Original (photo modified) "We are all United" by Nina Matthews Photography
Summer was just beginning in Kosovo when two pink lines appeared on the flimsy pregnancy test. Our neighborhood pharmacist assured my husband and me that this tiny piece of paper was, in fact, accurate. We were going to be parents. We were already planning to leave Kosovo a few weeks after I took the infamous test; we just hadn’t decided where to live next. For the last five months, I’ve carried this baby across America, Macedonia, Turkey, Spain, and France, looking for a place to call home. Traveling as an expectant parent, I’ve been on high alert, closely observing each culture and wondering how my child would fare within it. In Kosovo, I watched strangers pinch the cheeks of every baby in sight. In southern France, I was awed by mothers’ nonchalance with scorpions. In each place, I listened to what people were teaching their children about God and all…Continue Reading
Gibsons Go Global - Awaken mag
In September, Jeremiah and Katie Gibson set out from Texas, believing that God was calling them to a round-the-world faith journey. As with most faith journeys, they didn’t know where they’d end up or how they’d afford it. They simply said “yes” to God’s call and trusted that he would work out the details. Five months and six locations later, they stumbled into my apartment in Prishtina, Kosovo, exhausted from an all-night travel schedule made worse by delays. After some rest and a strong cup of tea, the Gibsons told me how their global adventure began. When they got engaged last winter, both Jeremiah and Katie had a heart for missions. As they prepared for marriage, they sought God’s plan for their first year together, hopeful that he might release them to minister in the nations. Ten months passed with little direction. Then the Gibsons began receiving “go” words. Friends…Continue Reading
traveling well in the islamic world
Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to and live in several Muslim-majority nations. While I’ve loved it immensely, I’ve also watched fellow Americans struggle with the shift. Some of them were hung up on fear, others on assumptions, but all of them probably could have had a better time if they’d had better information. Here are some of the tricks I’ve picked up for enjoying all that the incredibly diverse Islamic world has to offer. 1. Fear Not.¬†As a young woman, I don’t think I’ve traveled anywhere without someone expressing concern about my safety, but this worry seems to go off the charts when I spend time in Muslim-majority countries. People ask if I will have to wear a hijab or even a burqa, neither of which have ever touched my head. They ask about persecution, terrorism, and jihad. They ask me if I really…Continue Reading
Somewhere between Kosovo and Bosnia “We missed our bus!” Christer reported back to us after returning from the ticket counter. The truth is this bus may or may not have existed. Transportation is always an adventure in this part of the world. We were in Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro, on our way to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia Herzegovina. Things had just started to fall into place before this moment. Our contacts e-mailed us back at our last pitstop, where we miraculously had wifi in the bus station, saying they would love to have us in Sarajevo. Up until that moment, we were going on faith to a city with no place to stay. I snapped out of my analytical thought process as Dan came up to us and announced, “I found a taxi with enough seats! It will cost 180 euros, but if we take it, we…
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