Archive - 2017

1
Is It Possible to be Japanese and Christian?
2
The Business Secret Every Missionary Knows
3
5 Ways to Debrief After Your Short-Term Mission Trip
4
7 Ways to Pray for Ministries that Train Church Leaders [August Prayer Focus]
5
The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism
6
60 Years Without the Bible
7
How to Identify Missionaries in Your Church
8
7 Ways to Pray for Translation and Linguistics Ministries [July Prayer Focus]
9
7 Ways to Support Missionaries
10
When Your Missionary Calling Hits a Dead End

Is It Possible to be Japanese and Christian?

returnee ministry
TEAM missionary Roberta Peabody shares the struggles and the payoffs of working with new Christians in a Japanese returnee ministry. Photo by TEAM

When Kira* accepted Christ, she thought she had everything she needed. Kira and her friend, Azumi*, found Jesus while living in America for their husbands’ jobs. They both joined a large church that was full of energy and strong ministries. But after five years overseas, Kira returned to Japan, and quiet loneliness engulfed her like a fog. No one understood her new beliefs, including her own husband. He wanted her to stay home on Sundays because those were his days off from work. When she found a Christian mom’s group, he discouraged her from going because of the money she…

Read More

The Business Secret Every Missionary Knows

VUCA environment
Following God into new situations and cultures will very likely catapult you into a VUCA environment. What does that mean for a missionary's journey? Photo by TEAM

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That’s the proverb we quote when it comes to making something good out of a bad situation — something sweet out of something sour. But what about intentionally picking lemons so you can make lemonade? Global corporations do that! The international market environment is described as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). In other words, it hands out lemons and demands leaders who can make lemonade. And it turns out that the best way to develop those demanded abilities is to work in a situation that demands those abilities. Some large corporations are…

Read More

5 Ways to Debrief After Your Short-Term Mission Trip

debrief your short-term mission trip
To extend the impact of your short-term mission trip, having a debriefing plan in place to help you process your experience is crucial. Photo by TEAM

Short-term mission trips are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that can be highly impactful for both the participants and those they serve. However, coming home after such an intense foreign experience is often a difficult process to navigate. You’re likely to experience reverse culture shock, and accepting the realities of being back home may take longer than you anticipate. That’s why having a plan to debrief your short-term mission trip is so important. If you’ve recently returned from a short-term mission trip, here are five practical tips for a healthy and productive debriefing process: 1.     Share your experience with others. People…

Read More

7 Ways to Pray for Ministries that Train Church Leaders [August Prayer Focus]

7 Ways to Pray for Ministries that Train Church Leaders [August Prayer Focus]
Missionaries around the world are training church leaders to carry on the Gospel to the next generation. Read more to find out how you can be praying for these ministries. Photo by TEAM

Change is only lasting if it outlives us. That’s why so many TEAM missionaries invest in ministries that train church leaders and national missionaries. By teaching at Bible colleges, sending students on internships and coaching them on how to disciple others, missionaries around the world ensure that local believers have the skills to make more disciples. And in that way, this vital work ensures that Christ’s kingdom will continue to grow on this earth until His return. This August, will you pray with us for ministries around the world that train leaders and national missionaries? Click here to get a printable…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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….

Read More