I’m at A Life Overseas talking about connecting with single men and women overseas. It’s an often neglected topic in churches but critically important. I’d love to hear what you think.
I grew up in a Muslim country where women were largely absent in the public space. The inner courtyards of my Muslim friends was where women socialized. This is where talk, laughter, eating, and discussions on birth control took place. The inner courtyards were wonderful places. Places where the smells and colors mingled and to this day cause me to smile.
I also grew up surrounded by strong women. They were moms and grandmothers, they were sisters and aunties. They were also nurses and doctors, interpreters and translators,scholars and linguists, literacy specialists and more.
And more than fifty percent of them were single.
I still smile when I think of sharing meals around the table with Dr. Maybel and Dr. Mary; Hannah and Phyllis, nurse midwives; Helen – a brilliant linguist. The talk was stimulating and I owe them much in shaping my life and my story.
Because here’s the thing: In a life overseas we need our single friends, we need our single brothers and sisters. We are incomplete without them.
Every year Hannah would accompany us on our annual vacation to the Karachi coast, to a small beach hut affectionately called the “Sea Breeze.” This hut saved many a Christian worker from despairing and heading across the ocean back to their passport countries. It provided solace and rest to people who worked hard in a country sometimes hostile, other times hospitable to those of another faith. Hannah was part of our family for that week. We would rest, read, build sand castles, eat special foods, and play various games of tag in the soft sand. Hannah was vital to our family. She wasn’t a last minute add on, she wasn’t a final “plus one.” She was Hannah and she was special. Hannah was friend to both my mom and dad, older sister and auntie to the rest of us. Hannah was a gift and so were the other single people in our community.
Our single friends provide perspective and focus, they help us to parent better and love our spouses more. Our single friends are not an afterthought in the body of Christ, they are not an afterthought in the mission field. They are a sustaining force of grace and a picture of God’s good work in our world. Read the rest here at A Life Overseas!