Looking Back on Stories from 2022: God’s Work Continues
As 2022 draws to a close, all of us here at TEAM are so grateful for the many things God has done in our midst throughout the world. We wish that we could share EVERY story from TEAM’s 500+ global workers and their ministries! But even though we can’t (think how tired my typing fingers would be!), it is our joy and blessing to feature one story each month in our Ministry Updates.
For December, we thought you might enjoy hearing some Ministry Update….updates! Here are some new reports from the folks you “met” here on the blog throughout the year…
Making Disciples Who Make Disciples – (Discipleship, South Asia) — January
…Even in the midst of a global pandemic, says Stuvan, in every Asian nation where he has a disciple, churches are developing and church members are maturing in their faith…
Stuvan shares that the work of discipleship in south Asia and southeast Asia continues to thrive. Work is ongoing in 8 countries with over 320 church plants where discipleship and mobilization of the Naga people is a priority. “We provide [national disciples] with theological education so that they can be deeply rooted in the Word of God. We disciple them so that they can disciple their own people contextually.”
How God Connected Displaced Teenagers, a Missionary Kid and a Stick of Gum – (Children’s hostel, Southeast Asia) — February
…Laura and her family had only been in country for a few months when they learned of the remarkable place that she refers to as a “Children’s Hostel,” where roughly 300 displaced children took shelter and began making a life there, with only a few adults helping to care for them…
Since our story on the children’s hostel in February 2022, Laura (name changed) and her family have relocated to a different region in Asia. Before departing, they made one last trip to the hostel to encourage the teachers, students, and clinic volunteers. A partner organization continues to check in at the hostel to make sure they progress in steps of sustainability.
Laura reports, “It has been such an encouraging time to see how His love has helped the hostel become more sustainable.” She also shares that “Lin,” the teenage girl mentioned in our story, now visits other similar hostels deeper in the jungle to care for children that God leads her to. Laura says, “She is armed with the full armor of God and essential medical skills.”
Patience Leads to Promise in Zimbabwe – (Village school, Zimbabwe) — March
…The community is a very passionate community. They are willing to give their sweat for the school to start…
2022 is ending with a second surge of activity for the Nyamukaiwa school project. The local church continues to grow and reach out and classes have resumed for preschool-aged children. All the approvals are on track with high hopes that construction can begin before the end of the year. A bore hole site has been pegged for a deep water well and the Evangelical Church of Zimbabwe education committee is setting up the structures for governance of the school once it opens.
The plan for the first year is to build one block of classrooms and a residence to house two teachers. Then each year, if God allows, additional classrooms and teacher residences will be added, until the school offers classes up to Grade 7.
“We are excited to see how God blesses the Evangelical Church of Zimbabwe as they take responsibility for the school, and we look forward to seeing how God will provide the resources needed,” says TEAM worker, Tom Jackson. “The community remains committed to supplying all the bricks which they cast themselves from the ant hills near the school.”
Gospel Work Continues in War-Torn Ukraine (Ukraine war response, Europe) — April
…Despite the heavy and difficult reality of war weighing on Samantha’s mind, she sees God at work…
TEAM continues to minister to the those whose lives have been turned upside down by the war in Ukraine. Samantha and Maria, featured in the original story, continue to serve Ukrainian people in undisclosed locations. TEAM as a whole has been ministering in two primary ways:
- Refugees who have left Ukraine: With the completion of the housing projects in the Czech Republic, the focus now is on helping refugees find permanent lodging or helping them return to the relatively safer regions of Ukraine.
- Displaced or stranded people inside Ukraine: In the conflict areas, TEAM continues to resource three churches, two in the southern part of Ukraine and one in the Donbas region. As the war continues to disrupt the distribution of food, medicine, and fuel, the needs are staggering. The coming winter will be difficult as many lack access to fuel to keep warm, due to lack of funds or supplies or both.
But, God has been at work in powerful ways. TEAM partners with Ukrainian churches by providing funds to meet basic needs for food, medicine, clothing, and fuel. In sharing these necessities, these churches deliver the “kindness of God that leads to repentance.” At the neediest time of their lives, many Ukrainians, touched by the love of Christ through God’s people, are repenting and embracing Christ. God is calling light out of the darkness of this hour.
Refining Gold in Pakistan (Seminary program, Pakistan) — May
…What began as an initiative of mostly western missionaries has grown into an amazing institution led by Pakistani leaders who train up other leaders to impact their nation for Christ…
Since Zarephath Bible Seminary celebrated its 40th anniversary in April 2022, leadership training programs continue to thrive and grow. Leaders from ZBS met to discuss the “Big Picture of ZBS,” focusing specifically on strategic planning for the next ten years.
Those plans include new program initiatives, new campus developments, more teachers trained internationally and locally, and increases in students, staff, and faculty.
Families Transformed by the Gospel in Papua (Family discipleship, Indonesia) — June
… Over time, the Lord began opening the eyes of Hatam believers to the abundant life they could experience in their families…
Hatam families in Papua are as busy as ever! With the help of Marice, the Women’s Bible School Program met in small groups over the summer and resumed their monthly large gatherings in September. TEAM worker Diane reports that the coastal churches as well as the interior churches are thriving.
Resina has been busy visiting churches and promoting God’s Word. Her husband just died a few months ago, but she said that God is enabling her to press on. Resina’s daughter, Tamarina continues to teach children’s Sunday School.
“I was so thrilled and blessed to see that our brothers and sisters continued faithfully as they served in our absence and prayed us back [from home assignment],” Diane says. “But whether we returned or not, they were going to keep serving. God is still working with this people group in a big, amazing way to His Glory.”
Ministry updates are published here on the blog every month. Be sure you are on the list to receive these stories of how God is moving and working all across the globe.
Nabin’s Story: Healed and Redeemed by Christ – (Personal testimony, Southeast Asia) — July
…Nabin called Mike and Cindy with the joyous words, “I feel like I have my life back.”…
Nabin continues to get stronger and exercises regularly to gain more strength. He is considering Bible training programs as well as graphic design programs. Nabin enjoys going to church and is being discipled by a very dedicated young man who is a strong believer.
A People Highly Prized by God – (Holistic community development, Indonesia) — August
… Transformational development says the problem isn’t just material lack. There’s a whole slew of interconnecting issues. And at the heart of it is really humanity’s fall into sin that has cascaded down…
The building structure for the Appropriate Technology workshop is complete! The Meyah tribe hosted a “syukuran” Thanksgiving service to celebrate the completion of the facilities and to pray for God’s continued work among holistic community development ministries in Papua.
The tribe continues to plant, grow, harvest, and craft a high-quality essential oil that is exported globally. The Cochrans serve as consultants for the project, connecting the tribe with buyers and mentoring project leaders on the accounting side of the business.
In another great example of God’s provision, the Cochran family moved into a newly constructed, TEAM-owned house next door to the workshop. They rejoice in full provision for the AT workshop and after they have moved, Michael will outfit the workshop with equipment that will enable holistic development ministries to empower and bless others.
A Farmhouse Turned Sanctuary for Ukrainian Refugees – (Refugee relief, Czech Republic) — September
… The farmhouse project is a beautiful example of people working together for a common cause to help others in need…
The farmhouse renovations and preparations concluded in September, and by early October, 11 precious Ukrainian refugees had moved in, family groups including grandparents, parents, and children.
Sara shares, “Months of hard physical work, and a month or so of hard work communicating with families, interviewing and getting them here— all worth it! With all the grief and horror these people are witnessing in Ukraine, we pray that this will be a safe place of refuge and healing.”
Japanese Park Ministries Offer a Level Step to the Gospel – (Outreach ministry, Japan) — October
… And for the past several years, Yoyogi Park has played host to a pair of ministries known as “Sidewalk Chapel” and “Mobile Church”…
Though it’s just been a couple of months since we shared here on the blog about the outreach ministries in Tokyo, TEAM worker David was pleased to share updates. He reports that the first baptism took place shortly after our initial interview. Four believers were baptized in a nearby river, followed by a picnic and celebration. David asks for prayer for these four brothers and sisters as they grow in their faith.
He shares a couple of other matters of prayer as well. “It is getting into the winter season which means a couple things,” says David. “It can get pretty cold out in the park and also [we do] caroling around the park. Please be in prayer for everyone’s protection as well as good opportunities to be a witness to others in the park.”
Building a Bridge of Hope – (Holistic community development, Chad) — November
… Scott and Eric began praying about TEAM’s response to this crisis. By the end of that year when another dozen people and over 1,900 cattle drowned, they had their answer. God was calling TEAM Chad to action…
Fundraising continues in earnest for the life-saving bridge in Chad. Scott shares this exciting news: “Giving Tuesday was an exciting day where we were offered a matching grant opportunity (dollar-for-dollar). Funds raised in that effort, including the matching funds, totaled $55,000!”
Scott also shares that fundraising within the country of Chad is also in full swing. “The local association we partnered with is working with a well-connected NGO that intends to hold a fundraiser soon to raise awareness and funding from NGO’s and embassies working in Chad. We have a commitment from the US Ambassador to visit AmTiman and the proposed bridge site in January. The relationship with the ambassador started when he invited our family for lunch. We hope that this relationship and the subsequent visit in January yield much fruit according to God’s will.”
As Sazoulang, Project Manager for the Bridge of Hope says, “The project is big, but our God is bigger!” Hear more from Sazoulang here.
TEAM supports more than 500 global workers across the world! You can be part of their story and their journey in spreading the Gospel and reaching those that have never heard. You can support ministries from community development to medical missions, from Muslims to unreached people groups in the depths of Africa, from children in school in Asia to victims of war in Ukraine and surrounding countries. Your gift to the Global Outreach Fund will help support these workers in every part of the world.
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