part II

Missed Part I? Grab it here.

Like going overseas, marriage is a form of faith—even more in God than in your spouse.

And as C.S. Lewis has written, Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.

All of us encounter those days where we’re thinking, if he throws his socks beside the hamper one more time, I am going to tell him exactly where he should put them. Or, Honey, I get hormones. But does PMS really last all month? 

And living overseas tacks on its own version. Did we really need to stay at a six-hour church service on your only real day off? Or, We set aside tonight for a movie night because we don’t even have the energy to talk. And now the electricity’s out. Again.

Continue reading

Help Your Marriage Thrive Overseas! Part I

While living in Uganda, we paid a trusted African friend to watch our kids while we went on date nights. At first, she looked at us like we’d grown horns.

“He still takes you out on dates?”

She opined aloud that if I were Ugandan and had borne four children, my husband would probably be looking for another woman to…entertain him. So believe it or not, our consistent dates and happy marriage were a fun and refreshing testimony to those watching us.

Continue reading

Different Strokes? Marital Differences as You Look Overseas, Part II

Missed Part I? Grab it here.

“Should My Spouse Go Through Language Training if Not Headed into Formal Ministry?”

Someone asked my husband and I recently if they should both be enrolled in language school. Our answer? Unquestionably. Both spouses will be interacting with the culture–and both need to be mobile within that culture. Conversely, whoever doesn’t have language or cultural training will be handicapped at whatever level caps their interaction–not just for everyday life, but for ministry capacity. Imagine a person coming to your passport country without speaking your language. They’re reduced to functioning even less than the hearing impaired (who have sign language); they’re on the outside looking in, utterly isolated from anyone by their inability to communicate.

Continue reading

Different Strokes? Marital Differences as You Look Overseas, Part I

One of the biggest stresses on my engagement wasn’t really the normal stuff–the wedding planning or whatnot. It was a phrase I’d rerun over in my head a hundred times: I don’t feel called overseas. Evangelism is not my gift. My husband-to-be surpassed the one I’d been looking for so many times over. And it really did seem God was leading us to marriage.

But was he?

Was I…selling out? I’d been headed in an overseas direction for years. What was I missing?

Continue reading

The Fix: For What Might Be Broken in Your Fundraising

By John Patton

Surveys can tell you what you already know. You’ve felt it slip down your back, constrict your chest, look away in mortification, slide beneath your fake smile. The #1 obstacle to entering full-time ministry?

Fear of fundraising.

Um. But–a lot of people have raised money for short-term trips. Why wouldn’t they stick their necks out there for long-term global work?

The Bake Sale Approach

To answer that, let’s look at some traditional ways people raise funds for short term stuff:

Continue reading

#BestOfTheBestFriday: Why We Go; Personality & Evangelism; The Gospel & Social Class

Why We Go–Lest We Forget

Still wrestling through the decision to go–or needing a pick-me-up in the midst of all the prep (Remind me why I’m doing this again?)? Don’t miss Justin Bullington’s post with the heartfelt letters of a Papua New Guinean, pleading for global workers to come. 

Evangelism and Your Personality Type 

Yet another reason why we dig Jesus: Every person was an individual to him. He’d step away from the crowds to hear that one person crying out–and to ask them specific questions about where they were, right where he found them. It’s why Go. Serve. Love is keen on global work that isn’t McMissions. People are more than a one-size-fits all McMethod.

Ever wonder how personality should influence how you share Jesus–or how others receive it? Cru’s got some great tips on applying the Myers-Briggs personality profile to sharing Jesus.

Sharing Jesus–and Social Class Factors

Working with the poor is a whole different animal when it comes to effectively planting churches and sharing our faith. Are we willing to accept the personal risk, risk for sending churches, and build truly effective national strategies? Acts29 asks wise and heart-provoking questions in this post on The Gospel & Class: Risky Business.

Like this post? You might like