Archive - 2016

1
Looking for Missionaries Who Can Teach
2
When Your Escape from Ministry Becomes Your Ministry
3
4 Ways Pastors Can Prepare Future Missionaries [Free Resource]
4
Leaving Home to Go Home
5
When You Don’t Want to Get on the Plane
6
How to Involve Your Church in Your Missions Journey
7
How Do I Know if I’m Ready for Missions? [Free Download]
8
How Do You Know You’re Called to Missions?
9
What Do You Really Think of Us?
10
What Life on the Mission Field is Really Like

Looking for Missionaries Who Can Teach

Around the world, teachers are making disciples by sharing the love of Christ in the classroom. Photo by TEAM

‘Remember your promise’ When Tim and his wife moved to Asia, they had a plan. They would serve as Christian educators for a few years in Hong Kong, then move to teach in another more spiritually deprived country. But soon, two years in Hong Kong turned into 11, and Tim and his family never made the move. In 2009, Tim found himself saying goodbye to a dear friend and mentor who served faithfully as a missionary to those with little spiritual witness in East Asia. Before Dave passed away, he charged Tim one last time. “God has called you to…

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When Your Escape from Ministry Becomes Your Ministry

kayaking ministry
Burnt out and worn down, Steve Dresselhaus was ready to resign from being a missionary. Until he went kayaking. Photos courtesy of Steve Dresselhaus

What is your passion? What is the thing you get most excited about? The thing you would be doing if all your dreams came true? Whatever it is, Steve Dresselhaus guarantees you can turn it into a ministry — and he should know. For over a decade, the TEAM missionary has led people to the Lord, discipled new believers, counseled couples and more, all while kayaking on the beautiful Sea of Cortez in Mexico. Steve actually started kayaking as a way to escape mission work. In 1996, the pastor was burnt out to the point that he sent TEAM his…

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4 Ways Pastors Can Prepare Future Missionaries [Free Resource]

ways pastors can prepare missionaries
Church leaders, you are key players in preparing a potential missionary for cross-cultural service. Here are actionable steps to shepherding missionaries in your church. Photo by TEAM

Someone comes to you, their pastor, and says they feel called to ministry. That’s awesome! But what can your church do from there? The temptation could be to send potential missionaries from your church to a missions agency and let the organization take care of the rest. While agencies have valuable resources for churches, many agencies agree: The local church is the one God has called and equipped to fulfill the Great Commission. That means the church gets to play an important role in assessing and preparing missionary candidates for global ministry. Below are four areas where church participation and support…

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Leaving Home to Go Home

Missionaries often live between two continents and consider both to be home. One missionary records his reflections on the transition between the two. Photo by TEAM

The day started normally enough. Our two oldest children woke us up by crawling into our bed. My wife wearily got up when she heard our third through the baby monitor. I took advantage of a few extra minutes of sleep until the kids’ questions and requests forced me to greet the land of the living. As usual, lots of coffee was consumed at my in-laws’ house where we were staying. But always behind the coffee, or along with it, was a sadness mixed with a little excitement. Today we were leaving the United States to return to our ministry in…

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When You Don’t Want to Get on the Plane

teach missionary kids
Anna Key never thought she would be a teacher in Germany. But God called her to serve missionary kids, and she is committed to obey – no matter the cost. Photo by TEAM

Six years ago in Albany, New York, I weighed my three suitcases for what seemed the millionth time, anxiously watched the scale hit almost exactly 50 pounds for each one, shed tears as I hugged my family goodbye and sat at my gate, waiting to begin my journey to teach in Germany. I was no stranger to goodbyes, moving, transition or travel, and yet, that day, you may never have seen a more reluctant or terrified traveler. Although I knew God had called me to serve missionary kids, teaching had never been part of my plan. What was I thinking?…

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How to Involve Your Church in Your Missions Journey

missions journey
Interested in pursuing missions? God has ordained the church to walk with you and send you. Photo by TEAM

Whether you perceived it through a gentle whisper or a monumental experience, when God grips your heart for overseas missions, you know. This is a wonderful, yet also uncertain realization, as it leaves you thinking, “Now what?” What do you do with this interest? First, know that even though this may be a time of uncertainty, you can be encouraged that you are not alone in this endeavor. Second, don’t wait to start the conversation with your church. Too many times, people don’t have these conversations with their churches. Or they wait until they are at the point in the…

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How Do I Know if I’m Ready for Missions? [Free Download]

am i ready for missions
No one is ever fully ready for missions, but with some critical thought, you can leave for the field armed with wisdom and a healthy perspective. Photo by TEAM

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you.” Luke 14:28-29, NIV Jesus said a lot of radical things during his time on earth, but in Luke 14, he settled in for a moment of plain common sense: People who jump into things before they’re ready frequently live to regret it. In the missions world, we like to celebrate passion, risk-taking…

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How Do You Know You’re Called to Missions?

called to missions
Discerning if you're called to missions can seem mysterious, but it doesn't have to be. Six workers share how they knew God was calling them to serve.

How can you know you’re called to missions? Especially when the very concept of “calling” can seem vague, mysterious and even painstaking to figure out? Sure, it’s nuanced. But confidently knowing your missionary calling is not impossible, either. Read six workers’ unique testimonies of how God called them to serve. Open Doors   “Our calling to missions started by Susan and I both saying that we would never be missionaries, and that kind of got God’s ear,” says Scott Downing, a worker in Chad. Scott and Susan both grew up as missionary kids in Africa but never considered a life…

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What Do You Really Think of Us?

homeless ministry guatemala
Life for homeless youth in Guatemala is characterized by cyclical poverty, addiction, and little hope for the future. But when a pastor started building relationships with these kids on the streets, he found out that they didn't need more preaching. They needed the gospel. Photo by TEAM

“What do you really think of us, drug-addicts and homeless people?” Angel asked me. I paused. He, like many of the “jovenes de la calle“ (street kids), has been living in the streets since he was a kid. Now, at 22, he’s seen it all, lived it all. He’s used drugs as a regular escape. He’s found ways to survive with barely any income. He’s been pushed out of churches and restaurants because he’s asking people for money, because he’s high or just because he doesn’t look presentable. He’s seen ministries come and go, do their good deed, pass out…

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What Life on the Mission Field is Really Like

life on the mission field
Deb went to the field as a single woman and came home as a mother. Each season taught her something powerful about what it really means to be a missionary.

They arrived on our doorstep in East Asia, travel weary, hungry and tired. Of course, we had no warning that they were coming, and as I got their beds ready in our tiny home, I wondered how long our houseguests would stay. They had journeyed two days down the mountain to get here, and I knew a short stay was probably not what they had in mind. As I scrambled to get a hearty meal ready for our guests, I tried to prepare myself emotionally to live in their story for the next while.     About a year earlier,…

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