Have You Seen? {December 17, 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.

Calling all Moms: You are Not Alone

Dorette Skinner, author of Pregnancy and Faith, led a Connection Group in the fall for new moms. All moms need community, not just new moms. Velvet Ashes is delighted that Dorette is going to host a closed Facebook group for any and all moms in Velvet Ashes. Click here to ask to join and she will let you in!

We have collected $26,108.00 of our $31,393.00 target. It is 83.17% of our goal for the Not Alone campaign


Last Week’s Theme: Joy

Despite the Circumstances by Laura Bowling—”Cross-cultural life lends itself to inconvenient and difficult situations – lost luggage, a long visa renewal process, language learning, cultural adaptation, team life and so on. We can easily allow all the crazy “normal” of our lives to become our sole focus and lose sight of the joy that comes from focusing on our Savior. The joy that comes when we reflect on all He’s done for us and how He’s sustained us.”

Waiting for Joy {Book Club} by Amy Young —”Our reading today begins with Sarai and Abram in Haran. Abram has received his well-known call to leave his country and to be used to bless the world by becoming a great nation through whom God would work. If you are like me, you are familiar with Sarai and Abram’s story. But if you’re also like me, you get a bit lost in how much time passes because the text in the Bible appears so closely together.”

My Christmas Mom by Nancy Mauger—”As our twenty-fourth Christmas overseas approached, an overwhelming sadness shrouded me. Shouldn’t it get easier with time? We arrived to Central America on December 28, 1991 with a babe in arms, ready for any adventure the Lord called us to. Over the years we built many wonderful relationships and established Christmas traditions of our own, untainted by US commercialism. We live in a country where nativity scenes are publicly celebrated, and it is the Baby Jesus, not Santa, who brings gifts.”

The Christmas Ache and the Conundrum of this Cross-Cultural Life by Danielle Wheeler—”I remember my first years in Asia, when I would leave the numbing winter in China for an annual conference in sunny Thailand. There I would find my people, the women that I had gone through training with when we all moved to Asia. We’d meet up and share stories late into the night. And when I finally would head to bed, my soul felt markedly lighter. I wondered why I felt this way, but then I realized; it was all the ‘me too’ moments. I was not alone. These women were living through the same struggles.”

Sweet Hymns of Joy {The Grove: Joy} by Kelly Delp—”Joy in the midst of darkness is part of what is promised to us as followers of Christ. When our world is turned upside down – or maybe when that same disappointment keeps presenting itself over and over again – it can seem impossible to find joy. The darkness can feel all-encompassing, it can feel like the heaviest of weights.”

From Around the Web

40 Ways to Build Community Overseas 

When You Find Love in Your Host Culture 

Overseas and Pregnant. Help! 

Table Games that Work Well Cross-Culturally 

Longest Day of My Life 

5 Ways I’ve Become A “Typical American” And 5 Ways I’m Still Very African  

Know anyone in or near Costa Rica? Tell them about Azmera’s retreat in Costa Rica! Connect in person with others who get your life and need personal refreshment.

Cross-cultural world, your day is coming

Finally, O Holy Night, The Disco Ball is Shining 

And Now for Next Week

The theme is ….

“Satan cannot counterfeit the peace of God or the love of God dwelling in us.” (Bob Mumford)

You know it. You’ve felt it. You’ve sense it drift away.

The peace of God. As scripture tells us, God gives peace that passes understanding.

This might be your first Christmas on the field. It might be the first after a significant change to your family and you are still adjusting. You might be in the midst of  a rich season of ministry.

God dwells among us in all seasons. This week, let us remind each other to be looking for and cultivating the peace of God.

What helps you to sense peace? It maybe magical and sparkly. It may not. We would love a peek into your world.

Join us in the comments all week and link your own blog post at The Grove. Share on Instagram with #VelvetAshesPeace and let us see your corner of the world.

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