“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? 

What is gratitude? Gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness and a desire to show appreciation. It's showing grace or kindness in response to receiving it. It's slowing down to observe, to be thoughtful, and to express thanks. 

Growing up, I never liked sports. I was one of those girls who was slow at running and afraid of dodge ball in P.E. class. Thankfully, I was gifted in music. Somehow that compensated my lack of interests in sports. “It’s OK because I am good at music,” I thought.

My refugee friends are teaching me what it means to seek the well-being of the city that has become my home.

Hopelessness is the ultimate adversary of humankind. Hopelessness brings anguish, doubt, and fear. However, hope is stronger than fear. Hope conquers anguish, doubt, and fear and brings transformation.

I’m in a season of waiting, and my guess is that you are too. Waiting is what we all have in common worldwide. We’re all waiting for something or someone, for grief to subside, a sense of normal, returning to school or work, a new job opportunity, a baby, a child to come home, a spouse, the freedom to visit loved ones, healing for our physical and emotional ...