What I’d Say to the Missions Committee [a podcast from Global Missions Podcast]

If I were standing in front of a missions committee in North America, these are the 5 things I’d say.

This podcast with the guys from Global Missions Podcast was recorded years ago (aka last month) in Phnom Penh. Basically, I tried to brew together all the stories (good and bad) that we’ve experienced, along with the plethora of experiences (good and bad) I’ve heard about in the counseling room, let them all steep for a bit, and then serve it as a nice cuppa to the imaginary senior pastors and missions committee members.

Things like, Let your workers share vacation photos without making them feel guilty. Recognize that your short term trip does NOT mean you understand what life on the field is like. Thank you for sending and praying; we need you. And stuff like that.

— Jonathan Trotter

Check it out here: https://globalmissionspodcast.com/128/


Furlough is Coming

‘Twas the day before furlough and all through the house,
Everybody was crazy, even the mouse.

With kilograms counted and carry-ons packed,
The dad will get asked, “Can I fit this last sack?”

With Ma on her IG and Pa on his Twitter,
They’ll update their close friends through one last newsletter.

Frazzled and frayed, the start of a furlough,
The family boards early with one last cold Milo.

Onboard entertainment will probably help
Pass the time and the sadness, and the little one’s yelp.

The children will sleep, if they’re any the wiser;
Jet lag comes for all, the great equalizer.

Arrival with greetings and baggage galore!
“Now pick up the kid sleeping on the floor.”

A welcome is waiting at somebody’s house,
Along with green grass and a bed without louse.


Awakened and rested, two weeks have now passed.
It seems like a dream the term that was last.

No VPNs needed! No guards at the gate!
And Grandma and Grandpa let parents go date.

“Another world that.” They’ll say to each other,
Debriefing and telling it all to the Mother.

Then shopping will start, making up for lost time,
Enjoying the produce and actual lines.

“The stores are so huge!” They’ll gasp and they’ll stammer,
With carts made for tonnage like fridges and jammers.
“All the things in one place?” A small child’s amused;
A TCK so he’s often confused.

The church is so clean, inviting and nice!
It’s also, turns out, surprisingly white.

The parks are amazing and so well maintained;
The trash is discarded and canines restrained.

Folks think that they’re on an extended vacation,
Relaxing and soaking up big adulations.

“Please Father forgive them, they just do not see,
The pressures and burdens of this ministry.”

The family will travel in borrowed van and,
They’ll tell all their stories and hope that you can,
Listen and care some, then get on your knees,
And join them in this work, their Life Overseas.

— Jonathan Trotter


From A Life Overseas

Paul vs. Peter | Galatians 2 | a Podcast

This message was recorded at ICF-Phnom Penh, March 2020: Paul vs. Peter

This message looks at Galatians 2:11-21 and should be available as a podcast on iTunes in a day or two. Or you can listen to it here:


Thanks so much for stopping by!

all for ONE,
Jonathan T.


“My daughter was born three weeks ago with Down Syndrome” | A Mother’s Journey, part 17

Note: The following two entries in my mom’s journal are hard. They’re sketchings from the road, not perfect prose written from comfort. Please be sure to read both…

Jonathan Trotter


February, 1993

My daughter was born 3 weeks ago with Down Syndrome. I can’t write about it yet. It’s too fresh — it hurts so bad inside. I can’t believe we’ve experienced this twice — sticky chromosomes!

Wondered if Elisabeth Elliot ever cried out, “Again?!” I have to go through this pain and grief again?! Please God, NO! I don’t want to! Teach someone else — haven’t I learned the lessons I was supposed to learn? Have I been that stubborn?


I need to read Job. I’m not asking for answers. I do need comforting. I feel so fragile, so scared. I feel like I have to have this fake front — so everyone else will be OK — Mark, the kids, everyone.

It’s like,

“Someone took a knife, edgy and dull, and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul.” — Bruce Springsteen


July, 1993

Now it’s been six months, and tears are still streaming down my face as I read the last entry. I’ve read this whole book and here I am again in God’s waiting room. My daughter is precious, gentle, sweet.

I thought today how easy it will be for her to be Christlike. In fact, the words he uses to describe himself are “mild and lowly” and I thought of all the words to describe Downs — loving, trusting, gentle — all synonyms for Jesus.

And I’m ashamed that I am so sad about her not being what I wanted. Twice when I wrote out prayer requests I could not write “healthy” baby; just “baby.”

It was like I felt God might want to show us another “gift” and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for what might be God’s best for our family. However I felt like I’d been hit hard — slapped down.

And then a guy at church says, “Are you going to risk it again?” As if we were going to Las Vegas!


A Mother’s Journey: Table of Contents


Sex and the Married Missionary {A Life Overseas}

by Jonathan

We don’t talk about sex very much. Sure, we might joke about it (the first working title for this article was The Missionary Position), but we don’t actually talk about it very much. Truth is, most folks are scared to death to have an honest, non-joking, realistic talk about sex. Maybe with a good friend, but with their spouse? Gasp. But the truth is, it matters. It’s not the biggest deal, but it’s a real deal.

And it comes up all the time in my role as a pastoral counselor to missionaries…

Read the full post over at A Life Overseas.