Passages Through Pakistan – An Excerpt

The train rounds a bend. The rest of the cars appear one by one, all tied to one another far into the distance It comes as a surprise to be tied to things so far back Nazım Hikmet, Human Landscapes from My Country We moved from town to town during my childhood, but I was […]

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When No One Shares Your Grief

A week ago my mom called with some sad news. Stefanous had died. I was so shocked. He was only 5 years older than I am. His youngest daughter was only just married two weeks ago. A flash flood of memories instantly floored me and I began to cry. For those of us who grew […]

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On #InternationalDayofTolerance – Fight for Asia Bibi!

I’m angry.  A Christian Pakistani woman is sentenced to death in Pakistan. Her crime? She is allegedly accused of insulting Islam after a group of Muslim women did not want her sharing the same water bowl as them. She offered them water and they refused stating it was “unclean.” I wish this was hyperbole. I wish that […]

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Daughter, Your Faith has Healed You – SheLovesMagazine

Readers, I would love it if you joined me today at SheLovesMagazine.com.  It is a privilege to be there and to introduce many of you to the writing over at SheLoves. SheLovesMagazine is “a global community of women–a Sisterhood–who want to know and experience freedom, justice and transformation, for ourselves and others.” The mission is […]

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On Belonging

Recently I watched a group of younger colleagues. They seemed so at home with each other, so comfortable.  Like pieces in a puzzle, they all fit. There was without doubt some diversity among them, but they spoke the same language, had the same Masters of Public Health (MPH) after their names, had gone to similar colleges, […]

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A Moment Between Worlds

I’m sitting in a Pakistani Restaurant in Los Angeles, just two miles from the airport – because that’s what we do when we are global nomads. We find comfort foods and places wherever we go, places where we can kill the saudade. I arrived just a couple of hours ago from New Zealand and knew […]

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Meditations and Truth – A Book Giveaway

Sun streams through lace curtains as I sit in my living room. Except for the low buzz of my electronic servants that sit in my kitchen, it is completely quiet. It has felt like a rough week. Orthodox Lent began on Sunday night, a night when I was sitting in an  immigration line that stretched […]

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Sharmeen Obaid and the Power of Story

Watching the Oscars has long been a tradition in our family. When our kids were younger, an Oscar party was a yearly event. We would literally roll out a red carpet, serve fancy food, and dress up as characters from the year’s films. The kids invited their friends and we had ballots where we would […]

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Evil is Not the Final Word

Note: due to a WordPress error, the post looks like it was published on February 3rd. It was, in fact, published on the morning of March 28th. On Easter Sunday evening, a suicide bomber targeted a busy park in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. Boasting a water area and a playground, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park is a […]

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Memories of Eid Celebrations عید مُبارک

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends and readers today. Each year, the sighting of a crescent moon tells Muslims around the world the date of Eid al Fitr. With that date, a month of fasting ends and festivities and celebrations begin.The second Eid celebration is always held on the tenth day of the Lunar month. This […]

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On Prayer and a Pakistani Childhood

   Before my family moved to Pakistan, prayer was relegated to the Sunday morning church service, the evening service and Wednesday night prayer meeting at McLauren Baptist Church. Our family had “family devotions–a daily time for short Bible readings and prayers–and we prayed before each meal. However my perspective on prayer was largely first formed […]

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Hand of Blessing

Hand of Blessing by Robynn  You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. ​Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,too great for me to understand! (Psalm 139:5-6) When I was a kid, growing up in the Punjab province of Pakistan, I was taught to seek out the […]

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A Life Overseas – A Note from an Impostor

Readers – will you join me this Monday at A Life Overseas? Here is an excerpt from my brutally honest past history with missions. On Wednesday of last week, Laura Parker announced changes and new leadership at A Life Overseas. Later that day I received a lovely note on Twitter from Denise James, co-author of […]

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Hatching Baby Sea Turtles

I’m in a cocoon of snow. The entire world around me is white and cold. I am happily non-essential so there is no need to go anywhere and I am so grateful. I wanted to take this day anyway, to think about life as I enter a new birth year, to do some writing, to […]

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Forget Culture Wars, It’s Chai Wars!

Cultural (Chai) Wars by Robynn It’s time to speak out. The writers and editors here at Communicating Across Boundaries have been silent on the subject for far too long. But that silence is over. For the record, let it be known, this is the time for clarity and decisiveness. It is the time to speak […]

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“No one stares anymore!”

“Some of the people have no color,” says one of the boys who has made it to the refugee camp. [referring to the aid workers at the camp] “That’s because they were born without skin,” “There are people here with no skin!” [Giggles from the children erupt] “No one stares anymore!” I said this through […]

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The Courage to Begin Again – Peshawar School Reopens

For 16-year-old Shahrukh Khan, who was shot in both legs while pretending to play dead in his school’s auditorium, going back was traumatic. “I have lost 30 of my friends, how I will sit in the empty class, how I will look to their empty benches,” he told AFP before the school reopened. “My heart […]

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The Song of Mynah Birds

“Amidst all this madness, all these ghosts and memories of times past, it feels like the world around me is crumbling, slowly flaking away. Sometime, when it’s this late at night, I feel my chest swell with a familiar anxiety. I think, at these times, that I have no more place in my heart for […]

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