Author - Bethany DuVal

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From Basketball Drills to Bible Studies
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How to Find a Job After the Mission Field
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When Missionaries Leave Adult Children Behind
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The Day Evil Spirits Stopped Being Scary
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She Fought for Freedom – and Lost God
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Living the Psalms: A Persecuted Christian’s Story
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From Atheist Club Leader to Sunday Preacher
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When It Comes to Missions, God Can Use Your Baby Steps
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Where Do I Send My Missionary Kid to School? [FREE Download]
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When Life Gives You Anxiety… Start a Debate Team?

From Basketball Drills to Bible Studies

A basketball coach stands with a basketball on his hip as he watches campers run basketball drills.
Basketball camp was enough to get Rico and Carmelo interested, but a missionary's willingness to answer their questions is what really made an impact.

Rico and Carmelo may have been cousins, but they could hardly be more different. Where Rico was quiet and serious, Carmelo always had something to say — and it was often a joke. But they did share two things in common: a love of basketball and a longing for real answers about their faith. Like most Italians, the boys grew up in the Catholic Church. It was a critical part of their culture. But when a kid asked their priests questions, they were often met with a similar refrain: You don’t need to be thinking about that. Thankfully, friends like…

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How to Find a Job After the Mission Field

  When Peter returned from the mission field with his family, he wasn’t worried about his job hunt. He’d studied aviation and spent years as an aviation missionary in Papua New Guinea. He was sure to land something. But when Peter started his job hunt, no one wanted him. Nonprofits didn’t call Peter back. Big airport jobs were snapped up by returning military personnel. And regional airports paid too little to support a family. As Peter faced rejection after rejection, he began to wonder, “God, are you done with me? Did we make a mistake leaving?” Peter’s situation isn’t uncommon….

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When Missionaries Leave Adult Children Behind

Jocelyn and her parents have found ways to maintain their relationship, even after her parents moved to Zimbabwe for missions as a second career. Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Potter

If Jocelyn Potter and her boyfriend didn’t get engaged and married in the next four months, they would have to wait years to try again. That is, if they wanted Jocelyn’s parents to be there and not just watching the video in the Zimbabwean bush. Jocelyn’s mom and stepdad, Cheryl and Dave Jereb, were TEAM missionaries on home assignment.  They had about four months to visit friends and family and then return to Zimbabwe. So, Jocelyn and her boyfriend got engaged and planned the wedding in three months. “We scheduled the wedding for a Friday, and their plane ticket ……

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The Day Evil Spirits Stopped Being Scary

Man in cloud of incense
Jian was completely non-religious — until it came to appeasing his ancestors. What would it take to break their hold over him?

Having kids creates all kinds of fears: careless babysitters, cleaning supplies, everything a child could possibly put in her mouth. But Jian’s fear was far more sinister. Jian* was worried about relatives — his dead relatives. Whatever their personalities in life, Jian’s ancestors were fearsome in death. They had to be placated every April or they would wreak havoc. Or so Jian was taught. And if they wanted to hurt Jian, what better way than to hurt his daughter? As an atheist, Jian knew he shouldn’t be afraid of ghosts. Yet, he couldn’t help but wonder, what if it was…

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She Fought for Freedom – and Lost God

Christiane tried to run and hide from everyone — even God. What she lost in the process almost killed her.

When Christiane saw her chance to escape, she fled like a fugitive. She’d already tried to leave the country, so she went to another island in the Philippines instead. She broke the SIM card in her phone so no one could call her. She cut her hair. People back home were hounding Christiane for money — far more than she could ever give them. Her only option was to never be found. But Christiane’s hard-won freedom was not what she expected. She spent her days alone in a small room, caring for a baby and struggling to survive. “I knew…

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Living the Psalms: A Persecuted Christian’s Story

Italian church service, like the one Serena attends now that she's not a persecuted Christian.
Serena knew following Jesus was dangerous in her country, but she had know idea how far God would take her!

If you want to know what it feels like to be a persecuted Christian, read the Psalms. At least, that’s what Serena, a young believer from the Middle East says. While in hiding for nine months, she says, “I was just reading Psalms. … Like, I’m surrounded by enemies. People want to kill me. People want me. Every situation is really hard for me. But [Jesus said], ‘OK, but you know that I’m yours. … I will save you.” Serena was raised by Christian parents, but she didn’t know that until she was 15 years old. When she asked her…

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From Atheist Club Leader to Sunday Preacher

former atheist now church leader
Joseph used to think he didn't need God. But when he started attending a local church plant, TEAM missionaries gave him a whole new perspective!

It was a typical growth group meeting with a simple assignment: Make a list of three people to pray for. But when TEAM church planter Kathy North heard her husband’s list, she couldn’t help but feel doubtful. There, at the top of David’s list, was Joseph. This was the guy who visited their growth group, was moved to tears, told them he’d be a regular — and then disappeared for three months. When he came back a second time, the same thing happened. And now they hadn’t seen him in half a year. “I thought, Why him? He hasn’t been…

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When It Comes to Missions, God Can Use Your Baby Steps

missionary journey
Kiersten knew she was called to missions. But that meant facing her fears in order to get there. Read what God taught her throughout her missionary journey!

Kiersten Hutchinson was the perfect missionary candidate: She’d gone on short-term mission trips for years. She attended the Urbana missions conference, not once but twice. She led her church’s mission board and ran missions conferences. “If anyone asked about me, it was, ‘Oh yeah, she’s well on her way to missions,’” Kiersten says. “You know, no questions.” And that’s what Kiersten thought, too. Until it was actually time for her first two-year assignment. Suddenly, the confident 20-something was gripped with fear that wouldn’t budge. Two years in Zimbabwe was simply too much. And soon, she called her sending agency, TEAM,…

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Where Do I Send My Missionary Kid to School? [FREE Download]

MK education plan
Deciding how to educate your kids while on the mission field isn't easy. That's why we asked our TCK expert how she helps families create solid education plans.

Deciding how to educate your kids can be overwhelming for any parent. But put that parent on the mission field, and you have a whole new level of stress. It’s not just finding a school that’s strong in academics. It’s creating an education plan that will: ·      Help your kids learn the local language ·      Teach them about their host culture ·      Teach them about their own culture ·      Give them friends ·      Prepare them to one day return to their passport country ·      Hopefully not scar them for life So how do you do it? I sat down with…

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When Life Gives You Anxiety… Start a Debate Team?

student with anxiety
Melissa's anxiety disorder used to keep her from school and activities she enjoyed — like debate team. Would switching schools be the answer? Read her story to find out!

The panic attacks could hit at any time — on the way to school, in class, hanging out with friends. One moment, Melissa was an ordinary schoolgirl. The next, she was gasping for breath, suffocating on the sidewalk. What made it extra baffling was that Melissa wasn’t a shy kid. She was outgoing, friendly and determined. And yet, these panic attacks were slowly taking over her life. As Melissa started the 11th grade, she wondered how she would make it through the year. And soon, she would lose grip of everything. Too Anxious for School Melissa’s school was well-organized, with…

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