Tag Archives: Missions

Fitting in

Fitting in.

Most people relate “fitting in” to the teen-age or middle-school-age years when finding your crowd can come with many challenges. Being a former middle-school teacher, I’ve seen my fare share of kids trying to change and be someone they’re not in order to fit in with a group they want to be in. Not a fun time!

Fortunately, I never really struggled with the “fitting in” issue in school (not that I didn’t have other issues) but that wasn’t one of them.

Unfortunately, I struggle with it more now, as an adult.

It’s not for a lack of friends, cuz to be honest I have some GREAT ones! It’s also not for a lack of wanting to be in a group that I’m not in either…. the truth is: many times I just have a difficult time relating to others.

Living around the world in various cultures is a tremendous calling, but it’s also changed me beyond words.  Each new place has impacted me in new ways and changed my outlook and actions toward life, as well as changing me on the inside.  I’ve taken treasures from each culture, which translates into me becoming a “melting pot” of sorts.

While all this is wonderful and great, here’s the problem… I never 100% fit in.

When I go home to The States, I find it difficult to relate to others, as the “American” in me has dwindled down to less and less over the years.  Sure, I still love my country and the Detroit Red Wings (had to get that one in, Joseph) but there’s only so far you can go with these topics.

I could give examples from each place: Brazil, Africa, Israel… but it boils down to this… I rarely feel like I really fit in anywhere, and sometimes it’s a lonely, difficult cross to bare.

Although there probably aren’t too many people here on earth who truly understand me, I KNOW there is someone up there who does! And Someday…. well, it’s one place I know I’ll fit in 🙂


It’s not about you.

I had a bit of a wake up call last night.

I was watching Secret Millionaire online (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a great show… cried through most of it) when the call came. It was from HIM.

You see…. I’ve been frustrated. Being called to missions in a foreign place isn’t always a cup of tea, but sometimes we add our own problems and issues on top of that.  I’ve been trying to set up a “presence” for Shine to build up supporters.  Facebook. Twitter. Blog. etc etc etc.

And I guess if I’m going to be honest, I’ve been disappointed.  Not only disappointed in the lack of response, but disappointed in myself. I’ve been caught up with the newsletters, support, finances, updates… things that we think we need to focus on; but really they should only be add-on’s to our mission.

But it wasn’t until last night that I realized what I was doing.  The “secret millionaire” went undercover to volunteer with non-profits to see where the real need was, and surprised them in the end with a huge check.  It wasn’t the huge check that got my attention, it was the org’s.  All of them were small, and unknown (except within their community).  They weren’t worried about who knew what they were doing or what publicity they were receiving…. they were concerned about the people they were helping.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

And while I adore all of you, I won’t be trying to gain your praises any time soon.  I’m re-focusing my attention on them…. (and I’m still hoping one day you’ll join me) 🙂


Book Review: Voices of the Faithful

I have never felt so connected to a devotional book than with this one.  Not only is this a yearly devotional, but it’s a yearly devotional written by missionaries serving all over the world.  Each day is a new verse and a short story written by a missionary from their “neck of the woods”. The stories come from ALL over the world and give a glimpse into the area in which they serve.  Its a year focus on missions, the passion of my heart.

Now you understand why I relate so easily to the stories and devotionals. There’s something that comes with the connection of other missionaries on the field.  Though we live in different areas of the world, and our stories vary with region, we seem to have SO many experiences in common (as all my other missionary friends can attest to).

Another wonderful addition to this devotional is the forward each month, written by Beth Moore (and if you know me well, you know I love her).  She has a flavor of writing that I adore!

To all my friends living on the field, I KNOW you will love this book!  The stories will make you laugh and cry, and believe me when I say that we can relate to each one of them.  I am dedicating this review to all of you that I have worked with in various countries, and all of you who I have gotten to know over time, who are also diligently serving to the ends of the world….

In hopes that you will find a way to add this wonderful devotional to your collections.


Reaching the next generation

This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at my aunts church in Minnesota about Botswana.  While speaking at churches is a regular occurance for a missionary during furlough, its usually done speaking to adults in the main service.  Now, from a missionary perspective, this is practical in many ways.  

1. Its the adults who support you financially and spiritually.

2. The adults can grasp the “big picture” of what your ministry is trying to accomplish.

3. Its just what you do.

….but sometimes we need to put practical aside and reach out beyond “practical”.

Sooooo, being that my aunt is the children’s pastor for her church, she also asked me to come back and give a presentation to the kids.  I have to say, I was more excited about the prospect of speaking with children than adults (thats probably my teaching background coming out).  I put together a slide show, I brought fun show-n-tell items for them to see, and we put together a “what they eat” segment where I actually cooked fried cabbage in front of them and they could taste it.  (Most of them weren’t too thrilled about the fried cabbage, but they LOVED the fat cakes we made.)  I also shared the differences between being a kid in the US verses being a kid in Botswana.

Overall, it was awesome!  They loved the pictures, the food, the stories, and all the animals they saw.  As I was leaving I realized how important it is to bring awareness to children about other cultures and areas of the world and how we can help them.  If we are going to try to make an impact on our world, we need to start not only reaching out to those who can help us now, but also to those who will be out there doing the work in the next generation. Adults are important to reach, but lets not forget the children! As Whitney says, “I believe the children are our future.”  hehehe


Protected: Furlough…I’m on my way home

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


%d bloggers like this: