Author - Bethany DuVal

1
Why Missionary Kids Need Missionaries, Too
2
The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism
3
60 Years Without the Bible
4
When Your Sweet Tooth Leads Someone to Jesus
5
Preaching the Gospel with a Paintbrush
6
When Slow Business Brings People to God
7
What It’s Like to Be a Single Missionary
8
How a Water Bottling Factory is Reaching Orphans
9
An Alcoholic and a Missionary Get on a Plane…
10
Why Would You Read in Your Own Language?

Why Missionary Kids Need Missionaries, Too

discipling missionary kids
Even though missionary kids grow up in a Christian atmosphere, it's not uncommon for them to struggle with their faith. See how one TEAM missionary couple is reaching these students in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Laura O'Day

When it comes to reaching the lost, few people think of missionary kids. After all, their parents are the ultimate Christians, right? But according to TEAM missionaries Seth and Laura O’Day, the MK status as super Christian offspring can be exactly what hinders them from becoming devout believers themselves. “They’ve gotten used to burying things … because it looks bad for their family if they’re obviously having a problem with something,” says Seth. And what could look worse than an MK having doubts about God? When MKs struggle with their faith, many would rather pretend than reach out for help….

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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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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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Preaching the Gospel with a Paintbrush

creative arts ministry thailand
In Thailand, a creative arts ministry is giving new meaning to the “art of evangelism.” Discover how Buddhists are learning about Jesus through paintings. Photo by TEAM

Every artist has a story to tell. Some tell it through vague symbolism. Others let you take away your own meaning. But when TEAM missionary Kennedy Paizs sits down at his easel, he makes no attempts at subtlety. He creates art to lead Thai Buddhists to Christ. On any given day, you might find Kennedy painting Bible stories, co-hosting an art show or telling Bible stories while volunteers paint illustrations. “It is a good, fun way to interact with people,” Kennedy says. “We get to talk about the painting, and it’s not so directly about them, even though they know…

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When Slow Business Brings People to God

sonrise cafe missional coffee shop
For a missional coffee shop in Tokyo, slow business is a good thing. Photos by TEAM

If SonRise Café were more concerned with making a profit, Taijo might not know Jesus today. That’s why the coffee shop’s director, TEAM missionary Steven Taylor, doesn’t even try to keep up with his fast-paced Tokyo competitors. “We’re more like a ministry pretending to be a business. … If we were as busy as Starbucks, we would never be able to get to know our customers and have time to build relationships,” Steven says. Step inside, and you’ll find delicious paninis, chiffon cakes and coffee drinks. But most days, those treats will be accompanied by English classes, a musical performance…

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What It’s Like to Be a Single Missionary

single missionary
The fear of staying single keeps some potential missionaries off the field. Read what six workers say it's really like to be single and serve. Photo by TEAM

She’s known as the MacGyver of missionaries. She spent 15 years traveling with nomadic cattle-herders, single-handedly wired her desert home with solar panels and still has her water delivered by donkeys. But Tillie Tiller’s adventurous life in Chad slammed into a wall when she turned 39. That’s when she realized she wasn’t getting married. “In so many missionary biographies, in the middle of nowhere, a single guy shows up, and it is a perfect pairing. … Up until age 38, I thought it was going to happen,” Tillie says. “At age 39, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t happen, so…

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How a Water Bottling Factory is Reaching Orphans

In South Africa, an HIV epidemic has orphaned over two million children. Read how two missionaries are using their skills in engineering and marketing to help these children to flourish. Photo courtesy of Brett and Kara Richstone

“Why don’t you have HIV?” “Why do we have HIV if we haven’t had sex?” “Why don’t we see our parents on holidays?” These aren’t questions a typical engineer deals with during his work. But for Brett Richstone, a TEAM missionary and water bottling plant manager, nothing about the last few years has been typical. He starts his day with factory maintenance, applying for licenses or filling orders for fresh spring water. But by the afternoon, he’s leading a Bible study, buying groceries for an entire village and having heart-to-heart conversations with children affected by HIV and AIDS. It all…

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An Alcoholic and a Missionary Get on a Plane…

salvation in spain
When Marti got on a plane to flee his problems, he couldn't have imagined the series of events that would unfold when his seatmate "just happened" to be a missionary. Photo by TEAM

If TEAM missionaries hadn’t seen it themselves, Marti’s* story would almost be too much like a Hallmark movie to believe: A broken marriage. A soul-searching trip to South America. An encounter with a wise, older man. And a fight to rebuild Marti’s life before it’s too late! It’s not just the set-up, though. From beginning to end, the coincidences are absurd, too frequent — and perfect proof of God’s hand. That’s why we had to share it with you. Coincidence 1: Alcoholic Marti Gets a Seat Next to Missionary Steve In 2013, Marti had driven his wife to the edge…

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Why Would You Read in Your Own Language?

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Students in a region of Chad are coming alive as they read their language for the first time. But in order to sustain a literacy movement they need books.

Why would you learn to read in your own language when you could learn French or Arabic instead? For generations in Chad, the answer has been that you wouldn’t. Schools push their students toward success by teaching all classes in Arabic or French. Local languages are used for conversations in the village. But when a neighbor girl asked Rivers Camp for help with her homework, the TEAM missionary quickly saw that the plan for success was failing. When Rivers asked the girl to read a French sentence she’d written in her notebook, “she read beautifully,” Rivers says. “The problem was,…

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