Have You Seen? {August 20, 2017}

Welcome to Have You Seen? We’ll review last week and share other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

Ministry Rhythm Reminder

For the month of July and August we have one less post a week. Thursday morning (Asia)/Wednesday afternoon (EST) your inbox will be empty. Our Social Media streams will be quiet. As a community we will use these blank spots as a reminder we are practicing ministry rhythms together.

Last Week’s Theme: Welcome to Living Cross-Culturally

The Art of Belonging by Joy Smalley—”Over the course of that next year as I waited for my daughter’s class to end, I had the opportunity to begin chatting and interacting (in broken language) with the other ballet moms. On one such day, one of the women brought along her spa samples for us all to try, you know, kind of like an impromptu Mary Kay party. I sat on that couch, surrounded by women, all of us wearing a face mask, laughing at the ridiculousness of how we looked. Talking about how soft our skin was going to be.”

Ove Finds It’s All Incredibly Irritating {Book Club} by Amy Young—”Yes, Ove has been kicked by life. And yet. And yet, also woven is the kindness of people. The foreman at the construction site who turned a blind eye and let Ove take wood. The fellow workers who called him “The Puppy” and gave him used tools and then bought him new tools. His landlady who suggested he get flowers for Sonja on their first date. And Sonja. I can see why Ove described her as ‘all color.’ “

10 Tips For Cross-Cultural Living + Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits by Ashley Felder—”But since learning (and still learning) the language, I can see much, much deeper into the culture and begin to understand some of the reasons they do the things they do…so, so opposite of my culture! People approach language learning in many different ways; my only encouragement is to study at whatever pace you can handle, and don’t stop! What a blessing it is to have deep, meaningful conversations with locals in their own language. When they know they can express their hearts without having to fumble over English words, they will dive in fast.”

An Important Part {The Grove: Welcome to Living Cross-Culturally} by Amy Young—”In a sermon on The Lost Sheep, I learned that a sheep separated from the flock will be in shock and freeze up. The enemy loves to divide and conquer. He wants you alone, isolated, stuck. But God has a better plan than being frozen and alone. In recent years, more and more resources have sprung up that allow us to connect and share our lives . . . Velvet Ashes is one of these resources.”

From Around the Web

When I Was the New Missionary

Living As An Acceptable Outsider

Dear Future Cross-Cultural Worker: How to Prepare

Furlough (for the uninitiated)

Video – Interview for New Wine on Chronic Illness and Faith

8 Foods You Never Knew You Could Make from Scratch in China

Cross-Cultural Worker, know thyself!

Should TCKs Take Their Parents to College?

The Fourth Gutsy Girl = Dr. Jennifer Wiseman

Finally, A Spacious Place

And Now for Next Week

The theme is ….

Our excitement this month at Velvet Ashes continues as we are in the third week of our four week “Welcome” Series.

Here’s what the four weeks will hold:

This week we will focus on “Welcome to Ministry Life” and want to talk openly about some of what you will face. Ministry life has become a home to us. For some of us, it is all we have known in our adult working life.

So, first of all, welcome. Truly. Ministry life can be wonderful!

But it does come with unique challenges. Is having dinner with local friends part of your “job?” Or is it social and for fun? (It depends. But prior to ministry life, the lines between working and socializing were clearer).

It also comes with unique blessings. How many people are paid to bring life and light to those who are in darkness?

This 30 minute video is one to watch! It is called GodSpeed and it looks at the speed God works. It follows a man as he grows in his understanding of ministry life. Watch it alone, or with teammates and discuss it. The makers of the video have made these discussion questions and if I could, I would make them mandatory for you :).

Have you been following Kathryn Bronn, a member of our Instagram team? She moved to Costa Rica in early August and has been chronicling her adjustments to the field with us via Velvet Ashes Stories. You will be able to follow along and comment as she goes through her first month. (You can find the InstaStories along the top of Instagram.  Look for the Velvet Ashes Logo and join in the fun). If you’re not following us, now is a good time to start!

What can you add to the conversation when it comes to MinistryLife? Share on Instagram using #VelvetAshesWelcomeMinistryLife and #VelvetAshesWelcome. Also join the conversation in the comments and at The Grove, Thursday 6 p.m. EST. Bring your blog posts to link up.



  1. Michele August 19, 2017

    Thanks for the link to Godspeed! That was excellent! I have really been enjoying this ‘Welcome’ month. I moved to Asia twenty years ago this month and am finding the discussions sparking memories, rekindling that old fire and remembering how worth it the hard stuff is.

    1. Amy Young August 20, 2017

      Michele! Thanks for the comment 🙂 and for the shout out to the video — I hope people will be inspired by you and your words are the nudge for more to watch! And, like you, this series is brining back many memories :). I’m thankful God is using it to rekindle and remember :). (In a nutshell, that may be one of His strengths!)

  2. Bayta Schwarz August 20, 2017

    That video – amazing! So much to think (and talk) about, as we do life and ministry in a major city – about as far removed from being in a fish bowl as you can be!

    Oh, and it cracked me up that they had subtitles for the Scottish accent! Too funny 🙂

    1. Amy Young August 20, 2017

      I agree about how helpful those questions are! And, like you, I smiled when subtitles were added for the Scottish accents :)!

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