The State Department of the United States has numerous resources and programs that can help make traveling and living overseas safer and keep you informed about what is happening in the country where you are traveling or living.

I felt that I’d been gone too long – over three years.  I was desperate to get back to the familiar "home" of the States.  I wanted back to familiar people and places.

 At IDEAS, we value and believe that community is formed by intentional relationships, and is the context in which we collaborate, work, serve and care.

I admit, I have far too often packed way too much stuff when I have traveled. And I have so often regretted it! But over the last few years I’ve learned the advantages of traveling with a carry-on only.

“Keep on loving each other as brothers.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

One of the challenges of living in a new culture is that things often don’t make sense.  Why do local people act in ways that aren’t logical?  Why do they look at me strangely when I act in perfectly normal ways?

As we enter the Christmas season, I wanted to look beyond our celebration here in the United States. So, I asked some of our IDEAS Associates how their view of Christmas has changed by living overseas.

Do you have skeletons in your closet? Our Associates in Egypt do, and he even has a name – Max.

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a first-year, first grade teacher in your first year overseas? Read how one IDEAS volunteer is learning to thrive in the classroom and navigate a new culture and community!

I just had one of those uncomfortable moments with one of my adult children.  I asked about doing something that concerned his family, got a negative nonverbal reaction, and because of time, we didn’t get it figured out.  All day long my mind has been exploring reasons why my request elicited that response.