To encourage means to make strong, to hearten, to give courage and hope to someone. Who in your life needs courage and hope today?

Growing up, I had a lot of hobbies. Then I got married and had children. I no longer had time for fun and leisure activities. My life became filled with work, family responsibilities, kids’ homework, running my kids to their after-school activities—life. 

Life is full of encounters that mold us and mature us. For me, experiences that have molded me and matured me are often accompanied with humility.

It hit me like a punch to the gut: news of another colleague moving on. However, rather than doubling over - the normal reaction to receiving a wallop to the entrails - I took a deep breath and turned to the next email in my inbox.

Many Americans are troubled by the state of the nation. It is an unusual feeling.

“I am urine.” Carefully and tentatively I enunciate the unfamiliar sounds. My language tutor’s mouth twitches as she tries to keep a straight face. Politeness and honor are part of her country’s language culture. Trying hard not to laugh out loud, she then tells me what accidentally came out of my mouth while practicing verb declensions.

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I feel incredibly privileged to be with IDEAS! My husband and I joined IDEAS in 1999, specifically because we embraced its vision to see transformed lives in communities of contagious hope. 

Are you like me, just waiting for the world to open up so you can travel again? Can you hardly wait to buy that next airline ticket to take you overseas? I really get that. I’m right there with you. In the meantime, I’m learning to evaluate how I view the cultures of the places that I long to visit and to become better prepared to fully enjoy those cultures.

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Although the world is weary, the thrill of Hope is real this Christmas season. During this time of Advent, this time of waiting for salvation to arrive, we asked an IDEAS Associate to share glimpses of Hope in the weariness of waiting. . .

In the midst of this challenging year, I had a great Thanksgiving. Our IDEAS community here in Jordan gathered for dinner, as we usually do. The difference this year?