For the First Time in 1400 Years

By Emily Roth It is a special time of year for 1.8 billion people around the world. Something in the atmosphere makes this season different from any other. Those who celebrate it hang festive lights and exchange gifts. They host big dinners, serving seasonal dishes, and inviting honored guests. People give generously to the poor and needy. Everyone strives to be the best version of themselves. They reflect on the past year and feel hopeful for the year to come. And children watch out the windows with anticipation to see if they can spot...the moon. It is Ramadan. Based on…
May 6, 2020

The Courage and Sacrifice of an Indonesian Church

How a Jakarta Church is Living 360 Discipleship By Bruce Swanson Eric and Tina Yee’s church members are creating exciting impacts in all of their circles – personal, professional, and community. Eric has been discipling the church to obey all Jesus commanded, including living as salt and light. It is so cool to see them doing that with courage and sacrifice. From the Eric & Tina Yee’s Update | 04/22/2020 When COVID-19 began to enter Indonesia last month, everyone was unprepared for how quickly it escalated from precautions to closures to deaths. While it has been a difficult season, including the…
May 2, 2020

How Many Hot Dogs Does It Take to Unlock a Heart?

When God Locks Us in to Unlock Hearts in Ecuador By Matt and Kristy Messick We work with marriages.  And, in this culture, they are tough. Since 2016, we’ve been reaching marriages through an 8-week course called MAS en Mi Matrimonio (More in My Marriage).  It originally attracted mostly believers. In the last year, it has had a strong draw for non-believers. Graduates began to recommend the course around the city. We love building relationships here. When we first moved to Ecuador in 2014, Matt found a small store downtown that sold hotdogs--a cheap and fast snack he could grab…
May 1, 2020

2 Ways to Create Solitude and Silence

  By Ginny Jensen “How to Actually Concentrate” by Carolyn Yates addresses concentration in our everyday life. It also has a great application to how we approach our relationship with the Lord. Time with the Lord requires more than going through the motions. We often struggle to concentrate on the mundane things of life. So, how do we focus on the Lord? Yates provides several tools in her article to help build concentration or focus. She points out that we are so used to multi-tasking that we struggle to focus on one thing. In our time with the Lord, do…
April 29, 2020

3 Principles For Times of Anxiety

  By Ming Perrello, MS, LPC I confess that I have been anxious. My sleep has often been fitful. My body is tense and I feel restless. I am easily irritated. I feel busy yet I am busier in my mind than with my hands. Who can blame me?  I live near the epicenter of the COVID-19 hotspot of New York City. The climate here is tense; just about everyone knows someone who has the virus. I am a caregiver to my husband who has multiple sclerosis, a memory-impaired 88-year-old father, and a brother who is a paraplegic.  I am…
April 28, 2020

Hot and Cold Climate Cultures

By Bruce Thomas  Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot and Cold Climate Cultures by Sarah Lanier is an especially important book for all beginning global workers. It explains several basic cultural differences encountered by people across the world. If a person has never been exposed to a culture other than their own, this is a particularly good place to start. The book is in no way exhaustive of cultural differences. It also does not cover the specifics of every culture or country. The book is meant to provide a general overview of how cultural differences can affect thinking…
April 27, 2020

Meme, Myself and Isolation

Health for the Whole Person by Christy Otten, MA, LCPC The internet has been awash with memes about the coronavirus. You may have seen the one(s) about Isaac Newton: He discovered theories of gravity and motion during a plague—the message clearly being that you can do a lot while staying inside. Then, there are the ones especially for parents—one tells us that while you, as the parent, know this is a crisis, your children may only remember scavenger hunts, family game nights, and the immense amount of together time. Imagine the family memories you can create! If I’m being honest,…
April 24, 2020

Shelter in Place: Hannah

  By Ginny Jensen Sometimes, when we feel like we are captive, it has nothing to do with our location. Loss, physical limitations, or broken relationships (to name a few) can hold us captive. Consider Hannah. She was barren in a society that gave honor to childbearing. She was provoked by her rival. Her husband deeply loved her, but her deep desire for a child left her anxious, grieved, and frustrated. In the midst of her grief, she poured out her heart in the temple and was seen by the high priest, Eli. Hannah told Eli the priest about her…
April 20, 2020

Shelter in Place: Jesus

  By Ginny Jensen Shelter in Place usually means home. When Jesus left heaven, it was like leaving his home. He was perfect yet living in a broken world. Jesus remained close to the Father while on earth. He made choices based on the word of the Father. He was abiding. Jesus’ time alone prior to Satan’s tempting him gives insight into his practices to maintain intimacy with the Father. It included fasting and solitude. He was able to refute Satan, showing his familiarity with Scripture. Imagine those days alone in prayer and meditation; silently listening to the Father. Solitude…
April 19, 2020

The Inner Life, World, and Vision of Healthy Cross-Cultural Servants

  By Dr. Dennis Ahern, Director, Paraclete Services  “You really like your work,” observed an eager short-term missionary after a few days of serving alongside me in Asia. In that moment, her question perplexed me and so I replied, “If I didn’t like my work, I’d change jobs. What led you to this observation?” She responded, “Our team travels on short-term assignments and we serve many career missionaries living in Asia. I’ve decided that many missionaries hate their work.” How accurate is this young woman’s observation today? Is ministry to be enjoyed or do we discover God’s will only after…
April 17, 2020