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Looming Transitions: Starting and finishing well in cross-cultural service

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  248 ratings  ·  38 reviews
When you go abroad to serve, you're thinking about the language, the losses, and the excitement. When you return home you're thinking about your friends and family, the losses, and the relief. Most aren’t thinking about the process of transition—and yet if you do, it can make the difference between a smooth entry and re-entry, or a decidedly bumpy landing. Veteran of servi ...more
Paperback, 166 pages
Published December 17th 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  248 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Alyssa Yoder
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book ministered to me. Amy is honest, funny, practical, wise and relatable. I would recommend this for anyone in a period of change and transition, not just for cross-cultural workers.
Jill Robinson
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Perfect for this time in my life. Put into words so much of what we are going through and feeling. I’m going to make my family read this and I’m sure I’ll re-read it a few more times before this transition is “over”.
Tanya Marlow
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a self-help book with a Christian slant on how to navigate transitions well – and it is SO good. Although this is written primarily for Christian workers who are moving abroad (or back home after time abroad), I would want to make this gem of a book required reading for anyone who is moving job and home, because so many of the principles are universal. It could have been titled “Finishing Well”, because it focuses primarily on often-neglected endings rather than beginnings, and really he ...more
Josh L.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Nothing bad about the book, merely shallow and overly drawn-out. It felt like a 1 hour presentation was forcibly crafted into a 100 page book.
I'm going to have to reread this book, or at least parts of it, in the next few months.

Amy Young made me laugh out loud in some places, shocked me by naming feelings I couldn't articulate and in the naming helped me realize I'm not the only one, spoke honestly yet graciously about all the aspects of cross-cultural transition...and on and on.

The idea that there is a tension between extremes in so many aspects of transition was a necessary repetition throughout the book. The acknowledgment that t
Kelsey Çetin
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are not many great resources out there for expats serving overseas to be able to navigate the complex transitions they face. This book is practical, honest, and covers a lot of scenarios we face as we move to or from overseas. Her points may be simple, but they are profound and things that are easily overlooked when going through a transition. She is all about intentionality! Amy writes in a relatable and transparent style. I would love to sit and have a cup of coffee with this author. I a ...more
Laney Mills
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Regardless of what kind of transition you find yourself in, this book is full of encouragement and helpful tips. It’s a steady reminder that it’s okay to not be okay, that we can embrace the process of transitions (with all its ups and downs), and yet that we have a steady and unchanging Anchor through it all. If you’ve never read a book about grieving or don’t have a track record of knowing how to grieve well, this book will be very freeing for you and potentially full of “aha” moments. And eve ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: missions
As I prepare to return to the US after more than 21 years of cross-cultural living and ministry, I found Amy Young's book to be both helpful and encouraging. I appreciate the affirmation of many of the feelings I'm having as well as things I'm experiencing as I prepare to leave. I needed some of the reminders that she offers. I recommend this book to others in this situation and I believe it would also be helpful to others in the various transitions involved in cross-cultural service, not just t ...more
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book as I was on my way out of the mission field and it was a very helpful tool to think about and process through upcoming change, some of which I would have never thought of on my own. An excellent resource not only for those who are leaving the mission field, but also for those who are beginning their journey into cross-cultural work and even for those who want help in the process to learn how to do cross-cultural work and furloughs better or even helping others in their transitio ...more
Carol Ghattas
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Amy Young offers great insights into starting and finishing well in cross-cultural service in her book, Looming Transitions. I like her concept of keeping a fertile soul to the reality of change, while remembering that it will be messy. There's no silver bullet in doing this well, which Young makes clear, but she does offer some great helps to workers, new and veterans, in working through the process. ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
After all my adventures overseas, I knew in preparing to go home again, it might just be helpful to get some advice from someone who's been there. This was a very practically-written book filled with good info and suggestions for hanging in there when things are hard. Because let's face it, transition and change are NOT easy things to go through. (Totally worth doing, but not easy!) I appreciated Ms. Young's relatable way of writing. So all in all, I'd say this was perfect for what I needed at t ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful Resource

I found the book helpful in categorizing important issues to face in transitions. As someone who has twice faced significant cultural transition along with many other smaller one’s the issues raised provide handles with which to discuss things you may end up facing.
Rachel Snowden
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
There was some good information, but it could have been condensed. It's likely just my personality, as I know that lots of personal anecdotes really helps many people connect to something like this. I just was in a different mode of wanting the information and ended up skimming a lot of the parts to just get the highlights. ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2018
I am an overseas missionary and, though I have to say that there is no book that can prepare a missionary thoroughly for the challenges he will face, this book excellently points out dangers and gives practical advice for navigation the transitions.
Rachelle Zook
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book for all expats

Amy​ profoundly and practically walks us through how to leave and grieve well. This book is a true gift that I will be referencing a lot in the coming months.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life Changes and how to handle them

Excellent book for cross-cultural workers and those who love them. Highly recommend to those who support and pray for missionaries - to understand their struggles with continual change.
Timothy Brown
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book gave me a lot to think of while preparing to go overseas in a about a half year. A star was taken off for some distracting repetitive ideas/stories in the book that could have been edited down
Kayla Dean
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredible for getting me ready for my transition back to my passport country. I will be reading again and recommending to anyone who is going to be facing a cross-cultural transition. Thank you, Amy, for writing this!
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of practical advice

Amy has lived through multiple changes and has researched well. This book is helpful for naming and facing the seasons of life in the overseas worker.
Samantha Mockford
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very readable; the voice is like a chatty sister generously dispensing wisdom from her experience. Amy Young, would you please consider writing a follow-up book about re-entry? :)
Jamie Morris
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great book to have by your side in the midst of cross cultural transition!
Tim Wester
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very well done and applicable even to transitions locally. Worth the time to read
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This book gave me a lot to think about. Not all of it was applicable, but there was enough to make it worth the listen.
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anyone transitioning from/to overseas should read this. So good.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been absolutely essential in helping me prepare to transition back to living in America after living abroad for 2 years. I highly recommend this book for anybody going through a big transition, but it is especial helpful for those of you who are preparing to move oversees, those moving from country to country while abroad, or those who are returning to their home country after living abroad for any length of time.

Young's chapters on grief helped me come to more deeply understand my
Sydney Drinkwater
I'll say right now I didn't actually finish this book, so perhaps you'll want to ignore my next thoughts. However, I'll briefly share why I quit so you understand.

I heard about this book that was about to come out from a blog I occasionally read. Having been a missionary overseas for a number of years that had just moved back to the States, I was elated to find a book on the exact topic my husband and I were struggling with. I ordered it.

Besides perhaps the fact that the writing style was not th
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this title when it was first published, and just finished listening to the audiobook version. It was wonderfully narrated by the author's sister, Laura. Laura really brought the text to life and it was a joy to listen to. Well done sister duo! ...more
Deb Hall
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Looming Transitions is inspiring, encouraging, funny, wise, and informative. Amy Young, a gifted writer, writes from experience and with compassion about the often difficult road of cross-cultural transitions. She writes with a warm, supportive voice that will constantly remind readers they're not alone in the struggles they may be facing on this journey. Looming Transitions is full of detailed, practical advice that will leave readers extremely prepared for their looming transitions. I highly r ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Terrific book to prepare for, or assist someone with, transition ... whether the move is to another country or another town. I listened to the audio version, which was well done. I also appreciate the workbook exercises that go with it.
Ashley McKnight
A lot of good, helpful practical advice from those preparing to go to the field or returning from it. A quick, easy read.

However, I felt the Christian slant was forced on many areas. The quotes didn't always relate to the topic and theologically it would have been better to either say more or else leave it out all together.

Worth a read though.
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“I want a fertile soul. I want to be the kind of person who is able to let roles or locations or seasons of life die so there is space for the new to grow. You’re on this journey too or you probably wouldn’t be reading this. When a transition is looming, part of keeping your soul fertile is awareness. Awareness of the kind of person you want to be. Awareness that it is possible to let certain parts die and plant new ones. Awareness that fertile can look fallow on the surface. Awareness that it is hard to let parts of yourself die, but it is necessary. Awareness that you may need to leave to stay you. Awareness that while a fertile soul may not be the heart cry of the world, it is the heart cry of God. He loves you and cares more about being with you in this journey than where you are going.” 0 likes
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