Years ago, a speaker issued a challenge that impacted me: “Given who you are right now, how can you best make a difference in the world for good?

The first day I met "Karla," she was sitting at a table in a class I was substituting. Her eyes were big and fearful of this strange American teacher who had just walked in.

Most of China's population live in large, modern cities full of skyscrapers, newly built highways, and modern technology. But in the rural villages of central and western China life is very different.

This time of year I’m reminded of how life springs forth from the dry and barren ground and from trees that appear to be dead, like they will never come back to life. This reality reminds me that new life is always preparing to emerge unexpectedly from whatever loss or death I'm experiencing.

There is loss in leaving, and adults come to know it quickly. Experienced overseas workers learn how to make immediate friendships, grieve good-byes, and move on to the next wave of arrivals. There is a cycle, and most of us are transient. You get used to it.

One evening, 17 years ago, I was out walking my dog, and I began processing my life. That particular evening, I started thinking about my calling and my future.

Our thoughts and mindset determine how we view life, learning, and failure. Our minds are always observing and deciphering what's happening around us and what we need to do as a result. Sometimes we interpret life through a certain lens or particular mindset.

We asked an IDEAS Associate, who recently began working with our refugee project in Cyprus, to share how serving refugees has transformed her life.

With thumb and forefinger she wipes the tears welling up in her eyes. . .

I talk and teach a lot about “trauma-informed care.” Trauma-informed care basically means care (provided by anyone) informed by the knowledge of the science of what trauma does to the brain and body as well as the nuances of what this might look like emotionally and socially. This approach shifts away from the question of “What’s wrong with this person?” to a ...