Have You Seen? {June 17, 2018}

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.

Last Week’s Theme: Family

Confessions of a Black Sheep by M’Lynn Taylor—”If I could go back in time to the moment I arrived on the field with my first baby in tow, I would pull myself aside and give this piece of advice: you don’t have to sacrifice the needs of your family on the altar of ministry because your family is your biggest ministry. I especially needed these words of wisdom when it came to the big decisions we’d face during our decade abroad.”

A Piece O’ Master’s Humbug {Book Club} by Amy Young—”We also see a growing understanding from Margaret as she learns more about the North. It is the next theme that was the focus of this section of the book. ‘So I am [taken with the ways of the South country],” said Margaret, smiling a little, as she found herself thus caught. “I only mean, Bessy, there’s good and bad in everything in the world; and as you felt the bad up here, I thought it was but fair you should know the bad down there.’ “

I’m Sorry You Had to See This Mess by Shari Tvrdik—”For a few seconds I stood with a ridiculous grin before my classmates without any guesses spilling from their lips. And then some laughter in the room when one man shouted out, ‘She’s happy… but that’s what she always looks like… she’s always happy!’ I felt my knees go weak. Later that night in my hotel room I replayed the scene as I fell asleep. In reality, these people were meeting me, Shari the cross-cultural worker, in what may prove to be my darkest hour. And I mean real, real dark.”

But What’s So Different about Being an Expat Family, Anyway? by Rachel Pieh Jones—”My twins are seniors and our conversations have naturally turned toward university choices. For my family, of course, that includes conversations about America and culture, home and upbringing. We moved to Somalia when the twins were two and we’ve lived in the Horn of Africa ever since. One evening, my daughter asked, ‘But what’s really so different about growing up here? How does my experience compare with that of a high school girl in Minnesota?’ How can I even begin to answer?”

A Gospel Family {The Grove: Family} by Kelly Delp—”Anyone you talk to who has done overseas work will tell you that it is the most intensely lonely work they have ever done. I don’t mean any single person—I mean anyone. Single, married, married with kids, it doesn’t matter what our relationship status is—overseas work is lonely.”

From Around the Web

When does life get easy?

Easy ways to add cross-cultural work to your VBS

And Now for Next Week

The theme is….

We wrestle with the tension, finding ways to dig deep roots in our cross-cultural location while never fully belonging. We are citizens of somewhere and nowhere, calling more than one place home.

Aliens and Citizens.

We are both, aren’t we?

We will be walking down both of these roads over the next two weeks, remembering we are strangers (and sometimes very strange) and uncovering what it means to be a citizen. This week, ponder with us what it means to be an alien in our line of work, and show up at The Grove to share your thoughts and comments. What do the people in your context think of foreigners? Share your alien stories over on Instagram this week with the hashtag #VelvetAshesAliens.

How have you been feeling your foreignness lately?

What do you think?

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