At the Southeastern Women’s Life blog, Amy Whitfield shared about her first overseas trip in over a decade, and the first for her two children. Amy writes:
As 2016 came to a close, I found myself with the strange emotional mix of anxiety and anticipation. Three days after Christmas I was getting on an airplane (five airplanes, to be precise) and headed to the other side of the world. My husband was leading a trip to Southeast Asia and our whole family was going with him. It was my first trip overseas in over a decade, and the first time our children (ages 11 and 13) would ever leave the country.
In a post at the Baptist Press, Amy King also shared about taking kids on overseas mission trips.
We were celebrities and oddities in a rolling caravan. And by rolling, I mean with actual wheels — a double stroller and several wheeled suitcases trailing my husband Steven and me as we careened through an Asian airport with our two boys, ages 3 and 1.
In an American airport, perhaps we would have been a passing entertainment, avoided in security lines and processed with great pains. Yet in this Asian country, as I sweated my way through an immigration line, it was as if we had a golden ticket.
“This way!” the security manager called, waving us to a VIP line with no waiting. The once-stern boss then proceeded to coo and teach our boys how to count to 10 in the local language.
We had arrived on our first mission trip as a family of four, and I quickly realized my children had broken down barriers from the moment they stepped, or rode, into the country.
At The Gospel Coalition, Lauren Hansen shared a post titled: “My Empty Womb and a Forgotten Prophecy“.
In May 2014, I found out that my friend Carter had died. That was 28 months into my infertility journey. Twenty-eight months of Please, God, please; No, Lord, no; and Show us your grace, Father. Twenty-eight cycles of wait, despair, and trust in the One who planned purpose in it all. My husband and I had endured the tests, taken the standard medication, administered the shots, and had found ourselves with medically diagnosed “unexplained infertility.” And we were two months from the end of our treatment plan and from giving over our unmet hope of biological children to God and resting in him there.
We had tried to figure out why God would withhold a child from us. Was he disciplining us? Was he protecting us from something we didn’t know? Did he have an entirely different purpose for our lives that could not be fulfilled with biological children? We never landed on an answer, but we knew God was at work. Like Jesus in Gethsemane or Paul with his thorn, our heavenly Father always has a greater purpose that requires quiet obedience. Job did not receive explanations, only assurances of God’s character. God is full of surprises, and by his grace we found peace in whatever his plan for our lives—with or without kids—because we learned to trust that we truly wanted what he wanted for us.
And we wanted what he promises: more and more of himself.
At The Intersect Project, Harper McKay posted an article discussing the refugee crisis with a reminder that as followers of Christ, our lives must be about God’s glory among all nations. Harper writes:
It was just a few years ago. News started to pour in that refugees were fleeing war torn and oppressive nations in North Africa and the Middle East in unprecedented numbers.
After my initial shock and incredible sadness for these people escaping for their lives, my next thought was, “Aslan is on the move.”
If you’ve read the famous tale, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” you know that Aslan is the great lion king who conquers the evil witch and saves his people in the land of Narnia. In the beginning of this story, Narnians start to see changes around them that are bigger than they are, more powerful than they could muster. They perceive that Aslan, their King, is working, and although they are still frightened, they have a sense of wonder and excitement about what is coming.
Amy Medina posted at her blog discussing 10 myths about Africa many Americans believe.
I am going to debunk the following myths with what I have learned by living in Tanzania, since that is the country I am most familiar with. However, keep in mind that I will be speaking broadly, and knowingly countering the stereotypes about Africa with more stereotypes (albeit, hopefully more accurate stereotypes). In any culture or country, people live along a spectrum, and it’s important that we don’t ever lump an entire group (or continent) of people under any particular label. My main goal is to use what I have learned in Tanzania to change the mental picture many Westerners have of Africa.