Category - Missionary Life

1
Third Culture Kids, Part 1: Overcoming Challenges On-Field
2
7 Secrets to Being a Missionary in Your Golden Years
3
How Getting Fit Prepared Me for Missions
4
What the Psalms Taught Me About Safety in Missions
5
When Your Missionary Calling Hits a Dead End
6
How to Avoid Burnout and Thrive on the Mission Field
7
Preparing for Missions: 6 Tips for a Healthy Goodbye
8
How to Handle Culture Stress
9
Biking to Belong in Japan
10
What It’s Like to Raise My Young Kids Overseas

Third Culture Kids, Part 1: Overcoming Challenges On-Field

third culture kids
What is it like to grow up among multiple cultures? Read now to learn more about the challenges third culture kids experience on the mission field.

My 6-year-old self and my 4-year-old sister, Bianca stepped out of our front door, along with our mom, and into a dark, gray hallway. It smelled like rusted staircase railings and old wooden elevators. Sometimes the barely-big-enough-for-two-people elevator worked fine and sometimes it’d get jammed for a while. But we didn’t feel like walking down all the apartment stairs today, so we took our chances. The elevator creaked and rumbled, but made it to the bottom floor. “Taxi?” I asked Mom as we stepped out of the old, graffitied building and onto the city sidewalk. “The market is just around…

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7 Secrets to Being a Missionary in Your Golden Years

missionary age
How old is too old to be a missionary? Is there really an ideal missionary age? Hear from senior TEAM missionaries about their experiences. Photo by TEAM

Deb Prentice should not be a missionary. She should be doting on grandchildren. She should be finishing her career as a nurse practitioner. She’s just running away from the death of her husband. Well, that’s what people told her anyway. Deb originally thought she would go to the mission field in her 20s, as a newlywed. But then she and her husband had to care for her father-in-law. Then they started a family. Then they had grandkids. When God finally gave her the go-ahead in 2007, Deb was more than ready. But to be fair to her naysayers, moving to…

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How Getting Fit Prepared Me for Missions

physical fitness
Read a TEAM missionary's top three spiritual secrets for maintaining physical fitness for off — and on — the mission field.

On my first visit to a southern African country, I started praying that God would send a missionary there. But I knew it couldn’t be me. For starters, I was in terrible physical shape. I was more than 110 pounds overweight and took several medications to mitigate the effects of my obesity. I joked that my blood type was butter! But I also fell far short in education, church leadership, financial readiness and spiritual discipline. How could I go with so little to give? Physical fitness seemed like the least of my worries. It turns out, however, that exercising self-control (a…

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What the Psalms Taught Me About Safety in Missions

safety in missions
Missions work isn't always safe. But TEAM missionary Beth Barthelemy uses the Psalms to remember that no matter what we do in life, there is true safety in God's sovereignty. Photo by TEAM

In the summer of 2008, I spent two months in the Middle East. My time was focused on discipling Christian women by training local teachers in English and leading Bible studies among nurses at a local hospital. My first day there, I accompanied my hosts to a local wedding reception. Upon arrival, we saw a group of men celebrating by shooting guns straight up into the air. My hosts explained that this was a cultural celebratory tradition, regretfully sharing about the unfortunate deaths that occur from falling bullets. I lay in bed that night, listening to gunshots in the distance,…

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When Your Missionary Calling Hits a Dead End

ways to support missionaries
After many closed doors, Kristine wondered if she would ever make it to the mission field to fulfill her missionary calling. Until the right door opened. Photo by TEAM

In November 2014, I was in a classroom that had a piano with a wooden cutout of a sheep leaning against it. It was as if the sheep was cautiously peering around the corner of the piano. In that moment, I thought, I don’t want to be like that sheep. I want to be the kind of sheep that goes charging around the corner if I think I hear my Shepherd’s voice. Have you ever been that sheep, longing to follow the Shepherd, thinking you heard His voice, but hesitating because you’re not quite sure? I have — many times….

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How to Avoid Burnout and Thrive on the Mission Field

how to thrive on the mission field
What happens when missions becomes miserable? A former missionary shares her best tips on how to avoid burnout and thrive on the mission field.

I had been on the mission field for 10 months. I was holed up in one of the few less-than-desirable guest houses in a remote East Asian mountain town. I was relentlessly vomiting from food poisoning, and there was only one public outhouse for all of the guests’ bathroom needs. There was no running water. And I could hear the rats scurrying in the walls. I was miserable. I remembered the romantic visions that filled my head as I prepared to go to the mission field. The excitement that bubbled out of me at the mention of this faraway place…

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Preparing for Missions: 6 Tips for a Healthy Goodbye

preparing for missions
Preparing for missions? Moving overseas and saying goodbye to the people and places you love is not easy. Here are six tips on how to leave well.

When Jesus told us to “go to all the world,” “go” meant leave!   Leave home. Leave family. Leave what’s familiar, and go to what is strange to you. For a missionary, all the studying, fundraising, preparation and planning marches inexorably to this point: time to “go.” Two letters. One small step into the aircraft door. One big turning point. That moment can be an intensely lonely moment, both for those leaving and those who are left.  However, both parties are in company with a lot of people in today’s world. Jerry Jones, a blogger who lives in China and…

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How to Handle Culture Stress

culture stress
Feeling tired, drained or frustrated while living overseas? You might be experiencing culture stress. Here's how to handle it and adapt to your new normal. Graphics by TEAM

In the last 18 years, I have traveled to countries on nearly every continent. Every country I traveled to has taught me about culture and about myself. Through my travels, I have experienced things completely foreign to my definition of normal. I  have bathed and washed my hair in a bucket, slept in a treehouse, eaten with monkeys, been roommates with scorpions, used two boards as a toilet, traveled through the mountains in the back of a pickup truck and eaten foods I can’t pronounce. All of these experiences, while exciting, triggered culture stress in me, which can affect your…

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Biking to Belong in Japan

Moving halfway around the globe can be challenging. At the beginning of my time here, I had difficult days. Days where I thought I'd never fit into the culture. On those days, I'd take out my bike and ride. Photo by TEAM

I twist and turn down the bumpy sidewalk in my suburban neighborhood of Tokyo, and I feel the cool air hit my face. I hear the cars passing me, and I smell exhaust fumes mixed with scents from the corner restaurant. As I approach a pedestrian crossing I hear the screech of my brakes, and I’m reminded of why I feel at home here. I never thought riding a bicycle in Tokyo would become my favorite pastime. My husband and I moved to Tokyo just four months ago, along with our two young children and dog. If you would’ve told…

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What It’s Like to Raise My Young Kids Overseas

raising young kids overseas
Beth hasn't been on the mission field long, but she's had a crash course in what it's like to help her children transition and thrive overseas. Here are her lessons learned. Photos courtesy of Beth Barthelemy

I have three kids, all 4 and under. And six months ago, we moved across the globe. To be honest, some of the thoughts I’ve had are: Am I crazy? Am I irresponsible? Definitely not, I’m so equipped to not only raise my own kids but also to write a fantastic blog post about how I do it so well! I’m sure there are many others who’ve been overseas longer, who have golden nuggets of wisdom on parenting overseas. But all this aside, here are some reflections from a fresh-on-the-field, young mama of three on what it’s like to raise my…

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