Delicately my friend sets a well-used plastic shopping bag in front of us on the floor. We’ve been sitting for a while on a piece of folded old carpet and drinking strong tea out of miniature glasses. The plastic bag is stuffed with old photographs. 

Spending Christmas far from home, away from friends and family can be hard. And it can feel a bit surreal celebrating Christmas in a country where it’s not an official holiday. Yet, this distance means that unexpected signs of Christmas turn into precious gifts. Some of my favorite Christmas memories come from living abroad.

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It’s official! We’ve reached the one-year mark. One year ago, my husband, our three young kids, and I – along with 13 suitcases of everything we owned – boarded a plane and moved to South Asia, where we’ve lived, worked, and learned for 12 months now. As I reflect upon taking this giant leap of faith this time last year, I find myself stuck in a world of ...

Hope is transforming communities around the world! 15,000+ marginalized people are receiving healthcare, clean water, better farming techniques, quality education, & life skills through IDEAS projects. Thank you from those whose hope is being restored worldwide through these projects. . .

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Wearily, his mom leaves the family’s one-room home at the bottom of the apartment building to walk to the store. Her preteen son quietly sneaks out the door and peeks around the building corner to make sure that his mother is not turning back for something she forgot. He already knows that his father is away.

As soon as the doors open at the refugee center, people start streaming in, a barrage of needs and desperate requests: “I can’t get food coupons.” “Can I take English classes?” “I need clothing.” “The hospital won’t help me.” “I don’t have a place to live.” Each request is a reminder of the sheer numbers of refugees and the limited resources ...

Recently I realized I’ve learned another language. No, not Turkish, French, or Arabic, although I’ve learned each of those to varying degrees of proficiency. I guess it’s not actually another language I’m learning, but a dialect I call Expat.

Overseas living is like playing an old familiar game of life, but the rules are completely changed. How do I gain competence? How do I progress? How do I “play fairly?”

Several years ago, the possibility of taking my family overseas to a new country became a reality. Since then, our lives have been anything but predictable. Looking back, if I had known what I know now, I would not have been filled with doubt, fear, and hesitation. Instead, I would have been filled with expectation and excitement.

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For nearly a year before our family moved overseas, my mind was constantly processing the losses my young children would soon experience.