The MAF Blog: Worldwide Pulse

The Gift of Facebook Overseas

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by Joy Neal  |  Leave a comment

I’m going to tell you the least cool thing about me: I love Facebook, and I have very few thoughtful qualms about technology. Both have enhanced my life overseas so much, it’s hard for me to be anything but positive. Here’s the short list of reasons why I think of Facebook as a gift.

    MAF missionary Joy Neal 03
  1. My friends and I witness each other’s lives. When I visited the States this past month, I didn’t field off-base questions like, “What does your hut look like?” My friends had a good sense of my life, and I was current on theirs. Instead I simply enjoyed being in the presence of friends and family—a pleasure that social media will never replace.
  2. MAF missionary Joy Neal 01

  3. My son and his grandparents stay connected. When I was sick with a tropical flu, my mother-in-law called my three-year-old over video chat. He answered by himself, and they played Legos together for two entire hours while I napped.
  4. Facebook eases the difficult logistics of life overseas. Through crowdsourcing among teammates and expats, I have found handymen, restaurants, furniture, medical assistance, recipes, a preschool, two rental houses for staff members in language school, and a bag of marshmallows that made my kid’s day.
  5. MAF missionary Joy Neal 02

  6. Social media increases my feeling of connectedness and emotional stability. This life I’ve chosen comes with a lot of goodbyes, separation, and changes. The extent to which communication technology mitigates those feelings has been, for me, invaluable. As a result, I have more and better energy to offer my family, team and community.

So there you have it: four things about technology and social media that I never take for granted. Would you add anything to this list? What “thoughtful qualms” do you keep in mind in order to navigate social media well?

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On the Road Again

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by Liz Schandorff  |  Leave a comment

I’m a road-tripping, homeschooling mama… and I love it!

I can tell you where to find the best playground in California, the best milkshake in Idaho, and the prettiest back roads in Colorado. I can entertain and educate my kids all over the country… for free (Let’s just go ahead and have a moment of silence… [Read full post.]

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It’s All About Context

Posted on: September 11th, 2014 by Jill Holmes  |  1 Comment

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” — 2 Corinthians 4:17

Did you know that the word for “jail” and the word for “chair” in Portuguese are very similar? Neither did I, until recently. I was involved in a car accident here in Mozambique that… [Read full post.]

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Collision Story

Posted on: September 3rd, 2014 by Jim Manley  |  Leave a comment

When opposites collide, fragments fly. Order degenerates to chaos. No wonder we fight to avoid crashes. Take, for instance, the contradiction between the two ways people process information—literate-style and oral-style. Neither intelligence nor education matters. Twenty percent of us in the world would rather read than listen, but 80% would rather listen than read. We spend years mastering literate-style, but acquire oral-style as babies…. [Read full post.]

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Confessions from Underground

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by Lady M  |  2 Comments

As the last person arrives, the turn of the key locks the gate. The curtains are drawn. We’re all here. All 15 of us. We’re gathered together to worship Jesus as a group … in secret. This is how our church service begins each week.

We live where freedom of worship is illegal…. [Read full post.]