Walking, Jumping, and Praising God

Valentine’s Day 2016 fell on a Sunday, and on this particular one, I went to a village church and met a little boy that would capture my heart and leave a mark on it forever.  He was about twelve years old, skinny, and leaning on a wooden stick. His face…

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Maybe This is What “Third Culture” Means

If you are around me enough during my first few weeks back into the United States, you might notice a few things that could be explained as “reverse culture shock”.  You might notice that I always take my shoes off at the door, that I am paralyzed by the amount…

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On Our Knees

Every day, hundreds of refugees are flooding into Greece and countries like it around the Mediterranean Rim, seeking refuge from conflict and crisis. You have probably heard news headlines about the modern day refugee crisis, but I wonder how many people are hearing about what this means in the spiritual…

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Pilgrimage

As the tour bus wound its way towards the ancient city of Philippi, our guide talked enthusiastically into his microphone, giving us tons of information about the history, climate, culture, and geography of the area. My mind was already set on Paul, since we had been tracing his second missionary…

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Agenda for Rejoicing

“Just don’t look down!” was one of the many encouragements shouted down the ladder as those of us already at the top of the water tower cheered on the ones below.  It’s just a simple metal ladder that goes from the ground all the way to the top, by for…

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Grace Infusion

Africans have a different way of viewing money, and it can be very confusing to those of us who grew up in western thought. I read a book once that discusses these kinds of cultural differences, and I found myself audibly exclaiming “aha” and “oh, that makes so much sense…

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Break My Plans

“So what are you doing after this?” She innocently asked.  I found myself in a familiar place, one that I’m starting to get more used to. “I don’t really know,” I replied.  I explained how I had planned to go to Burkina Faso for a week before going to the…

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A Colorful Tour

I rolled my eyes a little bit when I heard we were going to have a tour guide take us along a hike in the woods. Don’t get me wrong, I love hiking; it’s the tour guide part that I’m not particularly fond of. My knowledge of the woods and…

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Faith in Unfulfilled Promises

If you look at west Africa on google earth, you will see a very distinct natural line that runs east-west and separates the land into two regions – the barren, dusty Sahara desert and the lush tropical coastal region. Everything north of this line is brown, everything south is green,…

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The Not-So-Ordinary

There are some days of living in west Africa that I just want to remember. Not because anything extraordinary happened, but rather because what ordinarily happens is just so unordinary. Sometimes I can’t believe what happens in a “regular” day. And it’s funny: I used to think the western world…

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