Last December, over 3,000 people gathered in a hot stadium in Manzini, Swaziland, to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Evangelical Church. The Swazi denomination — not to be confused with greater Evangelicalism — was founded by TEAM missionaries in the early 1890s and now has hundreds of nationally led churches across southern Africa. They invited TEAM CEO Scott Henson to speak about TEAM’s legacy there, which includes founding schools and hospitals along with building churches. He shared the stage with Sibusiso Dlamini, Swaziland’s prime minister and himself a product of the Evangelical Church. Milestones like this are worth a…Read More
Sometimes the language we use to describe missions becomes so familiar that it loses its power to inspire. Craig Querfeld, a TEAM missionary in Peru (that’s him, above), recently put us on to a video that brings into fresh perspective why we do what we do. A couple of years ago, Peru’s agency for promoting its tourism and exports — called PromPerú — sent a film crew and some of the nation’s most famous celebrities to the small town of Peru, Nebraska, population 569. Their mission: To enlighten their fellow “Peruvians” about just what it means to be Peruvian. The…Read More
Here’s an easy resolution you could accomplish in this New Year.
If you haven’t visited us yet in one of our Missions Places (or at our main offices in Wheaton), this year may be your chance. But if your travels aren’t taking you near our storefronts in Wheaton, Ill., or Maryville, Tenn., we’ve made it easier than ever to come see us. You can take a video tour of both our Missions Places online, hosted by our very own and talented Melissa Barber. Watch the video here.
If you’re not familiar with all this Missions Place talk or just how excited we are about it, you can read the backstory here in the latest issue of TEAMHorizons magazine. There are lots of exciting things coming down the pipe this year for our Missions Places and Hubs, advancing collaboration among missions organizations and churches. So stay tuned!
Things are pretty quiet at the TEAM offices this week. As they should be. In a few days, the new year will arrive with a flurry and we will rush to meet it. There will be plenty of time for all that, later. For now, it’s time to be still. Today is the final moment of Advent, and we join with Christians around the world as they inhale and wait for the clock to strike midnight, so we can all shout: Joy to the world! Merry Christmas, from the staff and missionaries of TEAM.Read More
Every family has unique Christmas traditions. For TEAM families working in Muslim-majority countries, Christmas in not just a time to gather with loved ones, but also to welcome friends who often don’t understand the true meaning of the holiday. We talked with six TEAM workers serving in Muslim contexts about how they use their celebrations to open doors. Since every country is different, their experiences might not reflect what happens in other regions of the Muslim world, or even on the other side of town. But their insights can help us see Christmas from a slightly different angle this year….Read More
Christmas is a global holiday, perhaps the most global of all. For TEAM missionaries around the world, it’s a unique opportunity to share Christ in post-Christian cultures or among communities that are normally reluctant to discuss the gospel. Each year, TEAM workers find myriad creative ways to publicly celebrate Christmas, in addition to the many (likely a majority) who invite friends and neighbors into their homes for a meal or small celebration. Here’s a look at just a few of the ways our people are reaching out for Christmas this year: Japan TEAM missionaries in Japan take Christmas to a…Read More
This week kicks off with two significant dates that are probably unfamiliar to most of us. Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, a day designated by the United Nations to focus on eradicating forms of modern-day slavery, such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child labor. The irony should not be lost on Christians that yesterday was the beginning of Advent (Dec. 1), when we focus our hearts on the coming of Christ, who ultimately frees us from all forms of bondage. The other big day happens tomorrow: #GivingTuesday. In just its second year, #GivingTuesday is…Read More
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s the time of year when college students begin feeling the stress of looming deadlines and final exams. Many slip into survival mode, put their heads down, and count the minutes until they can head home for Christmas.
Across the world in Indonesia, college students feel this stress, too. But in-between everything else, they also must make time to fish for their dinner, chop firewood to cook it with, and fetch drinking water from a well.
Students at the Roesler Memorial Bible School, a TEAM ministry in Papua, Indonesia, juggle far more in a semester than just books. Most come from rural tribal villages to study the Bible and bring that knowledge back to their communities as pastors, teachers and church leaders. They not only have to adjust to academia — a completely new experience for many of them — but also to the somewhat more urban environment of the campus, located just outside the city of Merauke. Their days begin before 5 A.M. and stretch well into the night.
Yaimo Perew brought his whole family to the school so he could study. He’s not only trying to reach his village for Christ, but his own family, as well.
Watch Yaimo’s story above.
Today, TEAM Stewardship Manager Mark Watson contributes to the blog, addressing the growing trend of Christmas charity gift catalogs. If you’re like me, starting right about now, your mailbox is cluttered with Christmas charity gift catalogs. Especially if you’ve been involved in missions or child sponsorship for a long time, these catalogs will find their way in-between other catalogs for shoes, sweaters, electronics, hunting gear and just about everything else. You may drop your holiday postal pile on your kitchen table and ask yourself, “Should I look through all these gift catalogs this year? Should I look through any of them?”…Read More
In Japan, the moment of truth for a Christian often comes during a funeral. At Buddhist funerals — which constitute around 90 percent of them in Japan — the custom is for mourners to pay their respects by bowing before the deceased and offering up a prayer to the dead, often along with some incense. When it comes to Christianity in Japan, that practice poses a big problem. Most Japanese Christians stop praying to the dead and other spirits when they start following Jesus. According to Stella Cox, a longtime TEAM missionary in Japan, funerals are often big social events…Read More