In Whose God Do We Trust?

An American volunteer living twenty-five years in a Muslim country addresses the differences

The familiar jingling coming from Daddy’s pocket never failed to catch my young ear. One-by-one I drew out the American coins, searching for my favorite—a nickel. While the year of the minting and specific images differentiate the coins, every coin and banknote contain these four words, IN GOD WE TRUST. Considering all the changes in the Twenty-First Century, I wonder, in whose God do we trust?

American 5 cents coin re In Whose God Do We Trust?

Courtesy of 123RF Stock photo/wrangel

My fingertip brushed the edge of each coin held in my other hand. Searching for the ribbed edge to separate the quarter from the nickel, my thoughts drifted. How long will our coins even contain

Three Critical Cautions for Newbie International Volunteers—Part III

The final post in the series by a Thirty-two-year veteran offering insights for the first overseas deployment.

Little girl in scrubs playing doctor with Teddy bear re Three Critical Cautions for Newbie International Volunteers—Part III

Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/Oksana Kuzmina

Excitement reigns as you work through the checklist for that first overseas assignment. You learned a few phrases in the tribal language, trying to absorb everything about the new culture found in the mission brochure. To prevent some incredibly stressful moments that first year, I’m sharing these three critical cautions for newbie international volunteers—Part III.

The final post in this series may prove the one you benefit from the most. I’ve found it essential in every country where I’ve served. Some months, the issues popped up on a daily basis; at other times, I’d be taken by surprise.

Three Critical Cautions for Newbie International Volunteers—Part II

Thirty-two-year veteran shares cautions and suggests tips for the first assignment.

Kids playing doctor re Three Critical Cautions for Newbie International Volunteers—Part II

Courtesy 123RF Stock Photo/Serhiy Kobyakov

Once you’ve received that final commission to prepare for deployment, you energetically get to work on the checklist. There’s only so much a brochure can include in the area of cross-cultural issues. Most of the sticky areas pop up while you’re on-site. To give the rookies an edge, I’m sharing three critical cautions for newbie international volunteers—Part II.

In each of the three posts, I use illustrations from my personal experiences to demonstrate how I came up with these three particular cautions.

Three Critical Cautions for Newbie International Volunteers

Thirty-two-year veteran shares information essential for that first foreign assignment.

Thatched roof on new hut re Three Critical Cautions for Newbie International VolunteersThe assignment you wanted dropped in your lap. You’ve ticked off the final item on the equipment checklist. Your copy of the cultural orientation brochure is dog-eared from your repeated reviewing. You know the country and people. You’re ready to deploy. What you don’t know you’re missing is these three critical cautions for newbie international volunteers

I discovered the same three cultural issues existed regardless of the country or assignment. They