Beginning Packing List: East Africa

Wondering what to pack to go overseas long-term? It can get tricky. Every country has different items available…or not. (If you know someone available to write a list for another area of the globe, please contact us here at Go. Serve. Love to equip more global workers to go overseas!)

This is shaping up to be a long post, so let’s get to it.

On your first trip over, prioritize items you absolutely cannot get in your host country, or that will be of considerably less quality. I should add “or are really expensive.” Don’t panic if you can’t get them all. Rebuilding a home is a process of slowly accruing and adjusting what you need. (See our post on Worked for Me Wednesdays #WFMW: The Luggage Edition.) read more

Your Career, Globally: What Could I Do with a Business Degree in Overseas Missions?

So we might already be tipping our hand a little here: We kind of like debunking myths about global work overseas, and maybe getting people to freak out of their box about what it looks like to go there, serve Him, love them.Maybe you think that your degree is sort of wasted when you choose global work–aside from the other intangibles that happen when you go to college, or the work experience you’ve been able to gain because of it.But in case you’re flirting with that idea–or even wholly convinced you got the wrong degree for what you actually ended up wanting to do with your life (only 27% of grads have jobs related to their major)–we might challenge that a bit. Because as my (Janel’s) mom is fond of saying, There are no wasted experiences in God’s economy. We’re guessing God actually knew, and had a considerable hand, in you getting that degree.But wait! There’s more!

You might actually be surprised at ways global workers are using their degrees around the world in missions.

So today, we’re homing in on a business degree. How can you use that?

Turns out the possibilities are pretty close to endless. read more

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

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

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!