Christmas, Rewrapped: How Moving Overseas May Mess with Your Holiday, Part II

Missed the first part? Grab it here.

Scrolling through Facebook that day brought a bit of sadness, glimpsing all those photos of a white Christmas in Little Rock, of all places. I’d prayed for that so many times for my kids. Well, and myself.

But a few minutes later, I was playing Christmas music while I spread mayo for sandwiches. Some old lyrics belted out:Haul out the holly/ Put up the tree before my spirit falls again… And I realized, that was why I wanted to be there, enjoying the snow (not to mention the family!). I longed for the emotion of that holiday sparkle; the cozy magic that, with all the right elements, seems to frost everything with light and togetherness and fun, muting the rough edges. read more

Christmas, Rewrapped: How Moving Overseas May Mess with Your Christmas, Part I

ChristmasYour first year overseas has a way of rearranging your life, your brain, your family, your body. So it makes sense your holidays would follow.

You may be wondering what Christmas looks like away from the lines to meet Santa, the obnoxious Black Friday ads–but also far from the welcoming hugs from mom, the family clustered around the tree or piano belting out carols.

My experience? Like most of overseas life, there were notable griefs and clarifying, memorable triumphs. Here, thoughts from my first Christmas season in Africa (edited from the original post on MomLifeToday.com). read more

Meet an Agency: WorldVenture

We’re geared up to bring you a new, ongoing series as a little meet-and-greet with organizations that can help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better. (For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, say you’ve pulled up a chair for a cup of coffee with a representative from WorldVenture. 

Tell us briefly what your agency specializes in. What are you passionate about?

At WorldVenture, our vision is to see multitudes of disciples compelled by the love of God and willing to risk all so that people are transformed by God, impacting their families, communities, and world. read more

#BestoftheBestFriday: Why not to say “God called me”; Exposing Your Kids to Danger; Surprised by North Korea & China

Could “God called me” be destructive?

What effect does language have when we’re considering “calling”–something that’s definitely become a buzzword beckoning forth a generation that longs for purpose and certainty. As a global worker in Tanzania, Amy Medina relays wise sentiments you might not have thought of as you consider the nebulous concept–and possibly damaging language–of the phrase “God called me.” 

HE SAID/SHE SAID. YOU SAY? “WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU WENT?” PART II

Missed Part I? Grab it here!

“I wish I’d known how hard it really is.”

I would have gotten more cross-cultural training, especially focused on the culture to which I was going. I would have taken more time in language learning. But most of all, I needed realistic expectations.

Working in a foreign field is the same as being in a war. I know: I’ve fought in both. And the similarities are striking.

There is not much glorious about warfare. It may look exciting on TV or in the movies, but in the trenches it’s a lot of hard work. And the enemy has ambushes everywhere. Often you can’t tell the enemy from the friendly. And your friends get injured and killed. It hurts. read more