Have You Seen? {November 3rd, 2019}

Last Week’s Theme: Telling their Story

To Share or Not to Share: Adoption Stories by Jodie Pine—”Likewise in our adoption journey, I have learned from others along the way to be more mindful of what I share and what I don’t share. I’ve realized that more carefully considering how and why I share our boys’ stories will be better for them in the long run. I don’t want to quickly toss out words about them for public consumption—that seem good and useful to me—but would actually be better left on our own private shelf.”

Uncomfortable Love in Community {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”I’ve been stretching myself lately to listen to people who have different opinions than I do, or different theological or faith backgrounds. People who come from different parts of the world, or are a different race. What if I truly listened, sought to understand their side and their story, with no strings attached? It’s been hard, to be honest. Part of me wants to run back to what is comfortable and familiar, or rush forward in judgment. But I’m sticking around, trying to learn and listen and letting the questions keep coming up to the surface.”

Give Them a Voice by Georgia Ainsworth—”Once I began to write, I recognised the danger of slipping into the same old story — the repetitive narrative that the West has heard over the years about Africa — that they need us and that we are their only solution to long term change. This was a hot and controversial topic during my time on board. On a daily basis I grappled with choices about how to share people’s stories. Sometimes there was some resistance from medical staff, as it was so out of their comfort zone to let us take photos and share details about patients. You’re not allowed to do that back in your home country, they would protest, so why does working overseas change the rules? Did we think their confidentiality wasn’t as important as ours? Did we think they wouldn’t mind because they probably would never see the material?” 

When It’s Not My Story by Laura Cerbus—”When the question, “What have I done?” prompts our story-telling, others, especially those we see ourselves as serving, become props to highlight our work and accomplishments. Their voices, their stories, become lost in our narrative, because all we see are how they are helping or hindering us. Are they a positive or negative contribution to the work we are doing? But when we ask, “What is God doing?” we cannot view others so neatly. Suddenly the complexity of their lives comes into focus, and the mystery of what God is doing humbles us. Telling their stories requires reverence, special care. How much do we know? How much remains unknown?”

Tell It To Me Straight {The Grove: Telling Their Story} by Monica F—”I tried my best to write out of humility, to raise awareness, to elicit prayer and encourage involvement. I wanted people ‘back home’ to get a taste of our life overseas- to meet our friends, our team mates, walk the paths, and listen to the sounds around us. I wanted it to be real. Did I do this perfectly? No. I look back at some of my newsletters and cringe, not because they were poorly written, but because I wasn’t “telling it straight.” I wrote out of arrogance, ignorance, or trying to meet the ‘expectations’ of people back home. Yikes.”

From Around the Web

New Podcast episode from Jonathan and Elizabeth Trotter: How to Transition to the Foreign Field and Not Croak 

Conformed to the Image of Christ. What is it All About?

Gardening and Eating Seasonally

In Praise of Care Packages

Some Things Just Make You Laugh With Delight

Noteworthy on Instagram: From-Scratch Meal Help and The Power of a Good Story

Finally, The Hidden Gift of Pain

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

We are so thankful for the men and women who have gone before us on this cross-cultural journey, who’ve been on the field for decades or filled us with inspiration to keep going ourselves. 

We are featuring posts this week from those veteran workers as we honor them and continue to learn from their wisdom. 

If you don’t consider yourself a veteran, what is one question you would love to ask them? How would you like to thank them for their service, for the doors they have opened for you? 

We hope you will interact in the comments this week, but also think about ways to connect with the long-term workers who are near you, or that you know in other places. Make a phone call, send an email, schedule an iced coffee date and hear their stories. Learn from their experiences and let the Father use that encouragement right where you are in your journey.

Also join us on Instagram this week, and make sure you use the hashtag #VelvetAshesTheVeteran or #VelvetAshes!

Did you know we pray for you in the community each month? Send us a DM on Instagram with your requests or use the hashtag #VelvetAshesPrayer.

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