Author - Bethany DuVal

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When Your Sweet Tooth Leads Someone to Jesus
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Preaching the Gospel with a Paintbrush
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When Slow Business Brings People to God
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What It’s Like to Be a Single Missionary
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How a Water Bottling Factory is Reaching Orphans
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An Alcoholic and a Missionary Get on Plane …
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Why Would You Read in Your Own Language?
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Eight Meals Until They Get to Eat
9
Prosthetics Lead to First Steps of Faith
10
A Syrian Refugee Mother’s Impossible Choice

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

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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 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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Eight Meals Until They Get to Eat

orphan care south africa
When Zama was 17, she was orphaned and left to care for her four younger siblings. On the weekends she never knew where their meals would come from. Then she met Bonga.

The sickness that struck Zama’s parents might have been AIDS, or it could have been an ordinary illness. For Zama, the results were the same: By the time she was 17, she was head of her household, caretaker to four younger siblings and balancing high school concerns alongside the worry of where she would get her next meal. The weekends were the worst. Zama’s school provided free lunches during the week, giving the children just enough strength to get through an evening and morning with no dinner or breakfast. After Friday’s lunch, they were on their own. For the next…

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Prosthetics Lead to First Steps of Faith

prosthetic ministry
In a country where Christians are persecuted, a Christian couple is using a prosthetic clinic to tangibly point the community to the wholeness we have in Christ. Photo by TEAM

For as long as Cho* can remember, her Asian country has been a nation of landmines. Farmers trigger them while reclaiming fields, women while going to town, children while coming home from school. After decades of ongoing war, rural areas, especially, are teeming with the passive weapons. And the resulting explosions have made missing limbs almost common. When Cho was born missing an arm and both legs, she should have been able to get prosthetics. But like many people in the country, her parents were — and are — still suffering the economic toll of war. They couldn’t afford prosthetics….

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A Syrian Refugee Mother’s Impossible Choice

syrian refugee mother
Widowed by the Syrian civil war, Amira fled to safety with her unborn child only to be faced with more hardship. Photo by TEAM

To protect our missionaries and the people they serve, all names and locations in this post have been changed or withheld. We appreciate your prayers for missionaries serving in sensitive regions around the world. You’re a new mother with a choice before you: If you go to work, your baby will have no one to care for her. If you stay home, you won’t have money to care for her. What do you do? If it seems an impossible choice, don’t worry. Whatever you decide, your in-laws say they will kidnap your child anyway. And if all that seemed like…

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