Welcome to Peter’s Wife!

Peter’s Wife reaches out by monthly emails and this web site to women living and working cross culturally. Living outside our own culture is stressful. Keeping a home, helping our husbands, and raising kids can be very difficult without the usual support systems of home. Peter’s Wife is written by and for those who have given up the comforts and normality of ‘home’ to serve people in a different culture.

Whether you are currently in a cross cultural situation, have friends or co-workers who are, or just want to know what we face, take some time to look at our archive of previously sent emails. If you would like to receive Peter’s Wife by email, you may request it by emailing diane@pw.mikediane.com

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The Encourager

Recently we led a family retreat for a local church. Their theme included encouraging others.  Although my husband is well-known as an encourager, he realized that he did not have a single sermon or lesson on the topic. So combining his own experience, observation, and biblical concepts, he wrote a lesson he called Portrait of an Encourager.

I’d like to share some of his thoughts with you. I’ll include some personal examples that might bring these home to you, my friends, who are living and working in cultures other than your own.

Remember: anyone can encourage. After all, the Great Encourager, the Holy Spirit, dwells in us. He helps us and helps us help others.

[Read more…]

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When is it Time to Go Home?

Is it time to go home?”

That question has come up frequently lately, both in personal conversations and in blogs and articles I’ve read. This is not just a question for those who have spent their whole adult life in His service to the nations. My family faced this question after two years of international service, and again after four years on the field.

We had pastored for 11 years before going to Africa. Though we loved the work in Africa, it was not the right fit for our family. We believed God was sending us to Asia, but needed approval from our board to make such a drastic move. Our board told us we could sell our belongings in Africa, but with the agreement we could buy them back, if we should return after meeting with them. We didn’t know if our time overseas would be over should we decide not to return to Africa. After meeting with us, they agreed to let us move to Asia, though it was a very unusual move. Who changes continents after only two years?

Then, after two years in Asia, we were scheduled for a furlough. We had only been able to stay in our Asian country by leaving every three months and getting a new visa upon return. That was very unsettling. So troubling in fact, that we wondered if we would return there after our home leave.

[Read more…]

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Blessed by Less

In the early years of our marriage, we moved every few years. This helped to keep us from accumulating too much.

Nevertheless, over the years, we’ve accumulated a lot of things.  We’ve been given lots of gifts and we’ve bought things we liked. How about you?

Susan V. Vogt wrote a book called, Blessed by Less. For Lent one year, Susan took action: she gave away one thing a day for forty days. But what happened during that penitential period surprised her; she became so addicted to identifying unnecessary things in her life that she continued the practice for a full year. Then she began letting go of other baggage—some physical, some emotional—and found that, far from feeling poorer, she felt freer and more fulfilled than ever before. A spiritual place had opened that allowed Susan to unclutter her mind and deepen her faith. Sue wrote:

Your life is an overflowing closet. You know it is. There are sweatshirts folded up in a corner of your mind where your children’s birthdays should be stored. That worry about the rust on the car is taking up the space that you had reserved for a slow cup of tea in the morning. I know how you feel. And guess what? There’s a way to get stuff back where it belongs: let go of some of it.

Living lightly is not just about the stuff we accumulate, and it’s not just for people in the second half of life. It’s about an attitude of living with fewer burdens and encumbrances, whether you’re twenty-one or sixty-five. When done with honest self-awareness, the journey toward living more lightly has moved me to realize that I am blessed by less. Less stuff and worries have opened space to live with more contentment and meaning. Living lightly reminds me that my existence is more than accumulating possessions and status. Ultimately, I am on a spiritual pilgrimage. [Read more…]

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Helpful Resources

Living overseas can make it hard to find resources that help and encourage. However, I have been so blessed by some of the really good things available over the internet. These don’t rely on us living in our home country. As long as we can get on the internet, we have the world at our fingertips.

I enjoy my time in my home office finding good resources and writing articles for women across the world. The materials my husband has written have been translated into the two other languages most used in the world besides English; Mandarin and Spanish. We will never meet most of the people we have influenced through our web presence. What a wonderful age we live in to influence the world for our King.

This month I wanted to share some resources you may not know about. These are valuable resources that are free or inexpensive. I would love to add ones that you know about too. Please email suggestions for future link pages to: diane@pw.mikediane.com

Resources for you and your family

Christian Audio has a huge range of books in audio format for sale. Every month they have a free book to download and other specials that only cost about $5. These make wonderful gifts to send to folks you can’t be with on their special days. It is an easy way to get good Christian literature anywhere in the world.

Today’s Christian Woman sends a weekly newsletter with articles of interest to Christian women. These articles are sometimes truncated, however. If you join for $10/year, you have access to the full articles and their extensive archive. They have collections of materials on many topics. You pay a one-time fee for each collection, but they allow you to make up to 1,000 copies for your ministry. Logging into Today’s Christian Woman also entitles you to access the free content on all the Christianity Today publications, like Her.meneutics, for women in ministry.

E-Sword is a very powerful, totally free Bible program for your computer. It is also available for i-Phone, i-Pad, and i-Pod. Check out their features page to see the breadth of content available on your local computer or apple device. It has well over 100 different language Bibles available for download.

Thrive Online Magazine for Global Women. Subscribe for free and receive a weekly newsletter full of inspiration and practical helps for those of us serving other cultures.

Faith Comes by Hearing provides audio Bibles in over 850 different languages. They can be downloaded as mp3 files for use on a wide range of devices. They also have thDeaf Bible with video translations in a variety of languages.

Brigada –  is a web site with current resources, helps, and questions you might be able to answer for another overseas worker. Sign up for their free weekly email with the links to many helpful resources.

Dear Helpmate –Letters to a pastor’s wife were written by my friend, Jean Coleman. She sent these monthly letters by snail-mail to women in pastoral ministry for a number of years. Now she is making them available through Facebook. Please stop by and ‘Follow’ Dear Helpmate to see her updates. If you would rather be added to her email list, she will send you each article by email twice a month.

Some of Our Resources:

Intermin is our web site archive of much of my husband’s materials on Growing a Great Marriage, Positive Parenting and some downloadable resources. These are available in Mandarin and Spanish too.

Choosing for Life is a book for young adults on choosing a life partner. It is in downloadable PDF format. Email: choosingforlife@mikediane.com for the download link and password. It is available in Spanish as a pdf at: Eligiendo Para Toda La Vida. We will have this book in an ebook and kindle format soon. It is also being translated into Mandarin and soon into Vietnamese.

First Steps Bulletins will be sent free of charge to anyone requesting them for Newborns through 3 years. They are monthly bulletins with the usual developmental markers for that month, what to expect next, how to help your child develop, and short articles of interest for parents with children that age. These are sent around the day of the month that the baby was born until they reach 3 years. Please request your subscription or a sample for a friend by emailing me.

Knowing Jesus is a chronological study of the life and teachings of Jesus. It is an inductive Bible study for individuals or groups. Knowing Jesus is 13 weeks long with 5 lessons each week. Included are the answer sheets, topics for additional study, and discussion questions. Everything is free and downloadable. This study has also been translated into Mandarin.

Please let me know of other resources you have found very helpful, free or inexpensive, and easily available.

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Typical? What’s That?

Recently Lori Wilhite wrote an article called, The Typical Pastor’s Wife is Dead. She talks about the ideal of the perfect pastor’s wife. The one who always has it together, never seems to struggle, plays the piano, attends every event, and meets everyone’s expectations. She goes on to describe how she doesn’t measure up to that standard. This image seems outdated in much of today’s Christian world. In fact, there seems to be a new typical.

Of course my thoughts jumped to PWs (as we call them in these letters). It’s my shorthand title for those of us who live and serve outside our home culture.

I remember well our first field, more than 33 years ago. There were two veteran PWs who lived in our apartment building on the grounds of the ministry we served. Now, they were typical PWs in my mind. They cooked only with local ingredients, they were as involved in the work as their husbands, one homeschooled her children, and the other one delivered her baby in a local hospital. In my newbie mind, they seemed like real PWs- whatever that was. I tried hard to come up to their standard, but with two small kids, homeschooling for the first time, never having lived in a developing nation, and fighting shyness, I constantly fell short of my expectations for myself. [Read more…]

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