This month I want to share something very personal, but I hope you will see things in my story that touch your heart. While on a two month home visit, we flew to Oklahoma City to spend a week with my dad, step-mom, and extended family. On the weekend we had a family reunion. We gathered at two log cabins near a beautiful lake. It was a four hour drive for the closest ones, and flights from as far away as Arizona and Virginia for others. Family gatherings are sometimes bittersweet, like a chocolate bar. For all the sweetness, there’s always a few nuts; in all the sweetness just a tinge of the bitter as well.
Actually no reunion was planned for this year. But after my Dad had a small heart attack (if any heart attack can be called small) in August, plans were quickly made for this reunion.
Although Dad was dealing with dizzy spells, he thoroughly enjoyed seeing his children, grand-children and great-grand-children together. The almost constant smile on his face was worth all the work, travel, and expense involved.
Sarah, a married woman with two small children, was living and working overseas. She thought she knew why she was there: support her husband, take care of the kids, and help with their community development project with what time she had left.
But something else troubled her. So many women, both expatriate and local, looked lonely and frustrated, as though they had no one they could trust. In her mind a surprising question grew: “How can I be a woman other women trust?” This never bothered her when she was in her home country. Now, in this place, she wanted to help these women, but wasn’t sure they would let her.
And why should they? When she was eight years old her mother just disappeared, leaving her with her dad. She never saw her mom again. Her dad did his best, but she had no woman to look up to, ask questions of, or model herself after. After marriage she found that her mother-in-law was not a very motherly type, either. A good woman, yes, but not the kind of woman you felt you could trust with your secret struggles.
Continue reading 'A Woman Other Women Trust'»
Are you comfortable with who you are and what you are doing? I was. I have spent most of my adult years in cross cultural work, living and working in our target country for 29 years. I knew my part and played it as well as I could.
I’ve always been willing to learn new things. I’ve tried lots of different ways to serve. But in the end, I usually settled into my office to work. I’m a behind-the-scenes sort of person. Occasionally I was stretched to leave my office and speak, but felt I was most comfortable and productive writing and working one-on-one.
Continue reading '65 and Counting'»
Breathe Retreat is a ten-day retreat for Cross-Cultural workers to be held in Switzerland from June 20-30, 2012.
Now it time to sign up for this chance for renewal and encouragement for singles, couples, and families who serve cross culturally. Dr. Daniel and Lori Hahn of Catalyst Int’l, along with professionals in member care provide counseling, medical consultation, massage therapy and fun programs for preschoolers to teens.
For more information: Breathe
Have you thought about your brain lately? As I learn more about the brain, I am awed by its amazing ability to learn and its flexibility. Since most PWs live and work in a host culture, our ability to adapt is vital. Lose that and you lose your effectiveness. Thankfully, God has fashioned us with the capacity to adapt right from our conception.
Continue reading 'The Flexible Brain–key to cultural adaptability'»