Category - Missionary Life

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12 Job Skills Missionaries Gain on the Mission Field
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TEAM Eats: Sz Ji Dou (Funny Beans)
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June TEAM Eats: Rellenitos de Platanos from Guatemala
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What It’s Like to be Raised by Missionaries
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May TEAM Eats: Recipe for Apple Torte
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How to Find a Job After the Mission Field
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When Missionaries Leave Adult Children Behind
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4 Lessons from My First 5 Years on the Field
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How Do You Truly Immerse Yourself in a Culture?
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TEAM Eats: Recipe for Chicken Karahi

12 Job Skills Missionaries Gain on the Mission Field

  If you’re looking for a job, you’ve probably heard this advice: Just reframe your job skills to fit the job you’re looking at! But if you’re like a lot of missionaries, you probably have this lingering feeling that other people just don’t get it.  What value could the business world see in leading a home Bible study? Or raising kids in a foreign country? Or planting a church? Or any number of other ministries? Well, today you’re going to find out. Recently, I talked with career coaches, HR experts and former missionaries to create a solid list of transferrable…

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TEAM Eats: Sz Ji Dou (Funny Beans)

This month we made an asian green bean dish from Taiwan.
Check out this delicious recipe for sz ji dou, which one of our missionaries in Taiwan affectionately calls "funny beans."

My husband and I both grew up as missionary kids in Taiwan. This meant growing up eating Chinese food. My mother would often bring home unusual-looking beans from the market. They were dark green and very long. We grew up calling these beans “funny beans”.  As adults, we have come to love eating what we now know to be called sz ji dou ( 四季豆 ) at local restaurants. This dish is those same familiar funny beans fried up with a delicious sauce.  Although this recipe does not quite match the texture of the restaurant dish, the flavors are terrific….

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June TEAM Eats: Rellenitos de Platanos from Guatemala

In Guatemala, people eat this fried dessert that is a combination of plantains, chocolate, sugar and black beans. See the full recipe below!

While I was in language school in Guatemala, my teacher had the class do various activities outside of the classroom in order to learn Spanish in specific situations. One of the activities we would do as a class was cooking together. Rellenitos de plátanos were one of the first recipes we made, and they continue to be one of my favorite Guatemalan foods. A typical Guatemalan breakfast consists of eggs, black beans, a piece of soft cheese, fried plantains, tortillas, and coffee. I find it interesting that these snacks/desserts include some of the same ingredients from breakfast — just making…

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What It’s Like to be Raised by Missionaries

A girl plays with a soccer ball on the beach at sunset
Growing up on the mission field presents kids with experiences and challenges that give them a unique perspective on the world.

For most kids, getting grape jam instead of strawberry jam on their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches isn’t a big deal. It might even just be a matter of personal preference. But when Marti Williams got grape jam as a kid, she knew it meant something else entirely. Marti grew up as a missionary kid in South Africa. And at a young age, she knew when her parents had extra financial support — because she and her siblings would get treated to strawberry jam. During leaner months, they got by just fine with grape. But looking back, Marti sees the…

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May TEAM Eats: Recipe for Apple Torte

People in Austria enjoy many different desserts and one of them is the pictured apple torte, which resembles an American cheese cake.
A common dessert in Austria is this delicious apple torte. Check out the recipe below and try it out for yourself!

Today’s TEAM Eats comes from Melissa Lundquist, a TEAM worker in Austria. I recently met a colleague at an Austrian café. We usually meet in the afternoons, during the traditional kaffee und kuchen (afternoon coffee and cake) time. There are so many coffeehouses in Vienna to choose from! We’ve been to traditional ones and we’ve been to modern ones, both of which have pros and cons — but the idea of afternoon coffee and cake is the same regardless. When you walk into a coffeehouse in Austria, you’re greeted by a glass display case of cakes and desserts. After you…

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How to Find a Job After the Mission Field

  When Peter returned from the mission field with his family, he wasn’t worried about his job hunt. He’d studied aviation and spent years as an aviation missionary in Papua New Guinea. He was sure to land something. But when Peter started his job hunt, no one wanted him. Nonprofits didn’t call Peter back. Big airport jobs were snapped up by returning military personnel. And regional airports paid too little to support a family. As Peter faced rejection after rejection, he began to wonder, “God, are you done with me? Did we make a mistake leaving?” Peter’s situation isn’t uncommon….

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When Missionaries Leave Adult Children Behind

Jocelyn and her parents have found ways to maintain their relationship, even after her parents moved to Zimbabwe for missions as a second career. Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Potter

If Jocelyn Potter and her boyfriend didn’t get engaged and married in the next four months, they would have to wait years to try again. That is, if they wanted Jocelyn’s parents to be there and not just watching the video in the Zimbabwean bush. Jocelyn’s mom and stepdad, Cheryl and Dave Jereb, were TEAM missionaries on home assignment.  They had about four months to visit friends and family and then return to Zimbabwe. So, Jocelyn and her boyfriend got engaged and planned the wedding in three months. “We scheduled the wedding for a Friday, and their plane ticket ……

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4 Lessons from My First 5 Years on the Field

People pray together in a church in a different culture
Every missionary has to learn new cultures. But what if those cultural differences go deeper than you imagined? Learn about this and three other missionary lessons!

Recently, I celebrated the five-year anniversary of becoming a TEAM missionary in Taiwan. Each year has been quite different, with its own share of surprises, disappointments and small victories. Today, I’m sharing four missionary lessons I’ve learned along the way. 1. Metacultural differences in thinking can go deeper than we expect. Through years of cross-cultural learning and teamwork in Taiwan, I’ve realized I didn’t simply cross from one culture to another but moved into a whole different neighborhood of national and local cultures. It’s a different metacultural context. We generally understand cultural differences by taking the way we would think…

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How Do You Truly Immerse Yourself in a Culture?

Two local woman with a missionary
It's one thing to live in a culture, but how do you truly immerse yourself in one? It's a question as old as the Church.

Cultural immersion is a term that’s thrown around a lot in the world of missions. Missionaries are told they need to “integrate” — engage in the local daily life and try to understand the local people. Of course, this is easier said than done. How do you immerse yourself in a culture while also taking time to learn the language, find schooling for your kids and help your family adjust to life overseas? Fortunately, you’re not the first to face this dilemma. Here are some words of wisdom from those who have done it before: Learn the Language The importance…

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TEAM Eats: Recipe for Chicken Karahi

Recipe for Chicken Karahi
You don't have to go to the Middle East for a taste of delicious Pakistani cuisine! Try one missionary family's favorite recipe for chicken karahi.

Chicken karahi became a favorite Pakistani dish with our family because we often ate it while visiting our sons at their boarding school. There was this wonderful hole-in-the-wall restaurant there which made the very best chicken karahi. You got to choose your chicken, and then they got started preparing it! It is generally eaten with roti — a type of flatbread — and plain yogurt, in case the spices were too hot. Here’s how to make Chicken Karahi! See full ingredients list below. Ingredients: 12 pieces of chicken 2½  tbsp cooking oil 1 tsp salt 1 bulb garlic, minced or…

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