Category - Ministry Updates

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Why Missionary Kids Need Missionaries, Too
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Building a Kingdom of Diversity
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Is It Possible to be Japanese and Christian?
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60 Years Without the Bible
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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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Wells of Hope for Muslims in Chad [VIDEO]
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When Slow Business Brings People to God
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How a Water Bottling Factory is Reaching Orphans
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What Does a Missions Coach Do? [Photo Journal]

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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Building a Kingdom of Diversity

African-American missionaries
From their 20-plus years of missionary work in Africa to their continued service in the States, David and Marjory Patrick have been trailblazers for promoting diversity in missions. | Photo courtesy of David Patrick

As she listened to African-American missionaries from her home church tell their stories in front of the congregation, 14-year-old Marjory heard a voice — small at first, but distinct. She was completely enthralled with these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for the sake of the Gospel. Could she ever be like them? Then, she heard the voice again. Louder this time, and clearer: “You are looking at your future.” Several years later, a visiting pastor offered David Patrick a pamphlet called “Hearing the Call of God.” David flipped through it as the author, David…

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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…

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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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Wells of Hope for Muslims in Chad [VIDEO]

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In Chad, a well ministry is making life easier for people who previously had to walk for miles just to gather water. But even greater: Muslim villages are getting to hear the Gospel for the first time! Watch this video to learn more. Video by TEAM

Video Transcript: Scott Downing has been drilling wells in southeastern Chad for over three years. He works with local Muslim men to find safe sources of drinking water. It improves the villagers’ health. And it shows the love of Jesus. Scott says, “I’ll probably say it a number of times, but it’s really just a tool for us to be with people. So we don’t want it to be all-consuming, and the equipment be so cumbersome that it drives our ministry. We just want to use it as a tool to be with people. “We call it ‘mat time.’ We’re…

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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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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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What Does a Missions Coach Do? [Photo Journal]

missions coach
A missions coach helps people connect their talents and passions with an opportunity to serve on the mission field. Learn more about their ministry of mobilization below. Photos by Leslie Lesher

Deciding to become a missionary is a complex, faith-stretching and, sometimes, lengthy process. Questions like “How do I know if I’m really called?” or “What will I actually do overseas?” are not always easy to answer. To help, every potential missionary with TEAM journeys with a missions coach. Coaches answer questions, make ministry connections and, most importantly, pray with every person in the process. Leslie Lesher has been serving as a TEAM missions coach since 2016. Scroll through her photo journal below to learn what a missions coach does and how she can help you find the right missions opportunity….

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