Headed Overseas? 5 Character Potholes to Steer around

character overseas

Rigidity/Hypercontrol.

Hopefully this one’s a bit of a gimme if you’ve already traveled overseas. Friends of mine used to joke about “Africa Wins Again” days–when a rat eats the special food you brought from home, the electricity’s been out for three days, and the government accidentally shuts off your phone.

It’s helpful for me to think of going overseas like skiing moguls: Keep your knees loose, not locked. If you like specific ways of doing things, missionary life might just eat your lunch–and even faster than everyone else’s (check out My Story: Culture Shock, Mayonnaise, and the Last Straw).

Cross-cultural relationships require character with a formidable degree of flexibility, an openness to acquiring other pieces of your God-puzzle. read more

My Story: Will I Bend or Break Overseas?

flexibility bend break

During the month of August, Go. Serve. Love is stoked to share stories from All Nations, a global training and sending agency.

All Nation’s vision is to see Jesus worshiped by all the peoples of the earth.  Their mission? To make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the neglected peoples of the earth. read more

The Cultural Iceberg and Identity: Collectivist vs. Individualistic Societies

cultural iceberg

We’re excited to welcome back Sheri of Engineering Ministries International for her final post of her invaluable three-part series on “cultural icebergs”.

EMI mobilizes architects, engineers, construction managers, and other design professionals–including those through an incredible internship program–to provide design services for those helping the poor. We’re talking water projects, hospitals, schools, orphanages, you name it. Meanwhile, they raise up disciples and trained professionals in-country. read more

The Cultural Iceberg: What You Need to Know about Cross-cultural Communication

cultural iceberg

We’re excited to welcome back Sheri of Engineering Ministries International. EMI mobilizes architects, engineers, construction managers, and other design professionals–including those through an incredible internship program–to provide design services for those helping the poor. We’re talking water projects, hospitals, schools, orphanages, you name it. Meanwhile, they raise up disciples and trained professionals in-country.

Sheri applies these cross-cultural points poignantly to the elements of designing cross-culturally–but we believe you’ll find inescapable parallels to any cross-cultural work. Hopefully it will help jumpstart real solutions for cross-cultural sensitivities, and help any culture manifest Jesus Christ according to its own cultural icebergs. read more

What Lies Beneath: Recognizing Cultural “Icebergs”

cultural iceberg

We’re excited to welcome Sheri of Engineering Ministries International. EMI mobilizes architects, engineers, construction managers, and other design professionals–including those through an incredible internship program–to provide design services for those helping the poor. We’re talking water projects, hospitals, schools, orphanages, you name it. Meanwhile, they raise up disciples and trained professionals in-country.

Sheri applies these cross-cultural points poignantly to the elements of designing cross-culturally–but we believe you’ll find inescapable parallels to any cross-cultural work. Hopefully it will help jumpstart real solutions for cross-cultural sensitivities, and help any culture manifest Jesus Christ according to its own cultural icebergs. read more

Thoughts on a Friday: The DNA We Share

This morning I walked into a hotel lobby.  Two tables were set up on opposite sides of the walkway. The empty chairs at one table huddled beneath CNN’s scrolling feed. The empty chairs at the other clustered around FOX News.

I thought, This is a picture of America.

These are stratifying, polarizing times. And as you consider going overseas, it becomes imperative that you become aware of your own biases and angles. (Your host country, the further you immerse, will help you.) Your host country will have them as well. And perhaps you, too, will absorb a lesson we seem to learn over and over again interacting with other cultures and at times, blatant racism: read more