It Won’t Be the Same without You: Join The Expat Survey 2013

2444717300_abb533fa6d_mThe logo for The Expat Survey 2013 is a hummingbird, “because just like human beings each one has its own migratory flight pattern.”

If you’re an expatriate, the Expat Survey wants to hear about your migrations, as well as your “remarkable diversity of habitats.”

The survey is made up of three parts, each rolled out separately, with the final section going live tomorrow (update: the third section went live November 27). All portions of the survey will remain available online until December 31.

The three sections are

  • Migration & Lifestyle
    “[H]ave you found it easy to integrate, what do you like or dislike about your adopted home, has life changed considerably and how do you stay in touch with family, friends and the outside world?”
  • Retail & Finance
    “Whether you are working or not, what are your important considerations when it comes to personal or household expenditure, banking and investments; and what information resources do you now tend to turn to when making these decisions and future fiscal planning?”
  • Travel & Health
    “Has your move to a warmer or colder climate changed your perspective of the world and the places and people you choose to visit; and what modes of transport do you use to get there? Do you enjoy a better diet and benefit from improved health and if you have had cause to call upon your local medical services were they sufficient?”

Besides having their voices heard, expats who fill out all three portions of the survey will be entered into a drawing for £1,000.

An independent London organization, i-World Research Limited, is conducting The Expat Survey, and it’s being promoted by 10 “collaborative partners.” One of those partners, Max Media International, calls the survey “the largest and most extensive independent global research programme ever conducted on those residing outside of their country of origin.”

To take part, go to The Expat Survey 2013.

(“Expatriate Specialism Agency Joins Expat Survey 2013,” Max Media International, July 10, 2013)

[photo: “Rufous Hummingbird—All fired up to impress the ladies!,” by Rick Leche, used under a Creative Commons license]


These Newsletters Aren’t Sent Either

3742918775_f3b2aee5be_mRuth E. Van Reken’s honest revelations in Letter’s Never Sent has me thinking about all the missionary newsletters I’ve written and read. Missionaries are a good group for emphasizing the positives and putting a good spin on the negatives. Newsletters just aren’t a safe place to share deep struggles, especially when many of the readers are current or potential donors.

I’m not saying that every newsletter should be filled with pain. I’m not even saying that every missionary has enough pain to fill a newsletter. What I am saying is that if the only things you know about missionaries come from newsletters, presentations, and answer-the-routine-questions conversations, then you don’t know the whole story. And what I am saying is that if you are a missionary who is hurting, you are not alone in what you’re going through.

In fact, if you’re any kind of cross-cultural worker or a Third Culture Kid or a trailing spouse or an expat or a repat or a soldier overseas or a family member left behind, and if, at one time or another, any of the following could serve as a heading for your next newsletter or blog or prayer update . . . believe me, you are not alone.

Nobody cares.
God has been silent for a long time.
This was a mistake.
I’ve changed, and I don’t like who I’ve become.
I feel betrayed.
I’m overwhelmed.
I don’t care anymore.
I think I’m going crazy.
Where is my joy?
I wish I could die.
I feel like a failure.
I’m afraid.
I’m lonely.
I’m angry.
I’m disappointed in myself, and I think God is, too.
I don’t belong.

Let me say it one more time: If this is where you’re at or where you’ve been, You are not alone.

And I hope you’re never, ever left to feel as if you are.

[photo: “Creativity,” by Mark van Laere, used under a Creative Commons license]