The short answer is YES. You definitely should.
But why, Julie?
Oh let me count the ways.
It’s not just your story. You are a piece of the puzzle You are part of a grand narrative that God has been telling since the beginning of time. God is using you as part of HIS mission to reach the lost around the globe through people with regular jobs, expat wives, and more. The reality is that there are others involved in what God is doing through you in your country. People praying for you back home will be so much more involved if they are able to get a glimpse of what your life is like there. When you show them how you shop for groceries they can see what is different or hard for you and they can pray for you. When you show them what the idols look like in your country, friends back home can pray for the new friends you've made who still worship those idols. Show people your world so that more can join you in praying for God's mission in your city.
It can help fund your life. While blogging for profit DOES take some time, having a solid platform online can really help cover the expenses of life overseas. Maybe your overseas career provides beyond what you need. Or maybe your budget as a teacher overseas is so tight you can barely afford the internet to read the post. Blogging can help provide some extra income if you work hard at it and do it well. As you build your traffic, you can start selling ad space on your blog or have affiliate links in your posts. If you are an expert at something, your blog may not even be about your life overseas, but you can blog FROM WHEREVER you live and share your expertise. Are you an expert at writing curriculum for homeschooling? You can sell those lessons on your blog as you blog about life as a homeschooling family overseas. Are you an expert at web design? Blog about all of the projects you are you working to showcase you work and get new clients.
Ok I get it, Julie. You've convinced me. But how can I blog securely? I don’t really want everyone knowing that I’m overseas with my job so that I can help share the gospel with nationals.
Don’t connect all the dots. Don't share your last name if you share your first. If you share what country you live in don't say what city you live in. If you say what area of the world you live in, don't share the name of your country. Be smart. Honestly, I recommend this to anyone blogging anywhere.
Use a fake name if you have to. Some people living in countries where being a Christian is illegal will often use pseudonyms. I know of a blogger in Africa (see how I didn't get specific about where she is? Ha ha. DON'T CONNECT ALL THE DOTS.) who blogs pretty openly about her daily life and features pictures on her blog of her face and pictures of her kids (not usually their full face though). She talks openly but never ever mentions their real names.
Don't use the word "missionary" on your blog. Most of you reading this are not vocational missionaries. You are not paid by a missions organziation. But here at Skybridge, we believe that anyone who takes their job overeas for the purpose of sharing the gospel is a missionary. So we know you may consider yourself a missionary (as we all should, no matter where we live!) But don’t call yourself that on your blog. Wether you live in Saudi Arabia or Spain, don't announce to the world, "I'm living in X city as a missionary." I'm not telling you to be ashamed of the Gospel. I'm telling you to be wise for the sake of the Gospel. In MOST countries, people associate the term missionary with all kinds of negative connotations. For us in Spain, people thought missionaries were Jehovah's Witnesses or they thought of the crusades. I don't want barriers to the Gospel where there shouldn't be. Your supporters and friends back home will know what you are there to do so you don't need to remind them that you are a "missionary." And it's ok to say, "We are living in Copenhagen to partner with Acts29" or "We are living in Montenegro to help plant churches." That lingo may be confusing but if a local friend finds your blog and asks you, "What does it mean to plant a church?" That's just a great opportunity to tell them why you are a Christian and why the church is so important to you that you want to see gospel centered churches planted in their country.”
Have I convinced you to start your own blog yet, expat? I hope so! You have a story to tell that God can use for His Mission (because remember, it's His, not yours.)
If you want to start a blog TODAY, get my FREE 16-step guide (link to: http://www.juliermasson.com/subscribe/) by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It's free. It's fun. And you can more of ME in your inbox (every Saturday morning my peppy self will show up in your email.)
This guest post comes to us from an ex-missionary turned Skybridger turned blogger who now lives in Kansas City and helps women learn how to blog. Recently she wrote a blog post and recorded a live video answering the question, “Should I start a blog if I’m a missionary?” You can watch it here (link to: http://www.juliermasson.com/askjulie4-start-blog-im-missionary-can-securely/) or read on to learn why you should consider starting a blog if you live overseas.