Search Results for 'Richelle'



Spinning or Trusting? (Part 1)


I’ve often heard the comment: “I wish I found it as easy to trust God as you do…” I generally smile and say something along the lines of, “If you see that, it must certainly all come from the Lord and His graciousness, because I certainly don’t feel that way a good portion of the time,” gently – or perhaps nervously – laugh, and then try and direct the conversation away from that particular topic because trusting God isn’t something that comes easily or naturally for me… not at all. The head knowledge is all there. I know He can.  That statement uttered by the three Hebrew boys before they were cast into the fire, “but even if He does not…” is the part that trips me up every time. I know He can, but what if He chooses not to act the way I think is best… or to provide in the way I want?

This stumbling block touches all areas of my life missionary wife and mom, including finances. We are your larger than average family. The support allowance our mission requires us to raise stopped growing several children ago.  As children grow, appetites increase, plane tickets inflate and tuition jumps, it becomes more and more difficult to plan how we are going to make ends meet from month to month. For a planner personality, that is difficult. We left the field for home assignment a bit over a year ago at 65% of our recommended support allowance. Scheduled to return to the field in July, 2010, last spring we flipped the calendar from April to May still shy of the 80% mark and had only half of the funds needed to purchase plane tickets. We were wondering…

So my husband sat down and started crunching numbers, looking at our budget, trying to figure it all out.  The numbers never added up. They certainly didn’t look neat and tidy. People frequently asked if we were going back; frankly I would avoid the question with the spiritual sounding answer of “Lord-willing…,” all the while doubting and desperately wondering how in the world it could happen.

At that moment, these words from Job 8 described me well: “…the hope of the godless will perish, whose confidence is fragile and whose trust a spider’s web.”  I was functionally godless. Skeptical that God would provide, in my head and heart I was spinning a web of intricate, delicate and fragile filaments, attempting to construct the needed support, yet knowing such a concoction could not stand the winds and storms of life on the mission field. I think it was Matthew Henry who wrote “…the spider’s web, spun with great skill but easily swept away, represents a man’s pretensions to religion… without the grace of God in his heart.”

Isn’t it interesting that trust is both a noun and a verb? As a noun, it carries the idea of a sure and confident hope as described in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen.” But trust is more than a thing or idea; it is a belief that requires action. Proverbs 3 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” and then continues by showing us just how that verb “trust” looks in action:  “Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

I’m so thankful for a husband whom God has graced with an incredible ability to gently trust… and to gently encourage me to trust, too. He looked at the same numbers that I did with eyes of faith and said, “We’ll go, Lord… and I can’t wait to see what You will do,” while I was saying “God, just get us to this level. Then I’ll be able to trust. Then I’ll commit to taking my family.” Once my husband committed to a July departure, God opened His storehouses and provided abundantly, lavishly, far above and beyond what we had hoped for…  (to be continued)

Are there areas in your life where you are “functionally godless?” …areas where you say you trust God but instead of waiting confidently on Him, you find you are spinning some sort of web?

(Post by: Richelle)

If Only….

I find the Old Testament fascinating… the stories, the cultures, the people, the way God worked… Sometimes, as I reread through stories that I’ve heard all of my life, it is amazing the things that the Holy Spirit causes to leap right off the pages and into my heart where I mull them over, often for several weeks… sometimes for a really, really long time. The story of Dinah has been one of those stories that I’ve returned to time and time again over the past 18 months.

I knew the story of Dinah; we’d studied it in church/Sunday School more than once and she was most definitely one of the Bible’s “bad” girls. Matthew Henry writes: “Dinah was, for aught that appears, Jacob’s only daughter, and we may suppose her therefore the mother’s fondling and the darling of the family, and yet she proves neither a joy nor a credit to them; for those children seldom prove either the best or the happiest that are most indulged. She is reckoned now but fifteen or sixteen years of age when she here occasioned so much mischief. Observe, her vain curiosity, which exposed her. She went out, perhaps unknown to her father, but by the connivance of her mother, to see the daughters of the land (v. 1)…. She went to see, yet that was not all, she went to be seen too; she went to see the daughters of the land, but, it may be, with some thoughts of the sons of the land too. I doubt she went to get an acquaintance with those Canaanites, and to learn their way. Note, The pride and vanity of young people betray them into many snares.” I would have to say that Mr. Henry’s opinions are probably the ones I’ve heard most frequently expressed. Needless to say, Dinah was never one of my heroines… and I never gave her story any more thought until…

…I started teaching a Bible study to 15 and 16 year old girls, until remembering that the fifteenth birthday of my oldest is just around the corner… and my oldest girl follows just on his heels. But back to the Bible study – the girls wanted to study different women in the Bible and they chose Dinah for several reasons – close to their age, her story is tragic and there is just something magnetic about those less than nice girls.

The first thing that struck me as I began looking at her story again, was that while the name Dinah means “justice,” it is questionable whether she received any at the hands of her world or her family… and the in mind of today’s followers of Jesus.

The bulk of her story is contained in Genesis 34:

“And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter: which thing ought not to be done.”

Reading and rereading this passage, it is not clear from the biblical text that Dinah actually did anything wrong. Her desire to see the daughters of the land is never condemned. We just don’t know for sure in reading the biblical account. While she may have been maliciously and deceptively sinful – she may have snuck out of her father’s house, she may have lied, she may have dressed seductively and actually gone looking for boys while telling her mom she wanted to meet some girls her own age… the list of evil possibilities is probably endless. But she also might have been a young girl, the only daughter in her father’s house, who’d just moved to a new place, who was lonely and desiring the company of other gals her age and so she desired to show herself friendly so that she could make some new friends, and then she became a victim of her new neighbors, her family and her world and culture.

I guess I tend to lead towards the latter interpretation over the first, maybe because I’ve watched our children, my own young girls as we’ve moved them halfway around the world, entering a new and unfamiliar culture, a school where everyone speaks different languages and the school language they don’t yet understand… and the first thing they want to do is find and make some friends. They are great sister-friends within themselves, but God designed us, especially females, to enjoy relationships and both my big and little girls love to get to know other girls wherever we go – be it a new church in another state or a new school in a foreign language in a different country.

The key thought the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart is the need for discernment – as parents and as individuals – when we enter those new situations (and life is filled with almost daily new situations). As finite human beings, we can’t begin to see the train of consequences a simple action like “going out to visit the daughters of the land” might start rolling. I think this fact is emphasized in this particular passage by the fact that “and” begins almost every sentence… each action was a reaction provoked by the previous event. There was very little forethought or intentional planning, and when there was, it was for evil designs.

Thus, perhaps one of the most important things I can model for and teach my children is the need to think through possibilities and potentialities before choosing on a particular path, whenever that is doable. We need to know the reasons why we do what we do, and to teach our children to examine their motivations – to know that we are not just reacting to or following the lead of the world and culture around us.

One other thing I’ve taken from this Bible story, even today… as we are once again in the midst of our transition to this land where God has called our family to sojourn, is my need to extend grace to my big and little girls… well, more accurately, to all in our household… for those inevitable times when wise discernment just doesn’t happen regarding what is done, said or how we respond to ourselves and to others. We will… in fact we have already… made some massive mistakes in this transition and are dealing with consequences we couldn’t have foreseen. But God’s grace overflows and when we walk in His grace, offering it to ourselves and to others, He redeems situations where we’ve messed up, growing us, changing us and bringing glory to His name.

Is there some Bible story or passage that the Holy Spirit is showing you through new eyes? One that has particularly poignant application to a present situation?

(Post by: Richelle)

Transitions

Our little Jonathan recently began school – a first language French school – for the first time. Yesterday, as he was sharing with us about his day, he told us about working on saying and writing the alphabet (which he already knows, as he is a beginning reader… in English). Suddenly, he stopped and exclaimed: “And Mama, did you know they say zshee for ‘J’ and zshay for ‘G?’ THAT. IS. JUST. WRONG!!!”

We JUST don’t like change, do we? We tend to resist anything that pushes, prods or pulls us from a place of the comfortable recognized to the uncomfortable unknown. Jonathan expressed that rather eloquently, I think, and while we laughed (and laughed… for the look on his face as that realization dawned on him was priceless), my mind was drawn to the present struggles of our present state of transition.

One of the reasons this transition has been more challenging is that we are subleasing a home for a year… someone else’s home, someone else’s furniture, someone else’s guards… after having already “been there, done that” the past year in a missionary house back in the States (I’m not trying to complain, for we are so thankful for both of those provisions, yet this is our reality). So it feels like home, but it isn’t quite… Without a doubt, it is emotionally harder to move back and forth with secondary school children ~ teens. They’d just found where they belonged and we uprooted them to return to a place that isn’t what they left the year before. So, they are back to figuring out where they belong once again when they’d anticipated coming home. But people leave; others grow, looking and sounding different; still others change and have new priorities or a different direction – nothing remains static and so it just isn’t the same.

As I’ve pondered and prayed – then realized that I should first pray and then ponder: How are we to shepherd our children through this time, the Holy Spirit directed my meditations to perhaps the most well known words in the Bible about what it looks like to be a good shepherd.

The LORD is my shepherd;

I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;

He leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to His name.

Even when I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of mine enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

And I will live in the house of the LORD

forever.

Psalm 23 (NLT)

When God blessed us with children, He gave us the privilege of becoming shepherds… one more way we can learn to imitate our God and our Savior. So I read these words, words first stamped onto my heart over 35 years ago, gentle words reminding me how the Good Shepherd cares for me and see a very practical example of how I can shepherd my children.

A doer, it was the verbs that caught my attention. What are things I can do to help my children?

· I can let them rest, making sure our home is a place of security, fun and respite from the stresses in their worlds all around them.

· I can lead – with my words, my actions, my attitudes, my life. Do I approach the challenges with a gentle spirit, accepting and welcoming God’s sovereignty and excited to see what He will do because I know He will work?

· I can renew: revamping harried schedules, repairing wrong attitudes and beliefs, restoring tired hearts, making good on promises and things I’ve said, renovating to salvage the bad and hard days.

· I can guide, showing them again and again that we run to Jesus with our celebrations, challenges and sorrows.

· I can protect through disciplining, both myself and my children as necessary.

· I can comfort, often just by caring about the hard, seemingly little things.

· I can prepare a feast… healthy, nutritious snacks and meals that I know will delight my family… and that time of preparation is a wonderful time to pray for them… or to encourage them to work alongside me and share about/pray through their days.

· I can honor them: respecting their feelings, attitudes and perceptions even when they need repair, admiring their accomplishments and the person God is growing them to be, giving credit where credit is due, protecting their reputations, remembering that they, too, are heirs of the King.

· I can pursue them with goodness and unfailing love, whose source is, of course, the Good Shepherd.

And most importantly, I can trust that in following the example of my Shepherd, He will open the eyes of my children so that they see their cup, too, overflowing with blessings from heaven.

(Post by: Richelle)

A New Contributor!

I am so excited to introduce you to our newest contributor! Actually, if you often read the comments here, you have likely been blessed already by the wisdom and experience that she has to share. Richelle is a blessed mother of eight who lives and serves in ministry in Niger. I have so often been blessed by what Richelle has shared and have been so encouraged by her faith in the Lord that I am absolutely thrilled that she has agreed to share more with here us by becoming a regular contributor.

Richelle’s first post will be up tomorrow, so be sure to check back! In the meantime, feel free to visit her blog “Our ‘Wright’-ing Pad.” Also, I have already added her to our contributors’ page here, but I wanted to included her bio below as well so she can introduce herself to you in her own words.

Richelle, we are so excited to hear the things that that the Lord puts on your heart to share with us!

Howdy! I can’t tell you how excited and delighted I am for the invitation to become a contributor to “Missionary Moms,” because, simply put, that’s just what I am: a missionary wife and mom who strives to love and follow Jesus with my whole heart. He IS my One and Only Savior! There’s nothing better than being married to my best friend, my fellow adventurer and explorer in raising our 8 marvelous gifts from God on the backside of the desert. In addition to baking bread and doing loads of laundry (my two favorite household chores – seriously!), I write scripts for children’s radio programs and teach lots – my kids at home, ladies’ bible studies at church, swimming and water polo at the MK school, special education and effective teaching strategies, whenever and where ever. Spare time is reserved for blogging, scrapbooking, reading and learning a third language. I’ve often stopped by “Missionary Moms” for ideas and encouragement and hope, in God’s grace and strength, to give back just a little of what I’ve received.


Schooling Overseas- Homeschooling

Homeschooling seems to be one of the most popular schooling options among missionary families as it is in many ways compatible with the missionary lifestyle with its flexibility, ability to be tailored to the specific needs and desires of each unique family, the natural blessing of extra time for mom and child to spend together, among other things.

Pros: Education can be customized to the specific needs of the individual child and family, flexibility of schedule that works well with ministry and travel, the added stability of extra time together as a family which can be very beneficial with a transient missionary lifestyle, a safe and wholesome environment for learning and growth, children may progress more quickly than children attending schools away from home, homeschool co-ops provide regular social opportunities while still in an environment designed by the parents, co-ops spread the work between participating families and have many of the advantages of homeschool while perhaps taking less work and also providing the parents some time with the children away from home, inexpensive

Cons: children may feel isolated or separated from the culture if the parents are not intentional to provide social and cultural opportunities, learning of a foreign language is difficult if children do not spend significant time immersed in it, mom will have less freedom during her days for other things which could be a con for some who would desire to have more personal ministry opportunities without children in tow (though many homeschooling moms have shared how much of a blessing it is to be able to have their homeschooling children participate in ministry with them!), extracurricular activities may be lacking depending on location, may be tiring for mom to not have a break, it may be difficult to find adequate resources

Considerations for missionaries considering homeschooling:

-Do your research on curriculums as there are many to choose from with various unique benefits! (Homeschooling moms, do you have any recommendations?)

-It will take much initiative, creativity, and effort to help your child engage in the culture and to learn the host language. Many people have recommended having either a language tutor or sending your child to language lessons for this, as well as being involved in other activities within the culture. Language learning is not likely to come naturally without effort.

– Consider options for social interaction. This is not a difficult need to meet, but it takes planning.

– Consider the resources available to you. A couple of the moms, specifically in the African bush, who shared about their experiences shared that the lack of available resources was a major prohibitor for homeschooling.  Make sure to consider what materials you will need, and how you will get them.

-Develop an educational purpose statement to guide you toward your primary goals. This will help you stay on track throughout your homeschooling experience.

-Homeschool co-ops are often a great option where there are multiple homschooling families in the same area. Subjects can be divided among the  parents, and the parents not only get the opportunity to teach their own kids, but also get some time with their kids away from home so they can spend time doing other things. It is also a great optionfor many to co-op on certain subjects or activities rather than for all subjects.

– It was mentioned a couple of times by moms that filled out the schooling options survey nevere to say “I could never homeschool!” or to consider yourself unqualified. It was encouraging to hear how God leads and helps moms called to homeschool to succeed in their experience, even with differing personalities and strengths.  There are many resources to make homeschooling very doable for almost anyone.

-This can be a great option for kids with learning disabilities who might not have adequate help in other school systems on the field.

Have you homeschooled or are you currently homeschooling? What else would you have to share about this option? If you are looking into homeschooling as an option, what questions do you have? (Those with experience, please feel free to respond to the questions asked!)

Thank you so much to  Karen, Phyllis, Gina, E.B., Richelle,  Andrea, Nancy, Kara, Tammy, who helped with this post by sharing about their personal experiences with homechooling!

(Other resources used for this post: “Keys to Successful Homeschooling” by: Janna Gilbert,  “Home-schooling Cooperative Style- A New Option in MK Education” by Diane Morris, Third Culture Kids by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken)

Schooling Overseas: International Schools and Missionary Schools

International schools, or private schools for the international population, and missionary schools are a great option for many and have the advantages of often a high caliber of education, of many times being taught in English, and having many social and extra-curricular opportunities, not to mention a Christ centered focus if the school is a Christian school, among other things.

Pros: Social interaction with different children, Mom can be “just mom” when kids get home rather than needing to play both the role of teacher and mom as in homeschooling, children in international schools with classmates from other countries gain a broad understanding of different cultures and religions which can help ground a child in what they believe and why, extra-curricular activities and honors programs, quality facilities and equipment, often a high standard of education that can be good preparation for re-entry in home country’s school system

Cons: For secular international schools often there are non-Christian teachers who may teach values and beliefs that are counter-Christian, although it can be seen as a plus as children learn how to interact with non-believers as well as believers; foul language and other less wholesome influences especially in non-Christian schools,  often expensive,  may naturally place children into a specific sub-culture separate from the majority culture (their group of close friends may be primarily other English speakers, and if in a missionary school, primarily Christians, and it could be difficult for them to engage in the culture and to identify with peers within their community)

Some considerations for missionaries considering intl. schools and missionary schools:

-It may take advance financial planning and saving and additional support raising in order to plan well to fund the education of your children in these options.

-There are often just one or a few such options, if any, in any given area. If you are moving to the field and are planning on having your children attend an international  school, the location of your home might be dependent on the location of the school and its accessibility.

-This is often a great option for missionaries who go for shorter long-term assignments, as in up to a few years. This way children don’t have the pressure of struggling through education in a new language that they will use only for a short time, and they can continue in a schooling option similar to what they left and/or that is similar to what they will enter into when they move back home.

-There are many great ways to help children engage in the culture even if attending a school for foreigners. This will take planning and intentionality on the part of the parents though as it might not come naturally. Some such options are involvement at church, participation in sports or other activities, language classes, being intentional to build friendships in your neighborhood and community, involving your kids in ministry, etc.

Are your kids or have your kids attend an international or missionary school? What else would you have to share about these options? If you are looking into either option, what questions do you have? (Those with experience, please feel free to respond to the questions asked!)

Thank you so much to Tammy, Keri, E.B., and Richelle who helped with this post by sharing about their personal experiences with international and missionary schools!

(Other resources used for this post:  Campus Crusade for Christ’s 2006 X-track education options resource handbook; Third Culture Kids by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken)


Schooling Overseas-National Schools

National schools, or local public schools in the host culture, are a great option for many families serving overseas, especially in the way of cultural immersion and cross-cultural relationship building.

Pros: immersion in the culture, building of strong cross-cultural relationships, children quickly acquire the language, low in cost, often causes the people in the community to identify you as “on of them,” provides an easy and natural way to build relationships in your community, often a high standard of education depending on the location

Cons: religious or philosophical differences, loss of identification with the home culture, potential for teasing or rejection by other kids, less choice in which school you attend (you may be assigned a school), the schedule may be hard to mesh with ministry travel, there may be high expectations for parents to participate in various aspects of the school which may or may not work easily with your schedule, the standard of education may be too low and not adequately prepare the child for further education in the US.

Some Considerations for missionaries who choose national schools:

-Consider how to foster the cultural identity you desire your children to have. Children who continue in this option often identify more closely with the host culture rather than with their home culture. Think of how you will foster their identity with their home culture.

-Make sure you are aware of how they discipline within the schools as well as that you check for general safety. Some countries discipline much differently than we do in the US, and some forms of discipline are not healthy. There may be different safety standards as well.

-Even within the same system, there can be a large difference between individual schools. It is always good to visit the specific school that you think your child will attend to make sure you like that particular school. Also, building relationships with the teachers and administrators goes a long way to ensuring a good experience!

-Consider when and how you make sure your child learns how to read and write well in English, as well as when and how they will learn about American culture and history, etc. According to missionary moms who filled out surveys on this option, this is very doable either by adding a little bit of extra home-schooling time after school, or by focusing on these things throughout the summer and on furloughs. Nobody said that this was a burden, but it was mentioned as something to plan for.

-A number of experts advise starting your child in national schools at a young age for the sake of ease of transition. It is more difficult for a child to adjust to a new language and system when the subject matter becomes more difficult, and as in any school situation, it is more difficult to enter into social groups late than it would be if a child begins when everyone else does.

Are your kids or have your kids attend national schools? What else would you have to share about this option? If you are looking into this option, what questions do you have?

Thank you so much to Kara, E.B., and Richelle who helped with this post by sharing about their personal experiences with national schools!

(Other resources used for this post: “A Parent’s Perspective on National Schools” by Kelly Butts, “Factors in Considering a National/Public School” by Cynthia Storrs with S.H.A.R.E, “National Schools and a Child’s Self-Esteem,” Interact- Fall 2002,  Third Culture Kids by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken)

Pregnancy and Birth Overseas- An opportunity to share!

**Update: Click here to read stories from: Phyllis in Russia, Richelle in Quebec and Niger, Patty in Ghana, Kristin in South Africa, Megan in Southeast Asia, Vanessa in Dominican Republic, Beth in Indonesia, Debby in Poland (during the communist era)

Hello Friends!

In efforts to get ready for some hopefully interesting topics in the upcoming months, I’ve been asking for a lot of your input recently! I hope you’re enjoying these opportunities to participate more in the community here. Your experiences, wisdom, and opinions are so valuable, so the more we get to hear from you, the better!

As you probably know, much of what I write about comes from what I as an average mom on the international mission field am experiencing in daily life, and thus hopefully things that you might relate to at some point. One of this year’s topics for me is pregnancy and babies! Since several of you have expressed interest in discussing this topic, and I know many of you are in the same boat of either being pregnant or planning to be at some point in the future, I thought we’d get some stuff up here on the blog about pregnancy and birth overseas. That’s where I need your help, moms! I’ve only experienced pregnancy in America and Russia, and so far my only birth experiences have been in the US (though this time around we’re staying in Russia), so I would love it if you would share your experiences to round things out!

So now for the details. Would you please email me at formissionarymoms@gmail.com to share either your pregnancy or birth experience (or both) overseas? I’m collecting stories until March 15th to give you plenty of time, especially if you have just helped with the “schooling options” survey but might want to participate in this opportunity too. Please keep your stories to 400 words or less (the length of this post or less). I plan to post each story that I receive in one way or another.

Please of course share some interesting aspects of your experience cross-culturally and how God led you during this time, but I would also ask everyone to please be cautious about  stories that might scare other moms who are planning to be pregnant or give birth overseas. You don’t have to pretend like everything was perfect, of course, but just be sensitive and envision yourself telling your story to a mom who is pregnant and possibly planning to give birth in a foreign setting. Bonus points to anyone who send in a picture with their story! Thank you!

(Post by: Ashley)

Contributors

Welcome! This page is to give you a quick introduction to the various women contributing to this site.  Please help us to get to know you as well by sharing about your own life, thoughts, and experiences in the comments of the posts. Also, we’d love to get to know you through your personal blog if you have one, so please join the blogroll if you’d like!

Thank you so much for stopping by Missionary Moms! My name is Ashley, and I am a missionary mom of three serving in Russia. God led me to start this site in February of 2009 as He showed me the lack of existing resources designed to meet the needs of mothers overseas. I don’t consider myself an expert mother or missionary, but I do have a heart to see moms thrive in the joys and challenges of missionary life. I’ve had my fair share of both joys and challenges, and my posts here are generally taken from real life experiences that I am guessing many of you might relate to. I love praying for each of you as you faithfully love and serve the Lord, your families, and those that you are hoping to reach with the gospel. It is such a joy for me to have the opportunity to know you here! I also blog occasionally on our family blog at: TheLatvalasInRussia.wordpress.com

AddieI’m Addie, a follower of Jesus, wife to an amazing man, and mom to two girls, a little boy, and another little girl due very soon! I am blessed to stay home with my kids and serve my local church through leading a women’s bible study and working in the children’s ministry. We have chosen to homeschool our children. I have a degree in English and a Masters degree in education, specifically early childhood special education. While my formal education was helpful background, the most helpful education in this homeschooling journey has been learning to lean on Jesus and trust Him with my children’s lives, and learning from other homeschooling families who have walked through this before me. I hope you enjoy my writing on this subject!

JamiI’m Jami, and I live in Siberia with my husband and two daughters.  We’re here to help serve the local church in reaching out to the Buryats, a people group closely related to Mongolians.  While no two days are alike, I strive to follow Christ, serve my family, and love the people here… and to keep it all in a healthy balance!  I look forward to getting to know you more in the upcoming weeks.  I love that we can all glean from each other, encourage one another, and build each other up! (Jami blogs at: leifandjami.blogspot.com)

Blue Shirt CloserI’m Shilo and my favorite way to start my day is with a latte and a freshly ironed pair of jeans. I love my hunky husband, two gorgeous redheaded boys, and creating a peaceful sanctuary for my family in Paraguay.  I am a firm believer that missionary women can have  beautiful and contextually appropriate homes.  And while I freely confess that I am a recovering perfectionist, I thrive on sharing the freedom that I have found in Christ’s acceptance and love.  I invite you to visit me also at myplaceofpeace.blogspot.com.

Carolyn close up

Carolyn and her husband Terry spent 14 years serving with Campus Crusade for Christ in Europe, where their 3 children were born. They moved back to the US in 1994, after Terry had surgery for a brain tumor. They live in Anacortes, Washington.  Carolyn works with the campus ministry in the Greater Northwest.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooMy  My name is Amie and I am a stay at home schooling mom. My husband and I have been married seven years and we are appointees with SIM to South Sudan.  I am the mother to five children under six. Marylou Janice (waiting for us in heaven), her twin sister Providence Joy, Rosemary Hope, William Lee and Daniel Charles. I enjoy spending my time homemaking, homeschooling, and volunteering. One of my biggest passions is redeeming money and finances for the glory of God through wise use of His resources, and by giving generously. One of our favorite things to do is to donate any extra goodies we accumulate to our favorite local charities or families in need. Sometimes we leave packages on people’s doorstep, sometimes we drop off bags at the local shelter. My eldest is always asking questions about why we give and it is such a joy to tell her that we give because we have been given so much.  John Welsey has a wonderful sermon on money where he admonishes his listeners to earn all they can, save all they can, and give all they can. This is the legacy I long to leave with my children. Amie can be found online at: www.gospelwater.net.

Debby Thompson has been on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ for 36 years, 33 years living overseas. In 1977, she and her husband Larry went with their infant daughter to live covertly behind the Iron Curtain. Together with their 3 children, they have lived and served in Poland, Germany and Hungary. The past 18 years she has served as women’s ambassador alongside her husband, Director of Affairs, for the 18 countries of Eastern Europe & Russia. Recently, they have transferred their leadership to a national couple from Poland. And yes, she is a grandmother to 4 beautiful little girls!

Howdy! I am Richelle and I can’t tell you how excited and delighted I am for the invitation to become a contributor to “Missionary Moms,” because, simply put, that’s just what I am: a missionary wife and mom who strives to love and follow Jesus with my whole heart. He IS my One and Only Savior! There’s nothing better than being married to my best friend, my fellow adventurer and explorer in raising our 8 marvelous gifts from God on the backside of the desert. In addition to baking bread and doing loads of laundry (my two favorite household chores – seriously!), I write scripts for children’s radio programs and teach lots – my kids at home, ladies’ bible studies at church, swimming and water polo at the MK school, special education and effective teaching strategies, whenever and where ever. Spare time is reserved for blogging, scrapbooking, reading and learning a third language. I’ve often stopped by “Missionary Moms” for ideas and encouragement and hope, in God’s grace and strength, to give back just a little of what I’ve received. (Richelle can also be found blogging at: ourwrightingpad.blogspot.com

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Kids and Culture: Part 3

Here is the last post of your beautiful pictures! Thank you so much to each of you who participated!

From Amanda in Taiwan:

looking-backLooking Back

From Richelle in Niger:

les-trois-amies-rsLes Trois Amies

making-tea-collage-rs1Making Tuareg Tea

From Ana in Costa Rica:

saidiSaidi, age 6,  from the Ngobe Guble Tribe

From Brin in Brazil:

p2140237Play Date in the Amazon

From Patty in Ghana:

careyboatTraveling to a stilt village by boat

careypriscilola1Carey’s best friend, Priscilla

From Rebecca in Mexico:

april-7-2009-minolta-164“Guedito” in charge of the ring pillow at a traditional coming of age birthday party for a 15 year old friend or family member

From Julie in Paraguay:

timmy-terereDrinking tereré, a Paraguayan tea

paraguayan-dancing-girlsParaguayan dancing girls

From Rita in Venezuela:

jaydeJayde wearing her traditional Ye’Kwana face paint

Again, thank you so much for the wonderful pictures! I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing these glimpses of the beauty of God’s creation world-wide!

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