Conquering the Intercession Fatigue that Cultural Stress Creates

Have you ever experienced "intercession fatigue" due to frustration, negativity, and even anger towards those whom God has clearly called you to love and serve? I have. This can often be of particular challenge to cross-cultural missionaries due to culture stress. Most long-term missionaries work through the grueling process of culture shock as they make a new country their home, …

The Week Our Neighbor Died, Here in Our Small Village

Last weekend our neighbor died. I'm still thinking about it because the circumstances around his death and the response to his death are nothing I've ever experienced.  And, it was our children's first encounter with death, up-close. Beto was 23.  He was born and lived his entire life in this little village called Cacalotepec (population: 700) …

Love People Even When it Doesn’t Pay Off, Simply Because You Love Jesus

A reading of John 21 shows us that six of Jesus' disciples returned to their nets after three years of living life under his teaching.  They returned to fishing after his crucifixion, after his resurrection and after his glorified appearance to them. After their initial obedience to Jesus' call to "follow me," they went back …

Understanding Money in Relation to Missionaries: What You Need to Know

In June, while in Texas, I met a writer-friend in a chic little coffee shop.  Jackie leaned forward and urged me with southern drama and drawl, "You gotta write out the things that scare you the worst because those are the things that people need to hear the most." Just days before this, our family …

What It’s Like for a Missionary Family to Return to the US on Furlough After Their First Term

My family and I have lived in Mexico for the past four years. In the last 48 months, we've only been back to the States for about 7 weeks.  This means that over 96% of our previous four years of life has been lived in Mexico. Our friends are there.  Our pets are there.  Our memories …

Studying The Prayers of the Bible: Nuggets from Genesis through Leviticus

I have been slowly continuing my study of all the prayers of the Bible, having already completed and posted about the prayers of Genesis.   Herbert Lockyer's classic book has been my faithful guide and will continue to lead me through the rest of the prayers of the entire bible.  I anticipate this will take me about …

The Night Jesus Came Off the Streets and into our Home through a Woman named Salome

This year, my daily morning prayer goes something like this: "I'm all yours, Jesus.  I trust you.  Fill me afresh Holy Spirit.  Empower me to be love.  Whatever, Papa God, whatever you desire today.  Whomever you send to me today. Wherever you call me, I'll go. Whatever you ask of me, I will give. Let me …

Studying Through the Prayers of the Bible: Genesis Cries

Today I completed a year-long personal devotional and expositional study of the earliest concept of prayer and all the prayers recorded in the book of Genesis.  Herbert Lockyer's classic book has been my faithful guide and will continue to lead me through the rest of the prayers of the entire bible. Prayer, understood most simply …

The Story of our House Helper: The Power of the Gospel is Greater than Power Distance

"Mama, she is sitting alone on the floor in the corner of my room with her plate, eating her lunch there!" cried my then 7-year old son.  This was the second time we saw Tere, our once-a-week "maid" take her afternoon lunch break this way.  Not only that, but she shuffled when she walked and …

Easter Here is Not the Same as Easter There

In a culture where the name of Jesus is not unknown to anyone, the meaning of His death and life is strangely obscure. Which is why, in some ways, it is said that it is harder to bring others to the Gospel here than in a Muslim country. Why? Here, they are so close, yet so far away. So very far away. Here, Jesus stays on the cross. His suffering is still happening and the more one can share in that suffering the greater one can earn favor in heaven and heaven itself. Which is why, when working in many of the villages where the more "simple" dwell, there is little grumbling or complaining. They are conditioned to be content with their lot in life not out of gratitude, but more so out of the belief that if they suffer well and suffer much, divine favor will rest upon them.

Finding the Meaning of Home in a Foreign Land

Becoming a missionary in foreign soil has a way of making your roots looser—the tentacles to this world don’t attach so tenaciously. How can they when you find yourself in a place that is utterly unlike all of your cultural programing? Your anchor is no longer hooked between the rocks of familiarity, but in Who is there when all those rocks roll away -- Jesus.