Archive - 2017

1
The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism
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60 Years Without the Bible
3
How to Identify Missionaries in Your Church
4
7 Ways to Pray for Translation and Linguistics Ministries [July Prayer Focus]
5
7 Ways to Support Missionaries
6
When Your Missionary Calling Hits a Dead End
7
15 Questions to Ask Someone After a Mission Trip
8
When Your Sweet Tooth Leads Someone to Jesus
9
How to Avoid Burnout and Thrive on the Mission Field
10
7 Ways to Pray for Sports and Recreation Ministries [June Prayer Focus]

The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism

The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism
Cross-cultural evangelism is a process. Read how seasoned missionaries have learned to evangelize in unique cultures around the world. Photo by TEAM

If anyone should have been ready for Muslim ministry, it was Felicity*. She grew up in the Middle East and had discussed the Quran with Muslim friends since elementary school. When she moved to a new Muslim-majority country as a missionary, she thought she would have similar discussions. There was just one problem: “I’ve tried doing that with my neighbors, especially the ladies, and they have no idea what the Quran says.” No matter how prepared you are, cross-cultural evangelism will always be full of surprises. That’s why we asked seasoned missionaries from four countries about the lessons they’ve learned…

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60 Years Without the Bible

Bible translation
Missionaries Mark and Diane Vanderkooi have labored for over 25 years to bring Bible translation to the Kwong people of Chad. But the work is far from over. Photo by TEAM

“Come, follow Me, and I will make you killers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) No, that isn’t an excerpt from a new zombie-themed version of the Bible. But it was — ever so briefly — part of a (unpublished) Kwong translation of the Book of Matthew. “They don’t have a particular word for ‘fishing’ in [Kwong], so they just say, ‘I’m going to go kill fish,’” explains Mark Vanderkooi, a TEAM missionary to the Kwong people of Chad. In over 25 years of translation work, Mark and his wife, Diane, have repeatedly learned that creating a literal Bible translation is much…

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How to Identify Missionaries in Your Church

How to Identify Missionaries In Your Church
Whether it be a one-on-one meeting or a church-wide event, begin to develop ways that you can identify missionaries in your church. Photo by TEAM

If I were to give you a one-question test right now, how would your church fare? Here’s the question: Are there people in your church interested in sharing the Gospel cross-culturally? If you are like many churches, your answer might be, “I don’t know.” A commitment to mission work often involves a deeply personal call from the Holy Spirit. But because everyday communities can see how an individual is gifted, church communities have the remarkable opportunity to call out the cross-cultural gifts they see in potential missionaries. What does this actually look like? Here are four ways you can proactively identify and prepare your congregation…

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7 Ways to Pray for Translation and Linguistics Ministries [July Prayer Focus]

7 Ways to Pray for Translation and Linguistics Ministries [July Prayer Focus]
Millions of people around the world can't read the Gospel in their own language. That's why we're praying for translation and linguistics ministries around the world this month. Photo by TEAM

The ability to read the Truth in your own language is a powerful experience, but around 200 million people around the world don’t have any Scripture in their native tongue. Further, many evangelistic materials are written in English or other widely-spoken languages, making them unusable for missionaries serving in remote areas with uncommon native tongues. Part of the Christian’s calling is to take the Gospel “into all the world” (Mark 16:15). And part of this command means making sure all people groups can study the Truth for themselves. Because of this, many missionaries have dedicated their lives to translating the…

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7 Ways to Support Missionaries

ways to support missionaries
Your support of foreign missionaries is vital to the growth of the kingdom. But how? Discover 7 ways that you can intentionally support missionaries. Photo by TEAM

Imagine you are a new missionary. Living in a foreign land and adopting a new culture for the sake of the kingdom is a dream — one that you’ve worked toward for years. However, before too long, feelings of culture shock and isolation begin to set in. Language barriers and foreign social etiquette make you ache for renewed connections with friends and family back home. You may even wonder if you made the right decision in coming. This scenario is fairly common for those serving abroad and can easily lead to burnout. That’s why it’s up to us as supporters…

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When Your Missionary Calling Hits a Dead End

ways to support missionaries
After many closed doors, Kristine wondered if she would ever make it to the mission field to fulfill her missionary calling. Until the right door opened. Photo by TEAM

In November 2014, I was in a classroom that had a piano with a wooden cutout of a sheep leaning against it. It was as if the sheep was cautiously peering around the corner of the piano. In that moment, I thought, I don’t want to be like that sheep. I want to be the kind of sheep that goes charging around the corner if I think I hear my Shepherd’s voice. Have you ever been that sheep, longing to follow the Shepherd, thinking you heard His voice, but hesitating because you’re not quite sure? I have — many times….

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15 Questions to Ask Someone After a Mission Trip

questions to ask after a mission trip
Know a team, friend or loved one returning from a mission trip? Curious to know how it went? Help them process their experience with this list of 15 thoughtful questions to ask after a mission trip.

“It was life-changing.” “It was amazing.” “It’s hard to put into words.” If you’ve ever asked a short-term missionary about their experience, you’ve probably heard one of these statements in response. Returning short-term missionaries often benefit from processing their experiences. In fact, TEAM recommends each of our short-term missionaries debrief from their trip with both their missions coach and their church community. However, helping someone process a cross-cultural mission trip isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Often, the questions asked are so broad that missionaries struggle to articulate answers without going on an hour-long tirade. Short-term missionaries also tend…

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When Your Sweet Tooth Leads Someone to Jesus

discipleship in Guatemala
If A.J. hadn't had a craving for apple crisp, Celestino might not know Jesus. Read this inspiring story about salvation and discipleship in Guatemala. Photo by TEAM

Have you ever craved a dessert so strongly you just knew it had to be from the Lord? Probably only if you’re prone to exaggeration. But after you hear Celestino’s story, you might think twice about your next hankering for sugar cookies. You see, Celestino didn’t have time for church. And after a lifetime of alcoholism and meeting Christians who only cared how much he could tithe, Celestino didn’t really have an interest in church either. Maybe that’s why TEAM missionary A.J. got a craving for apple crisp soon after he moved to Guatemala. That fall day, the grocery store…

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How to Avoid Burnout and Thrive on the Mission Field

how to thrive on the mission field
What happens when missions becomes miserable? A former missionary shares her best tips on how to avoid burnout and thrive on the mission field.

I had been on the mission field for 10 months. I was holed up in one of the few less-than-desirable guest houses in a remote East Asian mountain town. I was relentlessly vomiting from food poisoning, and there was only one public outhouse for all of the guests’ bathroom needs. There was no running water. And I could hear the rats scurrying in the walls. I was miserable. I remembered the romantic visions that filled my head as I prepared to go to the mission field. The excitement that bubbled out of me at the mention of this faraway place…

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7 Ways to Pray for Sports and Recreation Ministries [June Prayer Focus]

sports and recreation ministry
From basketball to rock climbing, sports and recreation ministries bring people together and open incredible doors for the Gospel! Discover seven ways you can pray for Christ to be known through these ministries this month. Photo by TEAM

There’s a reason your VBS program has a game time: Fun things attract people, even if you make them listen to a lesson first. But sports and recreation ministry is much more than getting people to sit down for a devotional. When you coach a team, you get to teach discipline from a biblical perspective. When you counsel a camper, you get to pray with them about their struggles. When you organize kayaking trips, you get to spend hours talking about God. Recreation lets people bond in a non-threatening way, which opens incredible doors for the Gospel! This month, will…

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