What Missionaries are Thankful for This Year

Brenda (center) has been able to serve for nearly 40 years — even during a pandemic, thanks to her supporters.
Brenda (center) has been able to serve for nearly 40 years — even during a pandemic, thanks to her supporters.

We spend most of the year asking you for prayer, and God spends all year moving through those prayers. This month, instead of asking missionaries how we can pray for them, we asked what they’re thanking God for in their ministries and in their personal lives.

We hope you’ll take a moment to praise God with us — and share your own stories of praise in the comments!

Indonesia: Local Evangelists Sharing Jesus Every Week

“We are deeply thankful for three Indonesians who are part of our evangelism team in Merauke, Indonesia,” says TEAM worker Jared Riepma.

COVID-19 continues to make ministry a challenge in Indonesia. In fact, Jared says, the pandemic has been harder in 2021 than in the year before. Still, his Indonesian co-workers send him messages almost every week about opportunities they’ve had to share the Good News of Jesus.

“I am thankful for and challenged by their bold example of evangelism and testimony of the power of Jesus Christ to forgive and save sinners,” Jared says.

Peru: Bible Study Grows Through Pandemic

When COVID-19 started, Jessica Malec’s Bible study for women went online. The women attended faithfully, but like so many, they deeply missed the chance for real fellowship. “I prayed about it, and God helped me see that small groups could be a solution,” Jessica says.

They started using Zoom’s breakout rooms for 30 minutes of each meeting. There, the women could discuss the lesson more deeply and pray for each other. Today, the group has more than doubled in size!

“It’s amazing how God used this small change to make the ladies feel more united,” Jessica says.

Mexico: Decades of Faithful Support

Brenda Matthews has served with TEAM for almost 40 years — and some of her supporters have been with her the whole time. “My oldest supporter is 95 and has been supporting me from the very beginning,” Brenda says.

As God has led Brenda to new places and ministries, He’s continued to bring new friends to partner with her. “My heart overflows with thanksgiving to God and to my supporters for their faithful giving, especially during the pandemic and hard times,” Brenda says.

eSwatini: Reunited with Co-Workers

Lynda spent two months as the lone resident at eSwatini’s Evangelical Bible College. She’s grateful to have her co-workers back on campus.

Lynda spent two months as the lone resident at eSwatini’s Evangelical Bible College. She’s grateful to have her co-workers back on campus.

This summer, TEAM workers at eSwatini Evangelical Bible College all returned to the United States for various reasons. This left Lynda Collison as the lone resident on campus, with the occasional company of locals who came on and off campus. “I am deeply thankful for the return of my fellow TEAM missionaries … after I had been on campus alone for about two months,” Lynda says.

Zimbabwe: ‘I Wish I Could Preach Like That’

Sean Doyle was invited to record a sermon for a local church. At the end of the session, the young assistant pastor said, “I wish I could preach like that.”

Sean offered to teach the young man — if the pastor could find five other young men who would join him in study. Within a week, the pastor had gathered his classmates, all young men with a passion to see God’s word impact Zimbabwe! Since then, the students have invested many hours into their training.

“In some ways,” Sean says, “the limitations of lockdown has freed up time for this intensive training to fit into their normally overcrowded schedules.”

Ireland: Walking with Local Believers

“We are so thankful for the web of believers that lies in Ireland,” Brenda Taylor says. “In that web, we have been able to connect with hurting church leaders and those struggling to carry on. The Lord reminded us that we were once the same, and it would have been so nice to have someone to walk with us during those dark times. So, we are very thankful and honored to walk with a group of brothers and sisters as the Lord heals them in preparation for only He knows what.”

Czech Republic: New Opportunities to Learn and Grow

Melissa Zikanovi has several roles as a missionary: church planting, language coaching, member care facilitating, to name a few. With many ministries on hold or unable to continue in the same way, Melissa decided to turn her focus to her own training.

Because so many conferences and workshops moved online, Melissa could participate at a low cost while still caring for her small children. She attended a language-learning conference, took cross-cultural conflict resolution training and more!

“I was able to put into practice something from every training, making me more effective in every role and ministry God has called me to, Melissa says. “For that, I am exceedingly grateful.”

United States of America: Giving the Homeless a Reason to Say Thanks

Marj was able to show Christ’s love by crocheting simple mats for people in the local homeless community.

Marj was able to show Christ’s love by crocheting simple mats for people in the local homeless community.

This year, many missionaries were unable to travel abroad. TEAM missionary Marj Patrick took this limitation as an opportunity. She started crocheting mats out of grocery bags and giving them to local homeless people. The simple mats cushioned the ground and helped keep their blankets dry.

“I will never forget the day I gave one to Shannon, who, the next day, gave birth to her baby girl on the mat,” Marj says. A fellow minister led Shannon to give her life to Christ and helped her get a part-time job. Marj was grateful to be able to share with Shannon, “The plan is in His hands, and if she strays from His hand, she’ll miss His plan.”

Philippines: Supporters Stay Faithful through Trials

Dan and Louise Hubert are grateful for all the supporters who partner with them in ministry, but one couple stands out for their faithfulness amid trials.

“This couple has been with us from the very beginning of our journey overseas,” Dan says. Over the years, the wife has suffered physical struggles, while the husband has suffered from cancer and lost two of his brothers from cancer in the same week. Still, Dan says, “They continue to be faithful partners with God’s ministry in the Philippines. We are truly grateful for them.”

Spain: Watching God Change Hearts

TEAM missionary Natalie Widman shares, “One of the greatest joys in church planting has been watching God change the heart of a person, see them be conformed into the likeness of Christ and then desire to disciple others!”

Working with teenagers, Natalie has gotten to see young people apply Scripture to their lives and learn to fear God. And as a result, God is transforming them into disciples who make disciples. She says, “May they continue to pursue the Lord, passionately follow Christ and steadfastly trust in Him alone!”

What are you thanking God for this year? Let’s turn the comments section into a place of praise and worship!

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TEAM - The Evangelical Alliance Mission

TEAM partners with the Global Church in sending disciples who make disciples and establish missional reproducing churches to the glory of God.

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