My Story: Surrender–and the Dreams We Give Up

By Denise Rhoades

I had turned 40 in the spring of that year–and was still single. As in, never married. I had miraculously become a follower of Christ five years earlier (less than 10% of people do at that age. So yes, it’s a miracle!). I had briefly lived as a global worker in West Africa and was about to finish a Master’s in Missions. I felt only one gaping, jagged hole in this jigsaw puzzle of my life: a dream I’d held for nearly as long as I’d been alive. I wondered where I’d lost pieces along the way: for a husband. A family.

Path to a White Flag

On Labor Day weekend that year, my church was hosting a singles retreat in Branson. I had decided to not go; a friend cancelled on me last minute. But then there was my pastor’s wife. It’ll be fun!

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My Story: Culture Shock, Mayonnaise, and the Last Straw

BY CARL BUSER, RADIUS INTERNATIONAL ALUMNUS

That was the last straw. I’m done with this country. I’m ready to punch this guy in the face, I said to myself silently.

One more time, I spoke slowly–patiently, even–into the phone. “Sir, please, just make the sandwich like you always do. Except this time, just don’t put mayo on it, like I asked. It’s the same sandwich! It’s just that in the process, mayo won’t be added!”

“I am sorry sir, but we do not do custom orders. We do not accept returns or refunds either.”

I now attempted to yell in this new language. “I WILL THROW THIS SANDWICH THROUGH YOUR WINDOW. I DON’T CARE IF YOU WON’T TAKE IT BACK!”

He hung up.

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Prayer: A Voice When Words Fail

By Denise Rhoades

Arriving in your host country, you’re eager to get started.  But it’s been six months, and language learning has been killer. Your new language has three different n sounds made with varying positions of your tongue.

It’s exactly what happened to me as I relocated to West Africa. I recognized that a deep sharing of Jesus as their sin-taker and life-giving Savior with my new Muslim friends was going to be more like a marathon than a sprint.

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My Story: Prayer like Oxygen

I hadn’t been following Jesus that long when I wheeled my bags onto a West Africa-bound jetliner. For seven months, I lived with an unreached people group. Together with other global workers, we were teaming up to create an oral Bible.

Suddenly, I tumbled into a world where prayer no longer seemed like a “good” thing to do. It felt a little more like…oxygen.

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My Story: The Little Temple around the Corner

Today we’re geared up to welcome Lucy Tol, a summer intern with Global Frontier Mission. Check out the amazing stuff God’s doing at GFM on their Go. Serve. Love page!

Today, for the first time in my life, I stepped inside a Hindu temple.

The first thing I noticed was the air. Thick and heavy, like a weight on your chest. I don’t know for sure whether it was spiritual oppression, the power of suggestion, or simply the smell of incense that made it difficult to breathe. The temple sprawled out like a museum display, with little deities grinning out of marble boxes like painted dolls. Waxen candles glittered from dark corners of the room. Fervent worshippers, their eyes closed in prayer, muttered and moaned in unfamiliar tongues. Somewhere behind me, a bell clanged. I jumped and turned, tearing my gaze away from the smiles of statues in glittering gold.

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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.

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My Story: Journaling My Journey

Today, we’re excited to hear from Rebecca Skinner. She’s an  MK and TCK from Central and South America. Fun fact: Rebecca and her husband were one of the first couples to met on eharmony.com and get married! This September, they’ll celebrate 16 years of marriage alongside their twin boys.

The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement has turned Rebecca’s world on its head! She desires to see local churches strategically collaborate to take the good news of Jesus to every people, tribe, and tongue. 

My first job out of college. A move into the unknown, blindly following God’s lead. The fear of putting myself out there in a relationship. The heart break of miscarriage. The joy of discovering how the way I was made could be amplified and put to task for God’s mission. Every speedbump or pothole or smooth stretch of land or triumphant finish line: Journaling has critically influenced it all for me.

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Before Our Eyes: Where God is on the Move

Go. Serve. Love is geared up to be hosting John Needham of Sweaty Pilgrims today. John is originally from the UK but lives in Islamabad, Pakistan, with his wife and children. He’s passionate about Jesus, writing, and peacemaking between people of different faiths.

The mega-church was huge. A semicircle of comfortable seats faced a large stage backed with three large TV screens. Cameras were positioned in the centre and on either side, relaying live images to the screens. The worship was led by a Malaysian man with several backing singers, both male and female. There were well over a thousand people in attendance, almost entirely young Malaysians.

I have an instinctive dislike for mega-churches. The kind of slick, prosperous message which they often pump out often seems to be at odds with the humility and simplicity of Christ: rather too much money lavished on TV screens and sound systems, perhaps it would be better spent on serving the poor. Yet this one didn’t seem especially prosperous, just large and energetic.

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My Story: The Language of Shoe-Scuffing

Go. Serve. Love is stoked to welcome David Armstrong today. A handful of unexpected facts about Dave:

  • He has taken off in an airplane one more time than he has landed in an airplane.
  • His current favorite character in the Bible: Balaam’s donkey.
  • He could eat black beans and rice with hot corn tortillas every meal of his life.
  • He’s set foot in 15 countries.
  • He already has his ticket for 4 days straight of playing table games at “Geekway to the West” coming to St. Charles, MO on May 17th.
  • He can shoot a rubber band 50% further than anyone else.

It was after church in Bogota one Sunday, all of us standing around and talking in the way so many Latino cultures love. Outside, one of the young college aged guys–with a big ol’ grin, no less–scuffed my new pair of kicks. On purpose. Like he was doing me an awesome favor.

Growing up with brothers had long ago convinced me that when you scuff a friend’s shoes, you run. Fast.

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