Category - Ministry Updates

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Muslims and Christmas
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Christmas Roundup
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Two Important Days You’ve Never Heard Of
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[VIDEO] Campus Life in Papua, Indonesia
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In Defense of the Charity Gift Catalog
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Christianity in Japan: Take A Bow? Believers Say No Thanks
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Bridging the Gap Between Missions and Communities
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TEAMHorizons is Online!
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Announcing Our Interim CEO

Muslims and Christmas

cultural center dancing
Children dance during a Christmas event at a TEAM cultural center in a Muslim-majority city. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

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….

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Christmas Roundup

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…

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Two Important Days You’ve Never Heard Of

Vienna, Austria
A cosmopolitan hub of culture and commerce, Vienna, Austria is also a destination for human trafficking. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

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…

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[VIDEO] Campus Life in Papua, Indonesia

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.

Read more about the Roesler Memorial Bible School, and explore opportunities to join TEAM’s work in Indonesia’s Papua province.

In Defense of the Charity Gift Catalog

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?”…

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Christianity in Japan: Take A Bow? Believers Say No Thanks

Christianity in Japan
Men pray at a shrine in Japan. For Japanese Christians, choosing not to pray to the dead at a funeral can be a defining moment. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

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…

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Bridging the Gap Between Missions and Communities

Missions Place by TEAM
TEAM’s recently opened Missions Place in Maryville, Tennessee, just outside Knoxville. Photo by Andy Olsen / TEAM

“Mission” is a funny word. It has almost as many meanings as people you might ask to define it. When used in an overseas context, as it is in our name, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, it conjures images of workers in far-off cities, eating exotic food and speaking hard-to-learn languages. When used in U.S. communities, “mission” is likely to bring to mind your local meal outreach or homeless shelter, or maybe a young couple living “missionally” by deliberately moving into a distressed inner-city neighborhood. It is used by religious and non-religious people alike — the former often attach varying degrees…

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TEAMHorizons is Online!

TEAMHorizons aims to tell the stories of God’s transforming power around the globe that would otherwise go unnoticed, miracles of grace that build our faith in the Savior. We are posting new feature stories every week to horizons.team.org that you won’t find anywhere else! Current stories include a travelogue by a veterinarian from his trip to South Asia, the use of new church-planting methods in Japan, living faithfully in Spain, and more. Some great Christmas stories are in the works and will be published later in December, so please be sure to check out horizons.team.org every week!

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Announcing Our Interim CEO

TEAM is pleased to announce the appointment of our Interim CEO, Dr. Scott Henson. Scott joined TEAM in 2003, serving initially as Director of Communications. He launched TEAM’s award-winning TEAMHorizons magazine and spent the last decade traveling TEAM’s ministry areas, collecting stories of God at work. Over the past year, Scott played a major role in shaping TEAM’s future direction and strategies, working closely with the leadership team and the board of directors. Scott received a bachelor’s degree from Gardner-Webb College in religious and Biblical studies (1988). Later, he earned an MBA from Duke University (1992) and a Creative Writing MFA…

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