The TEAM Blog

Go to the nations. Be the body of Christ.
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Keeping Kids from Drugs — through Basketball and Jesus
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Ask TEAM: What is the Most Important Thing in Christian Mission Work?
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How to Pray for Missionary Teachers During COVID-19
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TEAM Eats: Salmorejo
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6 Ways to Serve in Cross-Cultural Ministry Before the Mission Field
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Freed from Addiction — Through Recycling
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1 Hospital for 14 Million People [August Prayer Focus]
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Maintaining Friendships While Living Abroad
9
Should You Pursue Missions During COVID-19?
10
The Ranch Where Heaven Meets Earth

Keeping Kids from Drugs — through Basketball and Jesus

Kids play basketball at sports ministry Transformados
Drugs are a big lure for kids in La Paz, Mexico — but a sports ministry is getting kids off the streets and teaching them the saving truth of Jesus!

“[If] my brother wouldn’t have invited me to Transformados, then I wouldn’t have known anything about God. … I would probably be on drugs, alcohol and sex,” Chuy says. Chuy’s alternate life isn’t hard to guess at because many of his friends are already living it. In the sprawling city of La Paz, Mexico, drugs are widely available. Some kids start using them as early as 13 years old. But in recent years, more and more children have found an alternative through a program called Transformados. Five days a week, they gather on a basketball court, eager to learn new…

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Ask TEAM: What is the Most Important Thing in Christian Mission Work?

Brenda Matthews with Mexican believers
Missions is a complex topic, but the most important thing is actually quite simple. And getting this right will impact everything we do on the field.

With each generation, the Church learns (and forgets) vital factors of success in missions. We want to lead ministries that are authentic, culturally sensitive, holistic in care, empowering to local believers, effective in planting churches — the list goes on and on. All of these are important things, worthy of deep, rich discussion. But what is the most important thing in Christian mission work? The answer is simple: Jesus. As cliché as it sounds, Jesus really is the most important part of mission work. He’s at the center of it all, He’s the reason for it all, and He’s the…

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How to Pray for Missionary Teachers During COVID-19

Missionary teachers, Durban Bible College
The school year is in full swing, and missionary teachers are trying to build a new normal for their students. Here are three ways you can pray.

With schools back in gear (both online and in-person), now is a great time to pray for cross-cultural teachers and their students. With this new world we’re in, people have been making some tough decisions. Administrators had to decide how to provide good educations while keeping everyone safe — and that doesn’t look the same everywhere. Teachers are working to create quality experiences online and through social distancing. And many students are filled with fear of catching COVID-19. In times like these, the best thing we can do for missionary-teachers and the children they serve is pray. Keep reading to…

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TEAM Eats: Salmorejo

Salmorejo
Tomato soup isn’t just for cold fall days anymore! Cool off this summer with a cool and refreshing bowl of salmorejo, from Spain.

After a short-term mission trip to Spain, Lauren Witteveen decided she had to come back and continue the work. And with a tiny evangelical population in Spain, TEAM missionaries like Lauren have their work cut out for them! Lauren spends much of her time building relationships and studying Spanish, and the linguistic and cultural disconnects can be exhausting. So, on those long, hot Spanish days, Lauren likes to cool off with a nice bowl of salmorejo. This tomato soup dish has been a favorite since Lauren’s first visit to Spain. But even more than their food, Lauren loves the Spanish…

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6 Ways to Serve in Cross-Cultural Ministry Before the Mission Field

Missionaries
The first step to serving God overseas is serving Him at home. Find out how these missionaries took their first steps! Photo courtesy of Kit Tischler.

If you’re the typical aspiring missionary, there’s a question you may be dreading: How are you making disciples in your everyday life? When you’re applying with quality missions agencies, the question is unavoidable. Before you go through the trouble of raising support, learning a new language and moving abroad, agencies want to know you have a good chance at success. “If a person isn’t involved in ministry and reaching out for the Lord back home, it will be even harder to do that when they arrive in a new culture,” says TEAM missionary Jann Vander Mey. But if you’re like…

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Freed from Addiction — Through Recycling

Men sort bottle caps as part of recycling project
Zhenya had lost everything to his addiction. But a surprise job at a recycling plant — and an unlikely friendship — led Zhenya to redemption.

Kurt drove away from the rehab center — and from his friend Zhenya. As the miles went by, he felt a growing relief. For the first time in months, the heavy burden of responsibility that came with helping Zhenya was lifting. Caring for Creation and Their Community Kurt and Rochelle zurBurg have served as TEAM missionaries in Odessa, Ukraine, for more than 12 years. Their ministry has included a variety of activities — from apartment building repairs to backpacking to teaching science classes. It is always, “at its core,” Kurt says, “about serving people and sharing Jesus with them in…

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1 Hospital for 14 Million People [August Prayer Focus]

TEAM missionary doctor at Karanda Mission Hopsital asks to see inside a child's mouth
Karanda Mission Hospital provides vital, Christ-centered care to people throughout Zimbabwe. But medical ministries like Karanda need our prayers now and in every season.

Zimbabwe is a country of 14.44 million people — but often only one operational, surgical hospital for the general public. That hospital is called Karanda Mission Hospital. To put this into perspective, that would be like everyone in the whole state of Pennsylvania having to go to the same surgical hospital. But Karanda isn’t just meeting physical needs. While the staff care for medical needs, they’re also sharing the Good News of Jesus. Chaplains meet with patients, preach the Gospel and offer Christ-centered counseling. Christian staff are encouraged to pray with and for the patients. A Christian radio program plays…

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Maintaining Friendships While Living Abroad

A group of women laugh and talk together.
Maintaining friendships can be a challenge — especially when there are oceans of separation. Keep reading to see some helpful ways to maintain the relationships.

Long distance friendships are hard. In the last year, whether we live far away or not, we’ve all had to find new and creative ways to maintain relationships while being physically distant from each other. For those of us who live a plane ride away from close friends and family, this is nothing new. Here are some of the ideas and truths I’ve learned over years of maintaining friendships while living abroad. Choose What Apps Work for You What a blessing it is to live in an age with such great technology available to us! While Facebook and Instagram are…

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Should You Pursue Missions During COVID-19?

TEAM Christian missionaries ministering to a local kid in Mexico
COVID-19 is changing much about missions. But does that mean you should put your plans for cross-cultural ministry on hold?

For years, the missions community has talked about how the world is globalizing. We’ve told you it’s easier than ever to go abroad and live a life of cross-cultural service for God. But these days, travel isn’t so easy. If you had dreams of becoming a missionary before COVID-19, you might be wondering: Should I just wait to pursue missions until COVID-19 is over? What if I raise support and then have to cancel my short-term mission trip? What if the country I want to serve won’t let me in because of COVID-19 safeguards? They’re all reasonable concerns. Yet, God…

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The Ranch Where Heaven Meets Earth

Two teen girls ride horses during equine program. This is one way Rancho el Camino does missions in Mexico
Equine classes at Rancho el Camino are a chance to learn discipline, patience and what it means to follow God.

You don’t find Rancho el Camino without a bit of determination. Driving away from the beautiful beaches of La Paz, Mexico, you take the highway to the outskirts of town and turn sharply onto a dusty, bumpy, gravel road. But as you draw closer, you may just sense what has attracted so many people before you. People say they feel something different at the ranch. Some are moved to tears. Others demand to know what causes the strange sensation. Over the years, TEAM missionaries Pete and Emily Johnson have come to see the ranch as a “thin space.” It’s a…

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