TEAM Christian Missions Blog

Exploring cross-cultural ministry around the globe.
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3 Ways to Pray for Church Plants
2
International Churches: A Gateway to the Unreached
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I Could Have Killed a Ministry Moment — Without Cross-Cultural Training
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How to Pray for Missionary Parents
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Missionary Challenges: From Ready to Quit, to No Regrets
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Innov-Asia: A Short-Term Mission to the Ends of the Earth
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How to Pray for Urban Ministries
8
Silent Night: A Guatemalan Christmas Story
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What is the Role of a Missionary in the Church?
10
What God Can Do with 12 Books in the Wrong Language

3 Ways to Pray for Church Plants

pray for church plants
Missionaries around the world serve to help the church bloom and grow. Here's how you can pray for church plants this month. Photo by TEAM

Ask a church planter how you can pray for them, and they’ll tell you they need perseverance. Church planters have to learn a whole new culture, while building relationships, organizing services and staying in close connection with God. On top of all that, being a church planter means being available to your new congregation at all hours. “There are times when the people in your young church need you to drop everything and help them,” says Vicki Reyes, a TEAM church planter in Mexico. Vicki shared a few examples: “A woman and her two children show up at the door….

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International Churches: A Gateway to the Unreached

Serving in international churches is a chance to minister to unreached people groups in closed nations - with the government’s blessing.

In a world where missionary visas are increasingly hard to get, Hunter and Wendy* are doing something truly remarkable. They’re moving to a Muslim-majority country where local churches operate underground. They’ll work to make disciples among unreached people groups. And they’ll do it with the local government’s approval. It sounds impossible, but opportunities like this are opening around the world, thanks to international churches. “It’s kind of amazing because it’s a Muslim country, and it’s illegal to become a Christian there, … but I’m going to have ‘pastor’ in my visa,” Hunter says. Committed to the Unreached Hunter and Wendy…

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I Could Have Killed a Ministry Moment — Without Cross-Cultural Training

Muslim woman stands in French park, representing a situation in which cross-cultural training would be vital
When you minister to immigrants in a foreign country, cultural blunders are easy to make. You need the right cross-cultural training to give you a strong foundation for service.

Without cross-cultural training, it’s easy for a new missionary to make costly mistakes. Mine could have been losing a friendship over a bowl of couscous. When my husband and I sensed God calling us to serve overseas, we weren’t seminary educated. We had traveled to over 15 countries together, but that was just enough for us to know we weren’t equipped to sustain a successful career as missionaries. Then we heard about Launch, a two-year, intensive internship in southern France. While living amongst North African immigrants, interns are trained in three areas: How to be a living testimony in a…

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How to Pray for Missionary Parents

pray for missionary parents
Raising kids on the mission field is full of surprising challenges — even when you think you know what to expect. Let’s pray for missionary parents.

Kacie was going to be a more adventurous mom. Growing up on the mission field, Kacie and her siblings spent many days at home, with their stay-at-home mother. “I assumed … that’s the way my mom wanted it to be.” But, says the missionary to Papua, Indonesia, “I was going to be different, in the community with my kids.” Her plan worked great at first. Out in the community, people doted on Kacie’s foreign babies. But when those babies became toddlers, they started resisting all the attention they were getting from strangers. And as Kacie kept trying to pull her…

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Missionary Challenges: From Ready to Quit, to No Regrets

Annie Wilson smiling despite missionary challenges she faced
Annie took the missionary assignment of a lifetime in Chad. Then everything went sideways.

I don’t want to be a missionary anymore, Annie Wilson thought. She’d followed God’s leading and left her P.E. teaching and coaching job to serve Him overseas. So why did it feel like a dead end? Exploring Missions Annie began exploring missions in 2014 when she was asked a question: “What would you be willing to give up for God?” As Annie wrestled with her answer, she discovered TEAM and saw opportunities for sports ministry. TEAM connected her with a missions coach, Tasha Eckenhoff, who worked with her to find a role that would be a good fit. One option…

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Innov-Asia: A Short-Term Mission to the Ends of the Earth

Innov-Asia Ministry
Innov-Asia is a chance to dive into ministry among unreached people groups throughout Asia.

One quarter of the world’s people are outside the normal reach of the Church. If you want to engage these unreached people groups, how do you do it? Innov-Asia is a short-term mission trip designed to help aspiring missionaries see that life and service at the ends of the earth is doable. It requires creativity, innovation and a willingness to live outside your comfort zone. Serving Unreached People Groups through Innovation Some workers live in unusual places, while others start new businesses. Some use arts and music, while others work on translation projects. Jackson and Diane chose to open a…

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How to Pray for Urban Ministries

City train. Urban ministries have to compete with the busy lives of city-dwellers.
It’s been a tough season for cities, but missionaries are working hard to bring hope to people in need. Here’s how we can pray.

The last year has ravaged the world’s cities. COVID-19 regulations shut down businesses — many to never recover. Low-income workers struggled to find work, and many went without food for days at a time. Meanwhile, wealthier professionals abandoned cities after realizing they could work from anywhere. And various protests have disrupted what little peace was left. “Unrest is more predominate as people are questioning the authorities of government, religion and the Thai Kingdom,” says TEAM missionary Kennedy Paizs. Yet, despite cities’ failings, missionaries like Kennedy see them as a key part to fulfilling the Great Commission. A year before COVID-19,…

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Silent Night: A Guatemalan Christmas Story

The familiar story of Christ’s birth isn’t so familiar in Guatemala — even for those raised in church.
TEAM missionary Joe Dorris learned that the familiar story of Christ’s birth isn’t so familiar in Guatemala — even for those raised in church.

It was a cozy December night in 2017. Outside the apartment window, a resounding chorus of stray dogs and feral cats raised their voices in inharmonious unity. Inside, the cheerful sounds of laughter and hearty conversation combined with the warm smell of Guatemalan tamales and sweet ponche drink to bring about the cozy feeling that is known as Christmastime. “Ok everyone,” I announced. “To the living room. Study time.” The roughly ten guys rose sloth-like from the dinner table and migrated their full stomachs towards living room, where the sofa and chairs hungrily awaited, ready to swallow them whole. I…

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What is the Role of a Missionary in the Church?

No matter how far they go, missionaries are always part of their local church — and their local church should always be part of their lives.

There are a few different ways to approach this question. We often think of the missionary’s role in the global Church, but the missionary also plays a critical role in their local church. We can also turn this question around and ask what the church’s role is in the life of a missionary. What is the missionary’s role in the global Church? Like all believers, missionaries are part of a much bigger story than what they see in their local context. For one, missionaries prevent the Church from getting stagnant. One missionary described it as cross-pollination. When missionaries interact with…

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What God Can Do with 12 Books in the Wrong Language

Box of books
What do you do when your Bible study books arrive in the wrong language? You could send them back — or you could see how God planned to use them.

Heidi’s plan was simple: Teach her favorite Kay Arthur Bible study at church. Watch women grow in Christ. She ordered a dozen copies of the book in English, a common language in the Middle Eastern country where she served. But when the shipment arrived, something was horribly wrong. “There they were, 12 beautiful books, but … they were all in the Russian language!” Heidi says. Heidi’s co-worker said to send the books back. But Heidi realized God must have a plan. “OK, God, … You have brought these books in,” Heidi prayed, “and so we will keep them and give…

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