TEAM Christian Missions Blog

Exploring cross-cultural ministry around the globe.
1
5 Things to Expect Your First Year as a Missionary
2
‘More than Just a Basketball Thing’
3
How to Pray for Unreached People Groups
4
How Long Should I Be a Missionary?
5
When a Muslim Dreams of a Missionary
6
Missionaries with Chronic Health Problems Need Your Prayers
7
Missionaries’ Favorite Books on Missions
8
When Your Church Still Can’t Meet in Person — or Online
9
3 Ways to Pray for Translation Ministries
10
How to Wow Your Supporters with Video Updates

5 Things to Expect Your First Year as a Missionary

Your first year as missionary is less about bold ministry than it is about diligent studying and acclimation.
Your first year as missionary is less about bold ministry than it is about diligent studying and acclimation.

“Your goal for the first term is to survive and want to come back.” When Eric Binion got this advice, he was a new missionary in South Africa. And at first, it sounded as absurd to him as it probably sounds to you. Eric already wanted to be in South Africa. Plus, a missionary’s first term is generally four years in-country. After language school, you still have two years to dedicate fully to ministry. Why aim for such a low goal? Decades later, Eric is giving the same advice. So, what should you expect your first year as a missionary?…

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‘More than Just a Basketball Thing’

Cristian felt like he was falling apart. Now, through sports ministry and discipleship, he’s a passionate believer with a vision to spread the Gospel.
Cristian felt like he was falling apart. Now, through sports ministry and discipleship, he’s a passionate believer with a vision to spread the Gospel.

When two visitors showed up at Cristian’s middle school, he had no idea that the basketball program they promoted would end three long years of loneliness. It wasn’t easy growing up in La Paz, Mexico, where Cristian regularly navigated offers of drugs, family dysfunction and his own adolescent hormones. And he was doing it pretty much all on his own. He’d had some good friends, neighbors who provided a safe space and a listening ear — and who also pointed him to Jesus. But they moved away. Where Cristian had once found friendship and spiritual guidance, now there was only…

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How to Pray for Unreached People Groups

A missionary talks with a woman from an unreached people group in Chad.
Unreached people groups are found in rural villages, high-tech cities and everywhere in between — but all have the same need for the Gospel.

What pops into your mind when you read the words “unreached people groups”? Simple, tribal living or high-tech, city life? Intense religiosity or no religion at all? Commitment to community or extreme individualism? Hard-to-reach or just a plane ride away? Actually, any of those answers could be correct. Ask TEAM missionary Eric Kroner about the unreached people group (UPG) he serves in Chad, and he’ll share about farmers who live without electricity or running water. “They are very much aware that their livelihood is dependent upon rains, at the whim of disease, and with the very rhythms of day and…

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How Long Should I Be a Missionary?

How do you know if God is calling you to long-term missions? Who are the best candidates for short-term mission trips? We’ve got answers.
How do you know if God is calling you to long-term missions? Who are the best candidates for short-term mission trips? We’ve got answers.

The journey of pursuing missions is unique for each person. God is personal and above all, and He is able to orchestrate all the details of a missionary’s life for His honor and glory. And yet, as you pursue cross-cultural Christian missions, you might find yourself stuck on this question: How long should you commit to overseas missions service? Is there really a valuable difference between short-term missions or a mid-term assignment? Should you just jump into long-term missions and commit your foreseeable future to overseas work? As a TEAM missions coach, I regularly help people walk through these questions,…

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When a Muslim Dreams of a Missionary

A Middle Eastern man walks outside
With crushing debt, a dying mother and a looming prison sentence, Murad was in desperate need of a miracle. Then, he dreamed of a missionary.

Every salvation story is different. Murad began his by hitting a pedestrian with his car. The accident wasn’t necessarily all his fault, but in Murad’s Middle Eastern country, that doesn’t matter. The person at fault is the one who doesn’t get hurt The medical bills stacked up quickly, and Murad was responsible for all of them. Tradition also required Murad to pay a separate amount as an apology to the family. The full amount was 20 times what Murad made in one month. In the midst of that crisis, Murad’s family was hit with another: Murad’s mother, Qismah, was diagnosed…

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Missionaries with Chronic Health Problems Need Your Prayers

From finding the right care to fighting shame, missionaries with chronic health conditions have a whole set of unique prayer needs.
From finding the right care to fighting shame, missionaries with chronic health conditions have a whole set of unique prayer needs.

When Noelle and Lee* sensed God calling them to Italy, they put out a fleece. Noelle has an autoimmune disorder that requires treatment every six weeks. If God provided a place for treatment, they would move forward. “He provided, so we came,” Noelle says. The treatment wasn’t local, but it was doable. Every six weeks, Noelle travelled to Germany for blood product infusions that keep her immune system from attacking itself. Thankfully, travel among European countries was easy. Then COVID-19 began to spread. Borders closed. “Without this treatment, I can deteriorate very quickly,” Noelle says. “It was a bit frightening…

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Missionaries’ Favorite Books on Missions

When it comes to finding the best books on missions, there’s no one better to ask than actual missionaries!
When it comes to finding the best books on missions, there’s no one better to ask than actual missionaries!

There are almost endless books on Christian missions to read. Rather than try to identify the best, we decided to ask missionaries for their favorites. This list is a perfect mix of memoir, faith-building insights and cultural education. And they’ve all proven themselves invaluable to missionaries around the world. Check out the list, and then be sure to share your favorite books on missions in the comments! Have We No Rights? by Mabel Williamson Recommended by Amie Bockstahler, missionary to Guatemala Demanding your rights is a treasured American pastime. But is it compatible with the mission field? That’s the question…

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When Your Church Still Can’t Meet in Person — or Online

With limited internet access, one Peruvian church has had to think differently about how to do church during an ongoing pandemic.
With limited internet access, one Peruvian church has had to think differently about how to do church during an ongoing pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, churches have celebrated the power of online services. People who would never have set foot in a church could casually hop online for a bit of hope. But for people in the community of Ciudad de Dios, going online for church is an impossible luxury. Located on the outskirts of Arequipa, Peru, the neighborhood is made of people working simple jobs with meager wages. Any internet access comes in the form of cell phone data. And with schools online during COVID-19, families have had to use most of their data for their children’s educations. Now, well into…

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3 Ways to Pray for Translation Ministries

7 Ways to Pray for Translation and Linguistics Ministries [July Prayer Focus]
Millions of people around the world can't read the Gospel in their own language. Let's pray for translation ministries around the world. Photo by TEAM

It’s a Monday night, and 15 Kwong men eagerly fill a small classroom, waiting for the opportunity of a lifetime. Tonight, they’re going to study the Bible — in their own language. The Kwong tribe first received the Gospel in the 1950s, but getting a Kwong Bible translation has taken much longer. Local pastors struggle to teach from Bible translations in other languages they barely understand. And for most Kwong believers, those sermons are the only biblical teaching they get. But for nearly 30 years, a team of local believers and TEAM missionaries has been painstakingly translating God’s word into…

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How to Wow Your Supporters with Video Updates

Creating powerful missionary update videos is easier than you think. You just need a few simple tools and strategies.
Creating powerful missionary update videos is easier than you think. You just need a few simple tools and strategies.

Missionaries have sent written letters to supporters from day one (think Paul). But today, missionaries have exponentially more outlets and mediums to share their stories, and video should be near the top of that list. As TEAM’s multimedia video producer, I constantly see the power of video help missionaries engage supporters and share God’s incredible work. Using video from the early fundraising process through your time on the mission field will help your supporters, friends and family better visualize what your life and ministry looks like on a day to day basis. And when people can better understand your ministry,…

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