The Cycle of Goodbyes

By Joelle Mumley

My favorite kind of goodbye is one where we say, “I’ll probably see you again before I leave” even if I probably won’t. My favorite kind of goodbye does not happen at the airport while I’m distracted by the double-checking of my flight time, the location of my passport, or the weight of my luggage. My favorite kind of goodbye is one where the person already knows how important they are to me (and I to them), so we can just keep it light and not feel the pressure to say something meaningful or profound.

Like most TCKs, I have had a lot of practice when it comes to saying goodbye. Though I lived in one place for the vast majority of my childhood, there was still plenty of transition. We took trips to the U.S. every few years and my international school was a revolving door of classmates coming and going.

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Present Day Persecution

By Gabe LePage

I remember walking into our church’s Wednesday night community dinner and meeting Sharon for the first time. She was a breath of fresh air to me. She looked me in the eye, and showed a genuine warmth. She greeted me and my housemates, and introduced us to her kids. Within a few times of meeting us, she invited us to her house to pray. She had a strong sense of the Holy Spirit, and God’s activity in our lives. She was extraordinarily perceptive, pointing out what might be weighing me down and taking off the load. She was a seminary student at the time, and new to the church. The church is predominantly, but not entirely, white. She is an African American single mother with 4 kids, who was living in the church’s seminary housing. While Sharon was a breath of fresh air, she also dispelled for me the myth that faith is not persecuted in America. 

She was a breath of fresh air for two reasons. First, as a missionary kid who grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, I was still wrestling with an aspect of the Reformed Christian culture different from the faith I experienced as a kid.  Growing up, I had this sense of God as an active force in our lives who calls, guides, and interrupts. God was to be feared, worshipped, and loved, not merely debated and theorized about. When I moved to the US, it seemed to me that churches interacted with God primarily as an idea; a God of the head and not of the universe. Though I love a lot of what I learned from reformed schools and recognized my impression was not completely fair, something about Sharon’s deep love of God and personal relationship with Jesus was extremely refreshing. 

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Indiana Jones Reaches for Something More

By Adam Lundy

Growing up, the Indiana Jones franchise was a staple of our household, especially the final installment of the initial trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. One of the reasons for this was how much more of the film my sister and I were actually allowed to watch given certain, disturbing sequences involving melting faces or ripped out hearts in the first two movies. I suppose a character from the final film rapidly ages, but that wasn’t the scene that disturbed me most as a kid. 

Perhaps the most haunting scene for me was when the villainous Elsa Schneider meets her demise by falling into a vast crevasse, slipping from Indy’s not-so-firm grip into a yawning pit of fog with a violent scream. Both my sister and I would pivot our gaze to Mum as Elsa’s scream faded, demanding an explanation of her whereabouts. Our mother would say that Elsa always landed right back in her bed, safe and sound. The irony here is that the actress who portrayed Elsa Schneider probably had a mattress on set arranged to break the fall, and so technically was landing in a bed, safe and sound. 

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Cherish the Present

By Krista Musiime

When I was a junior in college seven years ago, I began to have ideas and dreams in my mind of what I wanted my life as an adult to be like. I remember I had just started watching the show How I Met Your Mother and seeing the friendships between the main characters made me wish and hope for something similar after graduation. I envied their camaraderie, spontaneous hangouts at restaurants and coffee shops, road trips, and so much more. They made me picture adulthood as this exciting adventure filled with close knit friendships, travel, money, and living in a big city. 

During my senior year as I was applying for full-time jobs, I really wanted to live in specific cities which would fit these dreams I had. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a job in any of those cities and instead, ended up moving to a smaller city than I had desired. On top of that, the job I got wasn’t really what I was looking for. 

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Advent and Uncertainty

By Katie Holland

If I were to describe this season, I think I’d use the word uncertainty. Nothing is set, nothing is for sure, and I feel like it’s hard to bank on any of my own plans coming to pass. 

In the midst of this uncertainty we entered Advent, the season of expectant waiting leading up to Christmas. I love the Advent season and the hope it brings. This year I’ve been reading through a study put together by She Reads Truth. The theme is “Jesus Christ is Born” and each day looks at something He was born to do, a promise that his birth brings.

One of these readings brought me to the parallel stories of Zechariah and Mary in Luke chapter one. I can’t help but believe that these stories were placed side by side in Luke for a reason. Both Zechariah and Mary were visited by an angel of the Lord and given the same seemingly impossible message: you will have a son. Both responded by asking the angel questions.

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