Goer blogs

No Easy Answers

By Carissa on June 22, 2020 Track: Media - Arts Region: Europe

I hit my 8-month mark in Spain this week, but it really doesn’t feel like it. It feels like I lived here for 4 months and winter somehow became summer. Two months ago, Spain was the center of the pandemic and you could feel the fear and heaviness in the air. But now, as things start to open up and the anxiety seems to be lifting, the storm has transferred to my home country with full force. There’s the pandemic and all its side effects, the confusion, the horrifying racial injustice, the political turmoil. It’s hard to filter out what’s actually going on from afar through all of the biased... Read more


By Abby on June 11, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

Just like that, it’s my one-year anniversary of being an expat in France. In some ways it seems like only yesterday I walked through security and into France after 30 hours of airport hopping and waiting around terminals, but also a lot has happened since. In no particular order, I moved ten or so times, was near a bombing, carried a pony, gave out groceries, baked many cakes, was in a car accident, experienced the strangest film night of my life, travelled to Spain and Italy, was stalked, witnessed to students, attended Bible college in French, survived a pandemic, met many incredible people... Read more

"And Who is My Neighbor?"

By Maggie on May 30, 2020 Track: Business Region: Europe

As I've reflected on the unexpected turns of the last months and thought on how different my "ministry" context has been with Pilgrim House closed, Jesus' parable on the Good Samaritan has been fresh in my mind. Documented by Luke in his gospel account, this particular story is initiated by an expert in the law asking Jesus what is required to inherit eternal life - what are the expectations of living in the way of God? Upon determining that these expectations are encompassed herin: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your... Read more


By Abby on May 22, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

This week in my French class (sur zoom) it became obvious that I am the odd one out in the group. The class is structured around different themes, and the latest began as the others had before it: we read a bit, suffer through dictations, write a paper, and discuss it. Lately we have been talking about values and from where we derived ours. It didn’t strike me as particularly unusual until the professor opened the discussion by remarking how very different my paper was. I quickly scanned the other posted papers, and everyone else’s read like stereotypes of their countries of origin. The... Read more

Better Than Having Superpowers

By Aaron on May 10, 2020 Track: Sports Region: Europe

Here’s a train of thought that runs through my mind often during the era of covid-19: What’s the one thing that has a hold over every single person in the world more than anything else?  Death.  The fear of dying.  Mankind’s single greatest adversary.  What if there was a way to loosen the hold it had over us?  In my life right now, the one thing that worries me more than anything else is when I have serious problems with my own health.  Nothing else has really ever given me anxiety before… but going through unanswered questions about frightening symptoms can really shake me up.  Having an... Read more

Fear is a Liar

By Caitlyn on May 7, 2020 Track: Media - Arts Region: Europe

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can grip our hearts and minds and refuse to let go. There are so many things in this world we could fear, cancer, car crashes, pandemics, natural disasters, and the list could go on and on. But God doesn’t call us to hide in fear. One of the most repeated commands in the Bible is to “fear not” because God is bigger than any storms that come our way and is always by our side. The world was never safe before COVID-19 and it won’t be safe after. We can trust that in the midst of chaos that God is in control and NOTHING takes Him by surprise. Psalm 46: 1-2, 7 says... Read more

Life Happens

By Anna on April 20, 2020 Track: Youth Development Region: Europe

This season has been difficult for many people and challenging for us in ways we were not expecting. There is fear, worry, and so much unknown. We’ve lost many things and opportunities. It feels as if the world had come to a grinding halt, like so much has ended and we sit, holding our breath, waiting for the wheels to start turning again and for life to begin to return to “normal.” The other day, I was re-watching some of my favorite episodes of the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender. Some of you may be familiar with this show and some of its featured characters. Uncle Iroh is a character... Read more

Poisson d’Avril

By Abby on April 1, 2020 Track: University Outreach Region: Europe

Only in France do you need to make a quick fish. Today is poisson d’avril, directly translated it means “fish of April” but in English we would just refer to it as April fool’s day. Here children make little paper fish and try to sneakily hook or tape those fish onto other people’s back. This morning when I went to the kitchen for some tea and saw little Irène, one of the three children I live with, carefully cutting out a fish, I knew I needed to get going in the fish department. Studying would have to wait a while. There were fish to be caught and given. Not five minutes after I had settled... Read more

Seek the Good

By Maggie on March 28, 2020 Track: Business Region: Europe

My arrival into Santiago has been quite an unusual one. A little over a week after I landed, we went into lock down due to the covid-19 global pandemic - a reality that has significantly influenced the landscape of my time here. Amid this required (and important) time of isolation, I’ve been reflecting on that first week I had here in Santiago and the blessing it held. Santiago is a beautiful city. It’s peppered with green spaces and parks and is situated between rivers on both sides. My first few days here carried the beginning evidences of spring with tulips and daffodils flashing with... Read more

Letter to Future Goers

By Emily on March 27, 2020 Track: Compassion - Justice Region: Europe

Dear Future Goer, Whether you're wondering whether to be a Goer at all, or you're in the midst of support raising, or you're a few weeks on the field, I hope this letter encourages you! Two years ago, I got on a plane, ready to transform. I was Frodo with the ring around his neck headed to Mordor, ready to fight for the future of mankind. I was Moana, sailing into the unknown to restore her island and save the world. (Incidentally, both these movies gave me the courage to get onto that plane.) Now, two years later, I've found that more than anything I've managed to transform, I've been... Read more