Author Archives: Joy Neal

Joy NealJoy, Pete and their son Anders are in their first term of service with MAF in Indonesia. Joy's desires are to bless and serve her family, to witness God's Kingdom at work among developing world women, and to conquer her raging fear of all things rodent. To learn more about the Neal family visit

I Would Have a More Effective Ministry in America

Indonesia has Starbucks, too! Whenever Joy is in the capitol city, she enjoys seeing how the baristas spell her name.

When I returned to Indonesia, I felt a little discouraged. What was I doing trying to minister in a country were relationships take years to build and my communication skills would always be lacking? […]

Island Fever

The other day I tried explaining the term “island fever” to one of my best friends as we drove to a reservoir.

“Island fever,” I said. “Is there a term for it in Indonesian? It’s when you’ve been in a small space for too long and need to get away.”

“You mean ‘claustrophobia’?” she asked. […]

The Gift of Facebook Overseas

I’m going to tell you the least cool thing about me: I love Facebook, and I have very few thoughtful qualms about technology. Both have enhanced my life overseas so much, it’s hard for me to be anything but positive. Here’s the short list of reasons why I think of Facebook as a gift.

My friends […]

How a Flight Safety Seminar is Improving My Marriage

As the spouse of a pilot, one of the things that drew me to MAF was its reputation for safety. But when I was required to sit in a day-long flight safety seminar at headquarters, I was less than excited. When I asked why I had to attend, I was told, “Safety is a team […]

Up Close and Uncomfortable

I am so uncomfortable right now.

It’s not that I’m physically uncomfortable, though I am. I’m sitting on a concrete floor with my bare feet tucked under me, trying not to elbow the woman to my left or knock over the open candle on the floor to my right.

But it’s not that.

I’m uncomfortable […]

On Driving and Thriving: A Letter to my Scooter

Dear Scooter,

We’re such good friends now that this may come as a shock, but here’s the truth.

I didn’t like you at first.

In fact, I fought long, hard and tearfully to keep you out of my life. My husband wanted you from nearly the minute we landed in Indonesia, but not me. People said I’d […]