Posts Tagged "Uganda"

me with baby

10 Steps for Doing Short Term Missions Trips Well

With summer missions trip season upon us, I decided to repost a very popular blog about short term missions. Needless to say, there has been a ton of debate around the topic of how to do short term missions trips well, and it’s a sensitive issue. I’ve read countless articles and heated debates on blogs, both lauding and criticizing short term missions/volunteer trips. There is everything out there from, “It’s a total waste of resources that could be better spent, to “It changed my life,” to “It’s self serving ” to “Where will my funding come from if I don’t let the

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when you feel like a failure in missions

When You Feel Like a Failure in Missions

In January of 2013, after 6 years of running a non-profit in Uganda I moved off the field back to the USA and struggled terribly with re-entry. There were many good, wise reasons for this move, including listening to God’s voice, and hitting burnout, but none of them seemed justifiable enough to qualm the voice in my head that echoed with the fact that in leaving I had somehow failed. It seemed like so many things had gone wrong. And I blamed myself. When I left Uganda, I wondered if God still had a plan for me or if I’d somehow messed

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syrian refugee children

5 Practical Ways to Respond to Trump’s Refugee Ban

I want to begin first by saying this isn’t a political post, this is a love post. This isn’t about whether or not you are Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, whether you’re concerned about national security or whether you’re concerned about refugees. This is about being human and this is about our call to love one another. This is about empathy and compassion and about moving beyond our fear and standing for what’s right. This is about having a conversation.  If we have a heart for missions, this might be the greatest need of our time, right now, to

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dangers of barbie savior

The Danger of Being a Barbie Savior

We’ve all been there. Our very first missions trip probably looked a lot like us taking a million selfies with African babies, or handing out soccer balls at an orphanage. Fifteen years ago, I was just as guilty. My first trip as a 19 year old resembled this and that makes me sad. But growth is about learning from our mistakes and parlaying that into positive change. In recent years, a parody Instagram account called Barbie Savior that started as a joke has gone viral. It depicts all the things that are wrong with “voluntourism” overseas. If you haven’t seen it,

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missionary manifesto

The Missionary’s Manifesto

Recently, my friend Jeff Goins, who runs a writing course I’ve taken (Tribe Writers) challenged us to write a manifesto about something we care about. Many of you know I write a lot about modern day missions and social justice based on my six years spent living in a war affected region of Uganda as a missionary and non-profit founder. I write a lot about how we need to change the paradigm, in order to shift from the way things have always been done. So this is my missionary manifesto, this is my clarion call to the world about what missions and social justice should look

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recover from burnout

How to Recover from Burnout

“We don’t have to buy into the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.” -Arianna Huffington, Thrive I’ve been humbled overwhelming response around my recent article, What I Wish I’d Known About Missionary Burnout. After sifting through numerous comments and emails, my heart ached with a common thread: The voices of so many of you rising up, bravely admitting to yourselves that you might already be burned out and asking what you should do next. It’s been two and a half years and I still feel like I’m answering this question. The good news is, you’ve taken

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missionary burnout

What I Wish I’d Known About Missionary Burnout

Two years ago, I left the red-earthed Africa that I loved and landed awkwardly into a new life in San Francisco, lugging six giant suitcases that held all my worldly possessions. I had been running Zion Project for seven years at that point, spending nearly six of those full time as a missionary in Uganda. I had returned America for many reasons, one being that I was very close to burnout. I wasn’t able to admit that to myself at the time, because in my mind, I still could have kept going, but stress, daily life running a non profit, and the

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hawaii from above

How to Become Brave

There is a perfect time of day.  Somewhere in the space between the sun waning and the first evening chill converging, where the light is a faded gold, like an old photograph, and the landscape is bathed in wonder. Most days, the exquisiteness of this moment escapes me. I am busy with emails, or exercising to burn more calories, or preparing dinner. I am hurried by my never-ending list of things to do. But what if God created the world to be enjoyed, and I, along with it.  What if every sunset was made to be watched, breathed in deeply,

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How to Make the Ruins Beautiful

I lived my life in emergency mode for so long I almost forgot what it felt like to have some peace.  There was always a problem to solve, a sick kid who needed taking to the hospital, a government office who didn’t understand our heart, a mama who needed a hand held while she took an HIV test, a landlord who wanted to raise our rent, a donor who needed an explanation. They say Africa is not for the faint of heart for a reason. And while I might love her dew and her dust, her people, the suddenness of

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Missionary Meets Monotony

It’s been six months since we left Africa.  Six months since I put a sandaled foot on her and breathed her sweet, smoky air after a hard rain. I’m starting to have a routine, starting to have an order to the chaos. I like California. What’s not to like about California? The weather. The people. It’s pretty dang amazing. I like my little one bedroom cottage apartment I live in. Even my neighbors are nice. They remember to drag our trash to the curb when we forget because we’re not used to organized garbage trucks. Rules. Things like, only a

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