Lessons Learned

I’d been eight months in the country. It was my first of many experiences: First time living away from family. First time overseas. First time living on my own. First time in a job where I was responsible for the work being done. First time living with the consequences of my actions when no one … More Lessons Learned

The Outsider

The year I graduated from college, I left home to spend two years in the Ivory Coast. Being a French major, I worked in a publication house for French-speaking West Africa. Now, thirty-some years later, I look back at my journals and see how I’ve changed or haven’t changed. I wrote about thinking how hard … More The Outsider

Volunteer

I had a memory pop up on Facebook this week, reminding me that it was nine years ago that I headed to the library to volunteer. A short four months later, I was running the joint! I wasn’t really going for that purpose. We had just returned a year earlier from the mission field. Twenty … More Volunteer

First Impressions

There are some moments in life you never forget. They become embedded pictures in your mind, even when the details grow fuzzy. My first visit to an African marketplace did it for me. The year was 1986. Only a few months in the capital city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, a friend took me to the … More First Impressions

The Maiden Voyage

I can’t decide if I should call this post, “The Maiden Voyage,” or “The Voyage of the Maiden.” Either one works, as I recall my first overseas flight. I was a mere 22-year-old maiden. The year was 1986, long before cell-phones or the internet or even fax machines. The Dark Ages, for most of you … More The Maiden Voyage

Unprepared

I know the verse, but obviously I’m not very good at applying it: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…* Preparation is important. I know when I’m heading to a board … More Unprepared

Leaving the field

Ten years ago today we left. Raouf had preceded us on this journey, so I was alone with my two boys and an unruly Egyptian dog. We almost didn’t make it out, but in the end, they let us on the plane, dog and all. We said goodbye to Egypt, but we also said goodbye … More Leaving the field

Interrogation

“Where were you last night? Who were you with? What were you doing? Why did you get home so late? Why didn’t you call?” Remember those days? I’ve had my share. My parents had a few rules and one was that, if we were going to be out later than our allotted time, we had … More Interrogation