ChinaSource Blog PostsServing

Life in Motion

A Resource for Those in Transition


Life in Motion: Growing through Transition by Amy Casteel and Ruth Van Reken. Springtime Books; 2nd edition, 2018. Available on Amazon.

Drawing on years of experience exploring and writing about themes of transition, well-known and respected TCK (Third Culture Kid) author, Ruth Van Reken has teamed up with Amy Casteel to produce a ten-week Bible study entitled Life in Motion. The explanatory subtitle Growing through Transition explains the focus. It encourages the internationally mobile to turn to see what the Bible says about transition through considering the stories of various biblical characters and their transition experiences as a basis for reflection. It provides useful questions to assist individuals or groups in doing so.

The first study presents and walks the reader through the stages of transition to provide a framework. It then moves to the most influential transition in all time—that of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden with the huge attendant losses that ripple down to the present.

We feel the dilemmas facing Sarah, wife of Israel’s founding father Abram, as a “trailing spouse.” We see Jacob learning that reconciliation is a vital part of leaving (and arriving) well. We discover how Joseph dealt with traumatic transition through family betrayal being sold into servitude, and Moses with a cross-cultural upbringing. There are those who move and struggle—like the complaining Israelites in the wilderness and Naomi repatriating after a painful time of loss in Moab. There are those having to adapt to different cultures and make home among aliens—like Daniel in Babylon and, most dramatically, Jesus.

This booklet provides plenty of thought-provoking material that can be a valuable aid in processing life in times of motion with moves planned or unexpected. I found it particularly helpful to work through on my own and then discuss with a small group who have served cross-culturally for many years and all facing an array of transitions in terms of location but also life stage (as empty-nesters). It helped us remember former times, think through present situations and hold to the faithful, unchanging presence of our God.

Image credit: Spencer Wing from Pixabay
Andrea Klopper

Andrea Klopper

Andrea Klopper has taught in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and China. She has mentored Mandarin language students and developed a cultural orientation and acquisition program which she used in two organizations. One of her passions is researching the lives of expats in her city pre-Liberation. She enjoys reading, cycling... View Full Bio


Are you enjoying a cup of good coffee or fragrant tea while reading the latest ChinaSource post? Consider donating the cost of that “cuppa” to support our content so we can continue to serve you with the latest on Christianity in China.

Donate