Archive - November 2016

1
Good Member Care is Crucial to Missionary Success
2
6 Gifts That Will Change a Child’s Life This Christmas
3
4 Myths That Keep Your Church From Having a Missions Strategy
4
Eight Meals Until They Get to Eat
5
Prosthetics Lead to First Steps of Faith
6
A Church For People Who Don’t Trust Church
7
What it Looks Like to be a Missionary in the Czech Republic [Photo Journal]
8
A Syrian Refugee Mother’s Impossible Choice
9
7 Critical Things I Learned as a Refugee Volunteer

Good Member Care is Crucial to Missionary Success

member care
Member care is the buoy that keeps missionaries afloat, and it requires a joint effort among the sending church, agency and missionary. Photo by TEAM

Member care is the emotional, mental and spiritual support a missionary receives from their church and sending organization throughout the entire missionary journey. When done well, member care contributes to overall missionary success. But a lack of good member care can have detrimental effects on missionaries and their ministries. When pursuing mission work — whether through sending or serving — it is important to prioritize member care before, during and after time spent on the field. TEAM missions coach Stephanie Maher gained a passion for good member care while growing up in a military family and spending three years as…

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6 Gifts That Will Change a Child’s Life This Christmas

gifts that will change a child's life
The best gifts can't be wrapped.

Hope is a gift that can’t be manufactured or purchased or wrapped. But it can be given. This Christmas, as we celebrate the hope we have in Christ, consider sharing this gift with children around the world. 1. Books and Classroom Supplies  In Pakistan, Christians have historically faced persecution as the minority population in a Muslim context. But at a Christian school for girls, teachers are empowering young women with an education and the confidence to be bold in their faith. Tuition rates are kept intentionally low, but this means teachers work on tight budgets and are held back by…

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4 Myths That Keep Your Church From Having a Missions Strategy

church missions strategy
Having a clear church missions strategy leads to more meaningful and effective ministry. So why don’t 40 percent of churches have one? Photo by TEAM

A recent survey suggested that 40 percent of evangelical churches in America don’t have a written strategy guiding their missions work. The survey also suggested that the 60 percent of churches that do have a written strategy are markedly more engaged in international work than those without a written strategy. This shouldn’t surprise us. A vision doesn’t always spark action, but it’s still true that action nearly always follows vision. If you need help developing a mission strategy, these pointers might be helpful, or you could subscribe to our monthly missions resource for churches.  But before you get there, it’s worth…

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Eight Meals Until They Get to Eat

orphan care south africa
When Zama was 17, she was orphaned and left to care for her four younger siblings. On the weekends she never knew where their meals would come from. Then she met Bonga.

The sickness that struck Zama’s parents might have been AIDS, or it could have been an ordinary illness. For Zama, the results were the same: By the time she was 17, she was head of her household, caretaker to four younger siblings and balancing high school concerns alongside the worry of where she would get her next meal. The weekends were the worst. Zama’s school provided free lunches during the week, giving the children just enough strength to get through an evening and morning with no dinner or breakfast. After Friday’s lunch, they were on their own. For the next…

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Prosthetics Lead to First Steps of Faith

prosthetic ministry
In a country where Christians are persecuted, a Christian couple is using a prosthetic clinic to tangibly point the community to the wholeness we have in Christ. Photo by TEAM

For as long as Cho can remember, her Asian country has been a nation of landmines. Farmers trigger them while reclaiming fields, women while going to town, children while coming home from school. After decades of ongoing war, rural areas, especially, are teeming with the passive weapons. And the resulting explosions have made missing limbs almost common. When Cho was born missing an arm and both legs, she should have been able to get prosthetics. But like many people in the country, her parents were — and are — still suffering the economic toll of war. They couldn’t afford prosthetics….

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A Church For People Who Don’t Trust Church

church in guatemala iglesia reforma
A church plant in Guatemala is quickly becoming a refuge for people ready to give up on church. But amidst rapid growth, challenges persist. Photo courtesy of Iglesia Reforma

Tragedy and chaos are familiar to the average Guatemalan. If you fail a class in school, well, that’s not good, but it’s common; hopefully you’ll do better upon repeating it. If you are badly hurt in an accident, well, you can’t count on great care at the public hospital and can’t afford a private one, so hopefully you’ll get better. If  your husband drinks too much or hangs around other women, well, you’ll likely separate, and hopefully you’ll make enough to feed your family, even if that means you only see your kids for an hour each night. Chaos. Disorganization….

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What it Looks Like to be a Missionary in the Czech Republic [Photo Journal]

missionary in the czech republic
The Pardo family left New Mexico in 2016 to serve among a Mongolian population living in Czech Republic. Scroll through to see images from their journey. Photos courtesy of Maria and Servy Pardo

Servy and Maria Pardo’s ministry straddles two continents and cultures. In 2016, their family of five moved to Prague, but with the unique focus of serving a Mongolian immigrant population living in the Czech Republic. Scroll through their photo journal to see for yourself what it’s like to be a missionary in eastern Europe.   Meet the Pardo Family    Dobrý den! Сайн байна уу! Hello, we are the Pardo family! After we served for 19 months in Mongolia as missionaries and for four and a half years in pastoral ministry, God called us to the Czech Republic to serve…

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A Syrian Refugee Mother’s Impossible Choice

syrian refugee mother
Widowed by the Syrian civil war, Amira fled to safety with her unborn child only to be faced with more hardship. Photo by TEAM

To protect our missionaries and the people they serve, all names and locations in this post have been changed or withheld. We appreciate your prayers for missionaries serving in sensitive regions around the world. You’re a new mother with a choice before you: If you go to work, your baby will have no one to care for her. If you stay home, you won’t have money to care for her. What do you do? If it seems an impossible choice, don’t worry. Whatever you decide, your in-laws say they will kidnap your child anyway. And if all that seemed like…

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7 Critical Things I Learned as a Refugee Volunteer

refugee ministry
Cross cultural relationships aren’t neat and tidy. They require flexibility, humility and compromise. I felt this personally in my friendship with Burundian refugees this year. Here’s what I wish I would have known from the beginning. Photo by TEAM

As a missions coach at TEAM, I love getting to walk alongside others who feel called to international ministry. But I was challenged early on by an applicant who asked, “What are you doing in cross-cultural ministry?” A little jarred, I honestly responded, “Great question. I can tell you that right now, I’m not involved.” That moment launched the past year of befriending and loving refugees in Knoxville, Tennessee. After that conversation, I did some research and found a local nonprofit agency committed to providing protection and assistance in refugees’ journeys. They set me up as an English tutor for…

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