Goer blogs

Dependence

By Landon on November 8, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Africa - Sub-Saharan

I’m not used to relying on other people. I’ve always felt like I needed to take care of my own wants or problems. It wasn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes I think it was healthy for me to take care of whatever mess I was win without dragging anyone else into it. Of course there were downsides to that. There always are. I’ve struggled to make requests of other people, to force myself into a conversation and say “Hey here’s a need I could use some help with.” I always felt like I was forcing myself on other people, like I’d be wasting their time with problems they likely did not care about. It... Read more

Babysitting

By Christy on October 30, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Europe

The other day, I ended up walking six children down the street to our holiday club. I had already planned to babysit two of the kids for the day, but then we picked up a couple of the neighbor kids to go with us and ended up running into another family on the way. Thankfully, it was only a few blocks to the church building because a couple of these kids can be fairly erratic. But how did I end up babysitting for a family I don’t know super well? I wondered (and stressed) about that for the week leading up to the holiday club. One of my new friends “B” had some family stuff going on and needed... Read more

The Unlikely Power of the Spirit

By Alexander on October 19, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

God promised to give us a Helper, his Spirit, that would guide us, give us words to speak, and help us be apart of building His Kingdom. We constantly read that we’re to walk in the power of the Spirit, but what does this even look like? The more I’m praying for it, the more I’m seeing it, but I’m finding it realized in ways I least expected.                 When I think of walking in the Spirit, I honestly imagine leaving my house in the morning with my heart on fire, my face glowing, and feeling an emotional boost that would leave any youth camp spiritual high in the dust. But, I’m finding... Read more

Glimmers

By John on October 16, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

I’ve been really glad for the chances I’ve had over these past two years to see other countries in the region. Part of my thinking in coming to this country was that it would prove a good starting point for this part of the world, culturally and linguistically. My hope in coming here is that I would leave able to somehow bridge the West to the Middle East, or at least try to. I just got back from a couple weeks in a nearby country, seeing if it somehow resonated with me more than where I am now. I wanted to see how the refugee situation is different, how the language was different, and I... Read more

Technology

By Christy on September 29, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Europe

Technology is great. I love that I can stay in touch with friends and family even though I’m so far away from home. Handwritten letters are to be appreciated, but texts and video calls are more immediate, and I’m thankful for that.  Recently, I’ve also noticed that technology is helpful within ministry programs. Our moms and tots group started up again a few weeks ago, and while it normally takes a couple weeks for everyone to get back into the routine of attending, we actually had an amazing turnout the first two weeks of the term. Over summer break, we started a WhatsApp group with all the... Read more

The Rabbit Hole

By Alexander on September 17, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

The Rabbit Hole                 There’s this thing -actually more it’s like a phenomenon that happens when you choose to hang out with your majority friends in this country. My roommate calls it “going down the rabbit hole”, and it basically means whatever you envisioned would happen when you agreed to hang out with your friend will undoubtedly turn into something you couldn’t have imagined even if you had wanted to. Last night, a friend named Moe that I hadn’t seen since he travelled at the beginning of the summer invited me to drink tea; instead, we fell down a rabbit hole.                ... Read more

From Dead Languages to Living People

By Landon on August 29, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Africa - Sub-Saharan

If you had told me a year ago that I would be going overseas to serve with missions in an international context, I probably would have shrugged off your comment as if it was only a hyperbolic compliment.  My head was in the clouds.  Well, I guess it still is, but things have changed.  Slowly, bit-by-bit, God has worked on my heart and my ambitions My mind’s always been in the past.  Little pleased me more than to drone on-and-on about bygone days.  I could tell you more about the feats of Alexander or the reforms of Akhenaten than I could whatever the kids are into these days.  That’s still... Read more

Reset

By Christy on August 27, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Europe

August is a quiet month here. Because school is out for summer, most of our ministry programs shut down and a lot of my friends and coworkers leave the country at one point or another. People are filtering back in now, ministries will start up in September, and things will be "normal" again.  It feels like we're about to hit a reset button. I have been here almost six months, and throughout that time, we have had four short term interns arrive and leave. Each overlapped another at some point, so we haven't been without short-termers since the end of March. As of two days ago, the last of them... Read more

A Foot on Both Shores

By John on August 23, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Middle East

I sit here writing this blog in an American coffee shop, American pop music on the radio, sipping my $3 latte, thinking about how being a western person in this city can present a lot of interesting contradictions. This afternoon, I’m in a coffee shop; I had pizza for lunch. This evening, I will go back to my flat in my neighborhood where my roommate is the only other western person I’ve ever seen in the area, and my other roommates are students with refugee status. I’ll probably have a dinner of the local staple, bean sandwiches, for about 50 cents. Students in our position want to engage... Read more

Henna

By Christy on July 28, 2017 Track: Languages - Linguistics Region: Europe

I have gotten henna, or "mehndi," three times so far. For those of you who are unfamiliar with henna, it is a dye applied to skin that typically lasts a couple weeks, and it can be either red or black. My first experience was a small hand-drawn black henna design on the back of my hand. I liked it, but I was ready for it to be gone once it started looking like my hand was just dirty. A few weeks ago, I got my first red henna, hand-drawn by a Pakistani girl, that covered my wrist and stretched all the way to the tip of my finger. My most recent experience involves my Yemeni language teacher ("... Read more