missions {good, bad, ugly}

This is potentially one of the most difficult posts I’ve had to write in the three years I’ve been blogging. I don’t know how to communicate in my online life the detours, false-starts, apparent-dead-ends, and surprising corners the journey in our real lives has taken– especially in the past year. I don’t know how to […]


I’ll be honest, this missions gig hasn’t gone like I thought it would.  When I was a teenager, I devoured books on Amy Carmichael, determined to live in some hut rescuing orphans. I wanted to “accomplish great things for God,” and I assumed that meant a dramatic adventure, namely, taking a plane somewhere. When I […]


The Ask

by Laura on June 1, 2012

One of my least favorite things about living overseas is raising financial support for our family. Like, I really, really, really hate it. I circle around these haunting ideas that we should be “tent making” and should go learn how to be a doctor or something, that everyone else in our family has “real” jobs, […]


8 Ways to Do Short Term Missions Better

by Laura on May 23, 2012

I loved reading through the comments and engaging in the discussion last week about the value of Short Term Mission Trips {STMs}, their effectiveness and their costs. And as I answered people and asked others questions back, I think I recognized the quality I’ve been battling since I hit the ground here in Asia- cynicism. […]


Consider this: a group of 15 high school students {with four adult leaders} want to go on a missions trip to Africa. They write support letters, hold spaghetti dinners, call up grandma and gramps across the state line. The cost of the trip is 8 days out of their summer vacation and $1800 USD out […]


The Word We Hate to Say

by Laura on April 27, 2012

We just said goodbye to our closest family friends here in SE Asia. It was one of those very rare relationships where everyone in the family actually enjoyed each other — the kids, the wives, the husbands. And it was community born of necessity, and desperation, and proximity. We iced Christmas cookies together, we babysat […]


When I wrote about the top five mistakes I made during my first year overseas, I loved checking my inbox for the several days following the post. I loved hearing from missionaries all over the world, some of whom have logged decades overseas, some who are leaving next month, and most of whom said that […]


Just last year, I was a culture-shocked newbie stumbling through my first months living overseas. {You can read from the First Year Missionary section of the blog here.} And we came as independents {we still are}, brought three small children with us, and probably arrived before we had technically raised enough money to sustainably stay. […]


I must admit that when it comes to what I know of spiritual warfare {particularly on the mission field}, I’ve gathered most of my working knowledge from Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, which I devoured in high school and then swore demons and angels fighting in every corner of the lunchroom. I’ll be honest, that […]


I’m not going to lie– my idea of missions has had an extreme makeover during the last several years. I pushed off shore thinking I knew so much about loving-well and Jesus-following in another culture, but I continue to learn that I probably know-wrong more than I know-right. And this can be very disheartening for […]


Two Year Asian-versary

by Laura on March 31, 2012

Two years ago, today on April 1, our family was on an airplane moving to SE Asia. I don’t remember much about the plane ride except that it was long, and that I was really thankful the kids watched the movies on the seat-back screens. I remember being so excited and so hopeful and so very […]