He Said/She Said…You Say? “Is there any way other than begging for financial support?”

Back in the day when my husband and I were first considering a financially-supported ministry, I was so stinkin’ geared up to raise my own salary pretty much against it from the get-go. And I’d even seen my parents do it (and do it well). In fact, since I knew what it involved, I was like, reasons not to go: 1) We have to raise financial support. (It may have also been reasons #5 and #8.)

But it’s been 14 years now. Just as God used to sell a certain number of books to keep me employed or bring a certain number of tithing Christians to church to pay my salary, he continues to sustain my family through people who catch the vision for what we’re doing around the world.

And there are a lot of reasons I’d call my old self up on the phone and say, Do this. 

Continue reading

The Generation Who Can: Reaching the Unreached with News They Can’t Live Without

generation who can

I’m writing today with a question. A possibility. As in, no, I haven’t researched the tar out of this. No, I have a very limited number of acronyms behind my name. (Like, one.) I’m just a global worker with a vision that’s bigger than me and wasn’t really mine to start with.

Follow my logic for a moment.

We know that some generation in the future will at last succeed

in reaching every nation, tribe, and tongue with news they can’t live without (and trust me on this: no truer words are spoken).

We know that 40% of the world, to the tune of 3.15 billion people,

live in people groups where they have zero access to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Continue reading

When the Rich from the West Don’t Know They’re Acting Like It

rich from west don't know they're acting like it

Today Go. Serve. Love is stoked to welcome Rachel Pieh Jones–a marathon runner, a camel rider, a cookbook author of Djiboutilicious, and a general all-out lover of Djibouti. This post originally appeared on her blog, Djibouti Jones.

From Rachel’s blog, Djibouti Jones: I have been wrestling with how to write about this for months. Starts and stops, lots of unfinished first sentences and barely coherent lists. Then I read this essay after the Rick Warren and race conversation flared up. When White People Don’t Know They Are Being White by Jody Louise on Between Worlds. She is humble yet forthright in the piece, a balance which is incredibly challenging to achieve around such a sensitive and potentially volatile topic. She spurred me on, inspired me, and clearly, informed the title of this post.

I’m giving you loads of links here that will lead to other links and I encourage you to take the time to read this stuff. I have been and don’t think I’ll ever be the same. It is hard, challenging, might make you angry. That’s okay, wrestle with it. Join me as I wrestle with it.

I am not surprised by, but continue to be disappointed in, the western attitude toward the developing world. It is an attitude I see often, though not exclusively, among Christians. It is an attitude of superiority, a god-complex. An attitude that communicates an underlying assumption, intentionally or not, that the rich westerner is the one with power and authority and agency. As this is communicated, of course the opposite is communicated as well. The local person is weak, a victim, and helpless. The rich westerner must charge in to fix things, build things, challenge the status quo.

Continue reading

My Story: Memos from a Wreck–and Our Longing for True Safety

I’d taken my mom out for her birthday: falafel and jasmine rice at this great new Mediterranean place with only a handful of tables. We headed out, Barnes & Noble-bound to spend a birthday gift card for her, chatting and laughing. At a stoplight I glanced at the clock on the bank across the street, marveling at how fast time passed when she and I were together. Green light: my trusty minivan gathered its strength for the uphill left turn.

Continue reading

“Does she really have what it takes?” On steel in the soul

strong steel soul

Does she really have what it takes?!

That was the thought tumbling through my mind, straight up, as I levered my jaw off of the ground. Kathy had just informed me that she was heading for Honduras with a friend. By bus.

Informed, not asked. Decided, not considering. A young adult living with us for a couple months in western Guatemala trying to discern God’s leading and call. Quiet, reserved Kathy.

Seriously? Hmmm. Maybe she had more steel in her soul than I thought.

Continue reading

Throwback Thursdays: Relentless Truth from Those Who’ve Gone Before, #3

St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) was born into a wealthy, worldly Italian family under the original name of Giovanni Francesco di Pietro di Berardone. (Try saying that five times fast.) But upon his conversion, his life altered dramatically. He actually took the swanky clothes from his back and handed them to his father, longing to “imitate Christ” in a lifestyle of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

In the midst of his “great agony of doubt”, Francis sent a friend to ask others in the faith to pray for him. They separately replied the following:

“The Lord says you are to tell Brother Francis this: that God has not called him to this state only on his own account, but that he may reap a harvest of souls and that many may be saved through him.”

“He wants you to go about the world preaching, because God did not call you for yourself alone but also for the salvation of others.”*

God did not call you for yourself alone but also for the salvation of others. -St. Francis of Assisi Click To Tweet

This thought of going overseas can be nothing short of intimidating. But is there a chance God’s dreams are even bigger than yours?

Like this post? You might like

*As reported by Foster, Richard J. and James Bryan Smith, eds. Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups. New York: HarperOne (2005), pp. 295-296. Quotations from The Little Flowers of St. Francis.

 

Worked for Me Wednesdays #WFMW: The Luggage Edition

.Worked for Me Wednesdays

This week, we’ve got a few tips on packing. (Don’t worry–there’ll be lots more to come.) When my family went over, I confess my 2 1/2-year-old maaaaaay have fallen over backwards after Mommy made his carry-on backpack a teensy bit full. It was amazing how many prayers of mine were offered on behalf of that poor British Airways attendant who would be checking in (and yes, offering a lot of grace toward) our family of six.

Continue reading

Freebie Friday: 7 Standards of Excellence in Your Global Work [INFOGRAPHIC]

Here at GSL, we’re all about bringing you tools you can use to truly go there, serve Him, and love them well. So we’ve partnered with Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission to bring you today’s (totally printable) infographic: 7 Standards of Excellence.

Why do standards like these matter?

We acknowledge you may feel frustrated by patronizing “help” that actually hurts, or by work that makes us feel better but makes them feel worse, or by global work that continues cycles of poverty, or by missions trips that cannibalize employment.

That’s why. 

Because loving well matters. Serving our King with excellent work matters. Christianity doesn’t destroy culture. Christianity makes culture come alive— and development, too.

Wondering if your efforts–or the organization you’re thinking of going with– are on the right track to sustainable, effective outcomes? Check out these 7 critical standards. And print them here!

7 standards of excellence in global work

Like this post? You might like