why a partnership is better than a mission trip

i’ve been on mission trips before. where you buy specific things needed to make the journey most comfortable and pack the items that you are okay parting with if they get too dirty or become too smelly to bring home.

i’ve arrived by bus, van, plane, rickshaw, and train. i’ve set out to see lives changed, encourage the local believers, and make a difference. i’ve raised support to get me there and bring me back. i’ve even carted our kids on these mission trips. 

but what i’ve discovered is that a partnership is better than a mission trip.

the word mission is a latin word ‘mittere’ meaning “send.” it denotes the sending of the Holy Spirit into the world. 

this is our mission — to take the Good News to the world. i’m just not sure one can do it on a trip!

what we can do is partner with those in their called places who are living out the mission of Christ. 

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i get to write a book!

did you join me in 2007 when i started blogging as an outlet through toddlerhood in the midwest?

did you get front row seats in 2010 as we moved to san francisco to launch a church?

did you follow us to india and back in 2012-2015 as we adopted kavita? 

some of you have been with me for quite some time and others are new. but for all of you, i've got another exciting place to go and i need you with me more than ever!

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travel guide: london

with every travel guide i post, i am obliged to share this disclaimer. i married adventure and we have a peculiar way we get around. it works well for us, and we think if you try it, you’ll like it. but pick and choose from our guides. we’re always happy to know we helped you enjoy your adventures all the more. this was our second trip to london, so some places i mention were explored on trip one. we haven’t grown tired of london yet. here are our favorites of london in no particular order:

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how to make this school year a success

who doesn't just love the smell of new school supplies? i think i'll be buying them when i don't need to anymore. if only these binders, rulers, and combination locks guaranteed a successful year. however, i can tell you from our public school experiences that these 5 actions can lead to a successful year for your family and your school. 

1. cheer on the teachers.

2. everyone make friends.

3. literally walk around the school and pray.

4. be influencers.

5. meet the need. 

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5 reasons to learn to love where you live

look around you.

is the place you are sitting brand new with the price tag still on?

is it where you've grown up, thought you'd leave (maybe you did) and are still living there?

maybe the idea hasn't occurred to you that where you live is important to who you are becoming and to the Kingdom of God. 

i have a growing love for where i live. it wasn't love at first sight. and if i'm not careful, i can get bogged down in what i don't like and what frustrates me. but God has a plan for me. for you. for the places we call home. 

consider these thinking points: 

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what it looks like to trust in Jesus

she believes! kavita has decided to put her faith in God -- to give all of her past, present, and future, to the One True God!

God, thank You for opening her eyes, for answering our prayers, her prayers, for being her ultimate Rescuer. I praise You! You are good. I love that You have used camp, friends, family, and hard conversations to lead her. 

in coming home june 2015, she was eager and quick to learn english. she took to songs and biblical teaching easy. she loved church, kid classes, camp, bible school. she was reading her Bible and always learning in advance the set list for worship songs each sunday. every time in the van, "mom, can you turn on some church music?"

this spring, tension developed as i believe she was at a crossroads with, "do i believe all of this about Jesus?" she doubted. she questioned how we could hear and talk to God who we can't see. it felt silly to pray. 

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a much needed update

we've called san francisco home for 7 years now.

our daughter has been in our forever family for 2 years.

we're entering the teenage years and realizing we've got just a handful of summers left before high school graduation.

so we spent the month of june away from "normalville" (as i have coined our san francisco life) and reappeared in july feeling refreshed and renewed.

that's a lot of "re" happening, but so it goes when we take a break from the normal.

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