I’m raising four teenagers. So, y’know. Maybe you know how to pray for me?
But one of the techniques that’s helped in dealing with occasionally/chronically angry kids is to ask myself about what’s beneath their anger.
A friend and I sank animatedly into conversation at a recent Christmas party before even removing our thick jackets. While others milled around with disposable cups of wassail, we discussed her sudden opportunity to move to an unreached nation.
Considering there are an estimated 3.37 billion, with a B, unreached? This isn’t small.
I met 16-year-old Juan while leading a pastor’s seminar. He sat on the front row with his dad, one of the pastors, and listened intently while I spoke about generational trends and opportunities for the church to engage younger generations.
At the break, I sat down to chat with him, intrigued by his focus and attention. He shared his story of coming to America as a young boy and helping his dad’s work as a pastor of a bilingual church–a role he was grateful for, steadied by strong relationships. His strong faith was clear.
When talking about living out his faith, however, Juan confessed he doesn’t talk about God on social media or at school: “I would be ostracized and lose all credibility if I did.”
Editor’s note: While you’re overseas, there’s a 100% chance you will at some point be baffled by either the size or (slow) pace of the Great Commission.
You may arrive longing to make a difference, only to become acutely aware that you will likely not be the global worker closing the deal on every tribe, tongue, and nation.
A global-worker friend from Nepal sent me a Marco Polo recently. She described a day of local handymen installing appliances in her family’s new apartment–with methods much to her chagrin.
My mind immediately tumbled back to the painter who striped our house different shades of pink and orange on the outside, so it resembled a box of rainbow sherbet.
It was December 24th, but I was the only person out shopping that night thinking about stocking stuffers. I ran down to purchase a few last-minute items, missing my extended family and the unintended tradition of wrapping gifts in a crazy flurry on Christmas Eve.
It wasn’t Christmas Eve for most of the people in Egypt. I was one more person out shopping on a normal night. I was homesick and worried I wouldn’t be able to make the holiday special for my family.
Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on Rebecca Hopkins’ blog, Borneo Wife, when she and her husband served in Indonesia. Her pieces have appeared in Christianity Today and A Life Overseas. She currently blogs from her new American home at rebeccahopkins.org.
I walked past the stack of empty, folded boxes on my front porch, out the gate onto my quiet street, tried not to think about how much was left to unpack.
When my kids were learning to swim, they loved the thrill of jumping from the edge of the pool into my waiting arms.
I cautioned them over and over that they should make sure I knew they were jumping before plunging in. If I wasn’t ready, they would go under.
Inevitably that would happen at least once with each child. I would always manage to grab them before the situation turned remotely serious, but they did not enjoy the surprise of floundering on their own.