Category - Missionary Life

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When God Tells You to Wait on Missions
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Photo Journal: Thailand
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3 Things I Learned On My Short-Term Missions Trip
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Taste and See That God Is Good
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Photo Journal: Zimbabwe
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An Interview with Missionaries to Australia
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A Ministry Marathon
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Finishing the Race in Missions | A Poem
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Photo Journal: Australia
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Photo Journal: Japan

When God Tells You to Wait on Missions

I recently spoke with a woman who, after returning from a yearlong mission trip, was ready to turn around and head right back to the mission field. She was transitioning between college and career, her job in the States wasn’t what she wanted to do forever and, most of all, she genuinely felt called to be a missionary. So, what’s the holdup? Time to pack the bags and go! Well, not quite yet. Pausing Can Be Part of the Plan First, we had to ask some pretty key questions: Is her desired ministry area in a place to accept new missionaries? Is there…

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Photo Journal: Thailand

thailand-collage
Short-term missionary, Hanna Smith travelled through Thailand to document the work of ministry leaders there.

Hanna Smith traveled from New Orleans to Thailand to serve on a short-term mission trip. She used her gifts as a photographer to document workers in the field. Scroll through to catch a glimpse of missions in Thailand along with commentary from Hanna.                              Want to go and experience Thai culture for yourself? Join TEAM on a vision trip to Thailand and Southeast Asia this summer. Learn more about ministry opportunities and see firsthand the need for the gospel to be spread throughout this region.

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3 Things I Learned On My Short-Term Missions Trip

Short-term missions isn't one size fits all, but here are three lessons I learned on my short-term missions trip to Greece.

Short-term missions isn’t one-size-fits-all. Every trip is different. Every person is different. But when I traveled to Greece this past summer, I learned three important lessons that likely apply to anyone considering being a short-term missionary. It will be harder than you expect. Yes, there will be the planes delayed, luggage lost and miscommunication, but these won’t make or break your trip. When I was called to step out of my comfort zone and go on this trip in the first place, I reached points where I doubted this was what I was supposed to be doing, and in those moments…

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Taste and See That God Is Good

Italy in the fall. Photo by TEAM

Have you ever had a ripe persimmon on a crisp day in October?  I’m sad to say, despite priding myself on a broad palate and a love of eating locally and seasonally, it’s something I’ve only recently discovered. This is my seventh autumn in Italy, and every year, right around this time, I see the cachi start to show up in the markets. Every year, I think I should buy a few and figure out what to do with them, and every year I let the fall pass without actually following through. A few weeks ago, the missions pastor from…

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Photo Journal: Zimbabwe

Two months ago, Kameron and Erin Toews boarded a plane in South Dakota and landed in Zimbabwe to serve at Karanda Missions Hospital. Check out their photo journal below as they give us a day-in-the-life glimpse of ministry and culture in southern Africa.

Makadii. Hello internet! We’re the Toews from South Dakota, USA, living at Karanda Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe for a year. Erin is serving as a nurse, and Kam is working as a videographer. We’ve been here two months now, and we’re are slowly getting into the swing of things. It’s amazing to be a part of God’s life changing work in beautiful Zim. We’re pumped to give you a small taste of life in the bush. So let’s go – hundai!

Makadii. Hello, Internet! We’re the Toews from South Dakota, USA, living at Karanda Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe for a year. Erin is serving as a nurse, and Kam is working as a videographer. We’ve been here two months now, and we are slowly getting into the swing of things. It’s amazing to be a part of God’s life-changing work in beautiful Zim. We’re pumped to give you a small taste of life in the bush. So let’s go – hundai!

 

Home sweet home! Here’s a typical Zimbabwean family home, with each building acting as a sort of “room” in the family’s house.

Home sweet home! Here’s a typical Zimbabwean family home, with each building acting as a sort of “room” in the family’s house.

 

Let us introduce you to sadza, the staple of the Zimbabwe diet. Sadza is corn meal mixed with water until it becomes the consistency of very thick mashed potatoes. Here it is served with a relish in peanut butter sauce, and seasoned chicken. I’m sure you were wondering: yes, of course you eat with your hands.

Let us introduce you to sadza, the staple of the Zimbabwe diet. Sadza is corn meal mixed with water until it becomes the consistency of very thick mashed potatoes. Here it is served with seasoned chicken and a relish in peanut butter sauce. I’m sure you were wondering: yes, of course you eat with your hands.

 

We’re serving at Karanda Mission Hospital this year, and almost every day we hear a local tell us how KMH is the best hospital in Zimbabwe. People travel across the entire country simply to receive quality, loving care. May God continue to be honored and made famous because of this hospital in the middle of the bush!

We’re serving at Karanda Mission Hospital this year, and almost every day we hear a local tell us how KMH is the best hospital in Zimbabwe. People travel across the entire country simply to receive quality, loving care. May God continue to be honored and made famous because of this hospital in the middle of the bush!

 

Nursing in Zimbabwe is so so so different than what I’m used to in America. Sure the culture and language is different, but even the names of medicines and basic procedures are different. I’m on the pediatrics ward this week, and I’m loving that I get to help the little munchkins. But some days can be frustrating and overwhelming since I have to re-learn so many nursing skills.

Nursing in Zimbabwe is so, so, so different from what I’m used to in America. Sure, the culture and language are different, but even the names of medicines and basic procedures are different. I’m on the pediatrics ward this week, and I’m loving that I get to help the little munchkins. But some days can be frustrating and overwhelming since I have to re-learn so many nursing skills.

 

“Mommy, this man took my picture with a big machine.” A smile is a beautiful thing.

“Mommy, this man took my picture with a big machine.” A smile is a beautiful thing.

 

Kids are something else! Even across the world in a culture so different than mine, kids are the same. You have the trouble makers, the pouters, the popular kids, the shy ones, and everything in between. Awana has been a great place for us to meet local kids and hear them shout Bible verses at the top of their little lungs.

Kids are something else! Even across the world, in a culture so different from mine, kids are the same. You have the trouble-makers, the pouters, the popular kids, the shy ones, and everything in between. Awana has been a great place for us to meet local kids and hear them shout Bible verses at the top of their little lungs.

 

Just a few years ago when Zimbabwe’s economy was at its lowest, $500,000,000 might be able to buy you a loaf of bread. Now, Zimbabwe has officially changed to the US Dollar, and the old notes are simply worth their value in paper. Today, we’re using US bills, and many of them are holding together by a thread.

Just a few years ago, when Zimbabwe’s economy was at its lowest, $500,000,000 might have been able to buy you a loaf of bread. Now, Zimbabwe has officially changed to the US Dollar, and the old notes are simply worth their value in paper. Today, we’re using US bills, and many of them are holding together by a thread.

 

Meet Douglas. Douglas walks the 7k path from his village to our house three days a week to tend our plants and yard for just a few hours of work a day. It can be difficult to find paying work in Zimbabwe, even for skilled and willing workers. He is such a joyous man and a hard worker. Many days Douglas has worked longer than asked because he can’t leave a job unfinished! When the economy gets better he plans to return to school to get a university degree in agriculture or teaching.

Meet Joshua. Joshua walks the 7k path from his village to our house three days a week to tend our plants and yard for just a few hours of work a day. It can be difficult to find paying work in Zimbabwe, even for skilled and willing workers. He is such a joyous man and a hard worker. Many days, Joshua has worked longer than asked because he can’t leave a job unfinished! When the economy gets better, he plans to return to school to get a university degree in agriculture or teaching.

 

Karanda Mission Hospital has an in-house radio studio that broadcasts music, devotionals, local news, and Bible readings to the wards. Each Friday morning, the nursing students fill the studio to sing and pray over the patients.

Karanda Mission Hospital has an in-house radio studio that broadcasts music, devotionals, local news and Bible readings to the wards. Each Friday morning, the nursing students fill the studio to sing and pray over the patients.

 

It’s jacaranda season! The purple trees remind us of a Dr. Seuss book. At the end of the day, the hospital court yard clears out only until the next morning where it’s again buzzing with patients, family members, and staff.

It’s jacaranda season! The purple trees remind us of a Dr. Seuss book. This tree sits in the hospital court yard, which buzzes daily with patients, family members and staff.

 

I see you through my binoculars. Meet Gary and Janet and their baby. Zimbabwe is known worldwide for its safaris and game parks. There’s no animal quite as amazing (aka awkward) as the giraffe. It’s our favorite and decorates much of our house.

I see you through my binoculars. Meet Gary and Janet and their baby. Zimbabwe is known worldwide for its safaris and game parks. There’s no animal quite as amazing (AKA awkward) as the giraffe. It’s our favorite and decorates much of our house.

 

Something as simple as driving needs to be relearned in Zimbabwe. Why? 1) 99% of vehicle are stick shift and we had never driven a manual before. 2) Drive on the left side of the road. 3) Traffic lights – aka “robots” - may or may not be working today. 4) DEFENSIVE DRIVING. People, cows, and public transit vans pop out of absolutely every crevice along the road.

Something as simple as driving needs to be relearned in Zimbabwe. Why? 1) 99% of vehicle are stick shift, and we had never driven a manual before. 2) Drive on the left side of the road. 3) Traffic lights – AKA “robots” – may or may not be working today. 4) DEFENSIVE DRIVING. People, cows and public transit vans pop out of absolutely every crevice along the road.

 

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ – when you now have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27 & 28. This verse has become something of a theme verse for our little family. We do not always live by it, but regret it every time we forget its importance.

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ – when you now have it with you” Proverbs 3:27-28. This verse has become something of a theme verse for our little family. We do not always live by it, but we regret it every time we forget its importance.

 

Want to connect with the Toews? Follow Kameron and Erin on Instagram or check out their blog.

PRAY

Pray that Erin will have confidence, patience and humbleness as she goes through orientation in a hospital setting very different than what she’s used to in America.

Pray that Kameron will have an eye to see stories that need to be told around Karanda.

Pray that God will teach the Toews to find their worth in Christ, not in completing a to-do list, and that they will find some good local friendships.

Praise God for the wonderful missionary relationships they’ve been able to build already.

GIVE

You can give directly to the Toews’s ministry in Zimbabwe by clicking here.

You can help TEAM send more missionaries like Kameron and Erin by supporting the Global Outreach (GO) Fund. Click here to give!

SERVE

Right now there are 47 different opportunities for you to serve in Zimbabwe. Missionaries are needed in the areas of education, medical care and business. Click here to learn more about TEAM’s ministries in Zimbabwe and view service opportunities.

An Interview with Missionaries to Australia

Ray and Marti Williams of TEAM Australia at Missions Place by TEAM in Maryville, TN

Ray and Marti Williams are TEAM missionaries in Adelaide, Australia with a 30-year tenure overseas. Recently, on a stateside visit, the Williamses sat down with TEAM in Maryville, Tennessee, to share their take on calling, authenticity and what it means to be a “mate.” Often, we hear of people being “called” to missions, which can be quite abstract. Can you articulate how God has called you? Marti Williams: I personally was called to follow the Lord in career missions as a 14-year-old at a youth rally. And God reminded me of that as I got older. … Sometimes you have to…

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A Ministry Marathon

Ministry is not a sprint, but a marathon to the finish line. Photo by TEAM

Today we welcome a long-term worker in South Asia to the TEAM blog. After decades on the field, she shares with us a poignant reflection of her ministry among Muslims. Because of governmental opposition to the gospel and gospel workers in her region, her identity will remain anonymous.  Before I left to serve overseas, I had a litany of worries. What if the language is too hard to learn? What if I’m lonely? Will I be able to adjust to the conservative culture of South Asia? Will I be able to make friends? Will I be able to lead someone into God’s kingdom?…

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Finishing the Race in Missions | A Poem

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. -Hebrews 12:1

Today on the blog, TEAM missionary David Weaver shares a page from his poetry collection with us. David and his wife, Joy, have served with TEAM in the Philippines since 1991, where they launched the Church Planting Institute (CPI) to equip Filipino believers for church planting in Asia. David is a gifted communicator and penned his poem “The Race” to express the unique endurance needed for a lifetime of ministry.  As a missionary, I must always ask myself why do I do what I am doing?  I must have the right motivation if I am to run the race all the way to…

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Photo Journal: Australia

A South Carolina native, Kristen Kelly spent many summers serving overseas during high school and college. Now a Clemson University graduate, Kristen has spent the last five months serving as a ministry apprentice at a church plant in Adelaide, Australia. Check out the snapshots below from Kristen as she tells us in her own words about life and ministry in Australia.

Something about Kristen!

God has been gracious to combine my love for learning, travel, and culture with my desire to serve Him and spread the Gospel. I am currently five months into serving as a ministry apprentice (intern) at Trinity Bay Church, where I serve in the young adult and women’s ministries. Words cannot describe how God has provided for me, guided me, and taught me more about His love for me and His people since the day I felt led to do overseas mission work in South Australia.

God has been so good to provide me with whatever I have needed in Australia. A non-Christian Irishman who owns a bike shop down the road lent me his very own bike to ride around. Who does that? I use this to go to and from the church office and for joy rides along the coast.

God has been so good to provide me with whatever I have needed in Australia. A non-Christian Irishman who owns a bike shop down the road lent me his very own bike to ride around. Who does that? I use this to go to and from the church office and for joy rides along the coast.

I have learned that every Australian birthday has to have fairy bread. Fairy bread is literally a slice of bread cut into fourths, covered in butter, and then dipped into color-coated sprinkles. So, sugar bread.

I have learned that every Australian birthday has to have fairy bread. Fairy bread is literally a slice of bread cut into fourths, covered in butter, and then dipped into color-coated sprinkles. So, sugar bread.

The young adults at my church put together a concert to share the story of Jesus’ death and bodily resurrection through song. It was amazing to see God’s people using the gifts that He has given them to their full potential.

The young adults at my church put together a concert to share the story of Jesus’ death and bodily resurrection through song. It was amazing to see God’s people using the gifts that He has given them to their full potential.

Outback Stars

I was blessed with the opportunity to go on a road trip through the Australian outback. There was nothing for miles and miles and miles. Under cloudless nights and the Milky Way, I saw God’s grandeur, His creativity, and how awesome He is up close. I couldn’t miss it.

I have not convinced myself to eat a kangaroo burger yet, but I have had a kangaroo and emu pizza. You can pretty much convince me to eat anything that is on a pizza.

I have not convinced myself to eat a kangaroo burger yet, but I have had a kangaroo and emu pizza. You can pretty much convince me to eat anything that is on a pizza.

Women's Growth Group

I co-lead some of these women in our women’s growth group. For Easter, we hosted an event where women could come into a welcoming environment and make chocolate eggs and grass crosses.

Paying with plastic has a whole new meaning here. Australian bills are not only plastic, but are different colors and sizes, so you know exactly what you are getting when you pull out a bill. I love it.

Paying with plastic has a whole new meaning here. Australian bills are not only plastic, but are different colors and sizes, so you know exactly what you are getting when you pull out a bill. I love it.

I wrote a report on Ayer’s Rock in 6th grade for Ms. Roberts. Who knew that I’d travel to see it eleven years later?

I wrote a report on Ayer’s Rock in 6th grade for Ms. Roberts. Who knew that I’d travel to see it eleven years later?

USA Game Night

I threw a USA game night for the church youth complete with baseball, country music, Cracker Jacks, Hershey’s chocolate, and Moon Pies.

Want to connect with Kristen? Follow her on Instagram or check out her blog.

PRAY

Pray for Kristen to have clarity and authenticity in her discipling relationships with young women in Adelaide. Pray also that these women will be led of the Spirit to disciple others.

While Australians have access to the gospel, the prevalence of post-modern pluralism has led to the decline of the evangelical church. Less than 8% of Australians engage in weekly Christian worship. Pray for a revival of the Australian church.

Pray that God will send more workers to Australia.

GIVE

You can help TEAM send more missionaries like Kristen by supporting the Global Outreach (GO) Fund. Click here to give!

SERVE

There is a great need for workers in Australia. Missionaries are needed for teaching, discipling and church planting. Click here to learn more about TEAM’s ministries in Australia and view service opportunities in Adelaide.

 

 

Photo Journal: Japan

The Pagaragans work in Japan.

Meet Team Kibou: Jeff, Kelly, Taylor, Bailey, Kendyl, Reagan, and Colson Pagaragan. Originally from Hawaii, they are a fun, bubbly family serving with TEAM in Japan. The Pagaragan’s vision is to “bring hope for the future to the unreached in Japan by spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere.” In Japanese, “kibou” means hope or a belief grounded on substantial evidence. The Pagaragans are a perfect example of the hope of the gospel and grounded belief that comes from trusting Christ. Jeff and Kelly are in language training and will be working with the Tokyo Metro Ministry Initiative…

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