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Free resources for cross-cultural workers

I ran across this web site (thanks Mark Vanderhoven) and wanted to share it with those of you who are involved in either sending or going. Compiled and written by Dr. Ron & Bonnie Koteskey, it contains good advice for those working cross-culturally. Here’s a list of some of the articles: …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I ran across this web site (thanks Mark Vanderhoven) and wanted to share it with those of you who are involved in either sending or going. Compiled and written by Dr. Ron & Bonnie Koteskey, it contains good advice for those working cross-culturally. Here’s a list of some of the articles:

  • Aging Parents: Caring for aging
    parents is difficult when you live at “home,” but it is even worse when
    living out of the country. Here are some suggestions.
  • Anger: Is anger sinful? What do we do with
    anger? This article gives some guidelines for managing this troubling
    emotion.
  • Anxiety:  Everyone becomes anxious at
    times. This article explores what causes anxiety, what the Bible says about
    it, and what you can do about it.
  • Books: This annotated bibliography evaluates
    a dozen or so reasonably-priced books useful to people living and working
    cross-culturally.
  • Burnout: Anyone can burn out, but the stress
    of living in another culture may make it even more likely. This article
    gives tips on avoiding this cause of leaving.
  • Children’s Adjustment: Many
    times Cross Cultural Workers need to remind themselves of the special needs
    of their children as they make adjustments to living in a different culture.
    This article gives suggestions and ideas for helping understand our
    children’s needs.
  • Conflict: Since everyone working with
    others experiences conflict, this article looks at ways of avoiding and
    resolving such conflict.
  • Coping with Change: Life is
    rarely totally predictable. Change happens, and how we respond to it can
    make a huge difference in our lives. This article examines the dynamics of
    change and gives some tips for coping in a healthy way.
  • Counseling: Talking with a counselor
    does not mean you are mentally ill, only that you want to be a better
    person. Here are some tips about finding a counselor.
  • Culture Stress: Culture shock is
    widely discussed, but what about the constant stress that remains when the
    shock is over. Here are some suggestions for action.
  • Debriefing: People returning “home”
    benefit from debriefing even if nothing traumatic happened. This article
    gives some ways to go about your debrief.
  • Depression: Everyone feels sad at times,
    but what if the sadness does not go away? This article answers questions
    about depression and what you can do.
  • Each Other: Generational differences
    cause difficulties when people work together. This article considers
    differences and offers suggestions for harmony.
  • Expectations: Living in another
    culture is not what you thought it would be. This article looks at the
    effects of expectations and how to set realistic ones.
  • Forgiveness: Why is it so hard to ask
    (or give) forgiveness? What if you can’t forget-or still don’t like the
    other person? Here are some answers.
  • Grief: You may think of grief as what occurs
    when a loved one dies. However, people working in other cultures constantly
    grieve losses with each transition.
  • Guilt: This article discusses the differences
    between being guilty and feeling guilty as well as how to deal with each.
  • Happiness, Comparison and Envy: The
    cycle of comparing ourselves with others and feeling unhappy because of
    that comparison is as old as humanity. This article looks at this issue and
    offers some ideas to help deal with it positively.
  • Healing of Memories: Life often
    brings very painful experiences, and the memories of those experiences often
    hinder us. This article looks at the topic of “The Healing of Memories” and
    examines some of the steps that can lead to the experience of that healing.
  • Leadership: Nehemiah was one of the
    greatest leaders of all time. Here is the “who, what, when, why, and how” of
    his leadership.
  • Loneliness:  Loneliness can be a
    great challenge for the people working cross culturally. This article
    examines some of the reasons for this, and offers some ideas on handing it
    in a healthy way.   
  • Member Care: This article gives
    suggestions for getting help from your organization and from other people
    while working cross-culturally.
  • Managing Money:  Few things can
    cause as much conflict on a team is differences in approach to money
    management. This article examines the issue and suggests some ways to
    discuss and manage personal and organizational funds.
  • Mental Health: To maintain health
    don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities. Here are top
    priorities in life for mental and physical health.
  • Nepotism:  When relatives seem to be
    given favored positions, it can be a source of real conflict on teams! 
    This article explores the issue and suggests ways to minimize the problem.  
  • Premature Departure: 
    Leaving the field early can be a traumatic experience.  Whether it is
    due to poltical turmoil, interpersonal conflict, or other issues, it can be
    difficult to process.  here are some important factors to consider.  
  • Psych Testing: Organizations often
    require psychological tests before sending people to other cultures. This
    article discusses some tests and consequences.
  • Reconciliation: Forgiveness and
    reconciliation are not the same. Here are some steps you can take toward
    restoring relationships.
  • Reentry: Returning “home” can be more
    difficult than leaving. This article presents ways to finish well when you
    leave and enter well back home.
  • Relationships: One of the primary
    reasons people leave early is the problem of getting along with others. Here
    are some suggestions for lasting friendships.
  • Retirement: While working
    cross-culturally people may not think about what it will be like to retire.
    This article raises issues that need to be considered.
  • Rumors: Rumors have plagued cross-cultural
    workers for centuries, so here is some information about how they start,
    what they do, what to do when you hear one, and what to do if you are the
    victim of one.    
  • Saying Bye: People working in another
    culture say many goodbyes as they travel back and forth. Here are some
    suggestions for such interrupted relationships.
  • Separation: Couples living overseas
    often find themselves separated. This article looks at common reactions to
    this and suggests ways to cope.
  • Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse happens at
    home, at school, and with others in the organization. Here are some signs of
    such abuse and suggested actions to take.
  • Sexual Purity: People living in other
    cultures may experience greater sexual temptation, so here are some
    suggestions for maintaining purity.
  • Sexual Stress: Living in other
    cultures puts an added strain on marriage relationships. This article looks
    at these strains and gives suggestions for coping.
  • Suffering:  An all-to-common part of
    human life is suffering.  And, dealing with it is often difficult. This
    article examines suffering and offers some helpful ideas on perspective as
    well as practical steps for those who are suffering. 
  • Suicide: We may have friends that say that
    they are considering taking their own lives, or perhaps you have considered
    it. This article looks at the difficult topic of suicide, examines some
    common myths, and offers some guidance on helping others and yourself. 
  • TCK Books: This annotated bibliography
    evaluates a dozen or so reasonably priced books for and about children and
    teenagers growing up cross-culturally.
  • Thankfulness:  It may sound
    simplistic, but “developing an attitude of gratitude” has proven mental
    health benefits, especially for cross cultural workers. 
  • Trauma: As the world becomes increasingly
    violent more cross-cultural workers may find themselves in traumatic
    situations. Here are debriefing suggestions.
  • Uncompleted Transitions: 
    Since the transition from one culture to another takes months, often a year
    or more, cross-cultural workers often find themselves “leaving” before they
    are finished “entering.” 

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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