New Book Next Year!

Hi, friends.

Quick note to state the obvious: I’ve been very quiet on here for the past, well, long time.

I didn’t stop writing though. I was working on a new book. The first draft is done and I’ll be finishing revisions over the next couple of months. I’ll have more details soon, and the book will come out next year.

In the months ahead, I’ll revise this site and get more active on it.

Thanks for your interest. I’ll be in touch soon on here, and will continue to post occasionally on Twitter and Facebook in the meantime.


Exploring the Extremes (with Free Giveaway!)

I like exploring at extremes, whether it’s trying to push my own limits or understanding someone else’s. A few recent thoughts: In the spring I traveled to Bangkok to write about people living and working in slums around the world. I wrote a cover story for Christianity Today about their challenging and inspiring stories – “Chaos and Grace in the Slums of the Earth.” I appreciate how they push to work out what faith and love means in their on the crowded margins of society. This year I turned 40. With the business of family and work that most of us face, I decided [...]

Remember You Will Die (It Helps You to be Alive)

Just before the earthquake, Père, the grandfather of the Woshdlo family I first lived with in Haiti, pulled me aside to tell me about the latest project he was starting. As usual he was barefoot, in tattered slacks and a partly shredded button-down shirt that he wears for work in his fields. He said he had been saving up to make a burial place — a small, traditional concrete tomb. The time was coming closer, he said, and he wanted to prepare for his death so the costs didn’t fall to his children. When I was there after the earthquake, [...]

Chaos and Grace in the Slums of the Earth

Note: In March I traveled to Bangkok to write about the “slums of the earth” for Christianity Today. This month, that story is their cover. Here is a small excerpt from it: For the first time in history, one of every two people lives in a city. Some 860 million of these city-dwellers reside in slums—uncertain, cramped, and frequently cruel. Most are there by necessity. A small number of Christian missionaries live in slums too. They are there by choice. About 100 of them, mostly from the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, met near Bangkok this past April. They [...]

Tribute to Danm

  Danm’s funeral is this afternoon. She was the grandmother of the family who Shelly and I lived with when we first moved to Haiti, with whom we’ve stayed very close for these past ten years. I wrote about Danm in my first book, especially in a chapter “Us. Them.” in which she’s sharing her lively, funny, scary story-telling skills with us and her grandchildren. (She’s in the middle of this photo, with her husband, one of her grandchildren, and my daughter and son.) Danm was very sick the past few months and I thought, as I prepared for this [...]