Archive - 2018

1
A Shelf Full of Gods — and No Hope
2
Would You Betray Your Parents for Jesus? [July Prayer Focus]
3
TEAM Eats: Recipe for Tres Leches Cake
4
Does God Care About Your Work?
5
‘All This Will End’: A Refugee’s Story
6
Why Does God Use Missionaries?
7
His Search for Christ Led Him to Prison
8
Forced to Start Over — with Nothing [June Prayer Focus]
9
6 Reasons Why You Should Not Go Overseas
10
Third Culture Kids, Part 2: What it Means to Come Home

A Shelf Full of Gods — and No Hope

Japanese Buddhist
She needed community. It was the doctor's orders, but for Machiko, all it took was a going a walk around the block to find what she so desperately needed. Read her story! Photo by TEAM

You need to join a club or social circle so you’ll have interaction with others on a regular basis, Machiko’s doctor said. You risk getting dementia if you don’t. When Machiko* went for her annual check-up, she already knew she struggled with depression. She knew she was socially withdrawn and battled an anxiety disorder called hikikomori. But she never thought her lack of a social life could cause her to lose her mind. She needed company — she needed friends. She needed help. It was overwhelming. When she got home, she decided to take a walk down the street to…

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Would You Betray Your Parents for Jesus? [July Prayer Focus]

pray for Buddhists
If leaving your religion meant leaving your culture and family, would you do it? Read about the obstacles missionaries face when reaching Buddhists and see how you can pray! Photo by TEAM

How do you lead someone down Christ’s narrow path when they believe almost every path leads to salvation? That’s a question missionaries in Buddhist-majority countries face every day. And not only do Buddhists struggle to understand their need for a Savior, but they also face external pressure to remain in the faith of their family. In Buddhist cultures, to turn your back on the religion of your parents is to betray them on the deepest level. Your community will cut you off, taking away your friends, limiting your job opportunities and even kicking you out of your home. Overcoming these…

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TEAM Eats: Recipe for Tres Leches Cake

cake recipe
For Nate Murphy, tres leches cake is more than just a cake — it's a fond memory of family and his years as a missionary kid in Venezuela. Keep reading to get the recipe! Photo by TEAM

Out of all the desserts in the world, cake ranks pretty low on my list, but tres leches isn’t just any cake. When my family moved to Venezuela as missionaries, I tried tres leches for the first time. I loved it so much, that my mom made it for my birthday every year — even after we moved back to the States. My mom would make tres leches for other special occasions as well. I still remember Cultural Awareness Day in middle school, where students brought food from other nations. I brought homemade tres leches. At first, students were hesitant…

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Does God Care About Your Work?

missionary work
How do you live out God's missional call as a waiter, salesperson or cubicle-dweller? Is it even possible? Photo by TEAM

For the last couple of hundred years, the western world has viewed life as “sacred vs. secular.” Since the Enlightenment Age, we’ve emphasized God coming to redeem you (personal profession of faith) over God coming to redeem the world (making all things right when He returns). There is a feeling that the work you do from Monday to Saturday is different from what you do on Sunday. This line of thinking subverts the work of individuals in the workplace as “less than” because it’s considered secular work rather than sacred. But the truth is that God created work. In fact,…

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‘All This Will End’: A Refugee’s Story

refugee story
As a single mom to nine kids, Amal knew hardship. But nothing could prepare her for the devastation she'd face when Syria went to war. Photo by TEAM

It had been three days since Amal* lost her son in a bombing outside Aleppo. Not lost as in dead. Lost. Missing. Gone. Kadan was playing in the street with his friends when a plane dropped a bomb on them. It killed two children and shot shrapnel through 11-year-old Kadan’s abdomen. Kadan’s brother ran home to tell the family, but Amal wasn’t home. Rescue workers quickly loaded Kadan into an ambulance. By the time Amal got home and heard the news, her son was gone. Amal rushed to the local hospital, but Kadan had already been transferred somewhere else. In…

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Why Does God Use Missionaries?

global missionaries
Missionaries face so many cultural barriers, have you ever wondered why God even bothers with them? See what one missionary learned during her search for answers. Photo by TEAM

My co-worker and I had everything set to start our mom’s club. The moms were eager, and we’d found a popular American Christian parenting book that’s available in both Chinese and English. But as the weeks went on, I noticed something strange. We enjoyed good fellowship with the moms, but they all seemed to avoid talking about the content of the book — the very thing I’d hoped would lead to deeper spiritual conversation.   Finally, I got more pointed with my questions: “In this part, he’s talking about how important it is to cultivate an internal system of self-control…

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His Search for Christ Led Him to Prison

refugees search for Christ
When the authorities interrupted an underground church service, Milad knew he and his friends would have to flee. But where? Keep reading to find out. Photo by TEAM

As the prison door closed behind Milad, he knew his entire life was about to change. Just being discovered with a Bible was a criminal offense in his Middle Eastern country. But being caught in an underground church meeting? Was there any recovering from that? Milad had only been a Christian for eight short months. And he had tried to do everything right during that time — meeting secretly, being discreet about his faith. But his city was full of spies. Even if Milad got out of prison, they would never stop watching him. If he ever got free, there…

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Forced to Start Over — with Nothing [June Prayer Focus]

refugee ministries
Around the world, refugees are being displaced every day. Read how refugee ministries are addressing this crisis and how you can pray. Photo by TEAM

Fear swept over Farrah* as rebel soldiers pulled her family over to the side of the road. They hadn’t even made it to the Jordanian border yet. She and her family had packed all their money in socks and fled their Iraqi village after rebel forces took over. But now, here they were, face-to-face with the people they were trying to escape. When the soldiers yelled for everyone to get out of the vehicle, Farrah obeyed. Instantly, there was a gun at her head. She knew they wanted the money. Slipping a hand inside one of the socks, she thought,…

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6 Reasons Why You Should Not Go Overseas

serving cross-culturally
Why do you really want to go overseas? If you answered with one of these 6 reasons, you might not be ready! Photo by TEAM

Working for a missions agency, we get to assess, equip and deploy missionaries all over the world. When we assess them, we’re looking at more than skills and gifts; we look at motivations and reasons why someone wants to go overseas. There are plenty of reasons why people go overseas, but not all of them are great reasons. Maybe the intention is pure, and we want to affirm genuine and holy desires. But we also want to steer those desires in ways that truly honor the Lord rather than fulfilling one’s own mission. Some of the most popular reasons people…

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Third Culture Kids, Part 2: What it Means to Come Home

third culture kid
Growing up as a third culture kid has its own challenges, but what's it like to come home to a place you've never called home? Find out as TCK's recount their personal experiences.

This is part two of a discussion on what it means to be a third culture kid. Check out part one here! I was 10 years old. I was in our apartment living room, sitting on our couch, surrounded by cardboard boxes. I felt sick to my stomach and scared to start over. I told my parents I wasn’t getting on the plane. I felt depressed because I knew I was just spewing nonsense. Of course I would have to get on the plane. I felt angry because my parents seemed so giddy and happy to be going home —…

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