Have You Seen? {September 15, 2019}

Have you heard about Global Trellis? This new resource is designed just for you, dear overseas worker, to provide encouragement, professional development, and resources that come to you right where you are. This month’s workshop features Lauren Pinkston, one of our writers!

Last Week’s Theme: Introductions

Soul Writing by Joy Smalley—”I didn’t hear about Velvet Ashes until about my sixth month in Southeast Asia. It came by way of my mom, who shot me off an email and said, ‘You should write for them.’ She was currently living in Asia herself and had been introduced to Velvet Ashes through another cross-cultural worker. Now, writing has been my lifeline for a long time, from the day I became enthralled with Harriet the Spy while living within the cold Mongolian steppes. It has been my place of safety and imagination, a place I could express myself fully in a way I wasn’t able to in real life. I could be a ninja spy who fought against injustice or an Amy Carmichael that saved children from harm. I could have the ability to travel through time and meet with characters long dead or be dropped behind enemy lines in WW2. It was a way for me to be strong when I felt otherwise helpless.”

Relationships and a Cultural Chameleon {Book Club} by Rachel Kahindi—”Noah describes himself as ‘mixed but not colored–colored by complexion but not by culture.’ As he grew older, he and his mother moved into a colored neighborhood. He learned that ‘…it is easier to be an insider as an outsider than to be an outsider as an insider.’ In other words, when someone seems like one of us, but acts like one of them, we reject that person. On the other hand, if someone who is one of them starts acting like one of us, they will be accepted. This was demonstrated in the willingness of apartheid to reclassify someone’s race if they met certain requirements. And it was demonstrated in Noah’s story: he lived in a colored neighborhood as someone who was apparently colored, but he acted black. The neighborhood kids rejected and bullied him. The worst time, Noah tells us, he manipulated his mother’s boyfriend (Abel, who would become his stepfather) to confront the bullies, when Abel was drunk and violent. I was cringing throughout that story. I wouldn’t expect a kid to know better, but his mother obviously did. She begged Noah not to tell Abel what happened. She had made good decisions at other points in her life, and I have to wonder why she was with Abel and why she ended up marrying him.”

They won’t love the attention but… by Denise Beck—”I have always been really hard to buy gifts for. I like simple things, but they are specific things. This fact means I don’t love to get things that don’t fit the exact need I have because then I just have more things. (Have I lost you yet?)  This used to drive my very loving and very doting husband crazy because on top of me being a challenge to buy for, he hates shopping – and gift giving is a struggle. So our first years of marriage were a hysterical dance of us trying to be excited about giving and receiving weird things. (We have now settled into the “Let’s just adventure together” gift territory) So when I say today that I have received an amazing gift by getting to know a fantastic group of women, you now know the weight behind what those words mean for me.  And I want to share that gift with you!”

The Power of That Little Heart by Dani Fairbairn–”When it comes to social media, I’ve always been late to the game. The first time I logged on to Facebook was after moving to a new state, and a friend asked me to make a Facebook profile so that we could stay in touch more easily. She was my only friend on the site for quite some time, and I rarely ever posted. Instagram wasn’t much different. My college roommate suggested I download it and helped me decide what to upload for my first post. Again, about a year went by between that post and my next. It wasn’t until I left to go study abroad in London promising people back home I would share what I was up to that I started to realize how fun social media could be. In the years since, social media and particularly Instagram has become a creative outlet for me. I love putting together stories about my crazy life in Southeast Asia and fun moments from the classroom. My feed allows me to think imaginatively and intentionally with the words and pictures I post. It’s a space that not only allows me to share these small moments of my day but to share what the Father has been teaching me and His goodness with those around me.”

Hi! My Name Is… {The Grove: Introductions} by Sarah Hilkemann—”Hey Friends. And now, introducing… you! Yes, you, you who rarely comment or you who often comment. You who are reading this. In a week when we are pulling back the curtain and letting you get a peek inside the day-to-day life of Velvet Ashes, we want to know you too! Below you will find 10 questions that will help us get to know each other. You can copy and paste them into the comments, and I’ll give my answers here too- it’s only fair. Feel free to share as little or as much as you want. You could even pick just one question to answer. We just would love to hear from you!”

From Around the Web


Being A Ligament In The Global Body

When You Need to Make Major Life Decisions

Noteworthy on Instagram: Back-to-School Pep Talks

 Finding Holy Ground

Finally, Learning to Live in the Incomplete

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

Maybe you knew the minute you exited the airport. This new home of yours was different from the one you just left.

Did you have a picture in your mind of what cross-cultural life was going to be like? How’s that going for you?

Opposites can overlay every aspect of our lives. You left palm trees for evergreens, four seasons for hot ALL THE TIME, independence for sharing everything, small town life for bustling city. Perhaps the team you thought would be your solid rock left before you even got there. The ministry you came to serve asked you to take on a different role.

All these changes, the ones we were expecting and the ones that sneak up on us, can be joyful or exhausting or confusing. Our longing for the familiar can become a constant companion.

What do you do with all the things that are the opposite where you live?

Our posts this week will center around these opposites and we hope you will resonate with the stories that are coming! Share your pictures this week on Instagram and use the hashtag #VelvetAshesOpposites! We love seeing glimpses of your lives around the world.

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