Every family has unique Christmas traditions. For TEAM families working in Muslim-majority countries, Christmas in not just a time to gather with loved ones, but also to welcome friends who often don’t understand the true meaning of the holiday. We talked with six TEAM workers serving in Muslim contexts about how they use their celebrations to open doors. Since every country is different, their experiences might not reflect what happens in other regions of the Muslim world, or even on the other side of town. But their insights can help us see Christmas from a slightly different angle this year….Read More
Christmas is a global holiday, perhaps the most global of all. For TEAM missionaries around the world, it’s a unique opportunity to share Christ in post-Christian cultures or among communities that are normally reluctant to discuss the gospel. Each year, TEAM workers find myriad creative ways to publicly celebrate Christmas, in addition to the many (likely a majority) who invite friends and neighbors into their homes for a meal or small celebration. Here’s a look at just a few of the ways our people are reaching out for Christmas this year: Japan TEAM missionaries in Japan take Christmas to a…Read More
Today, TEAM Chief Advancement Officer Arnie Adkison contributes to the blog. He addresses how you can make the most difference when tragedy strikes, and shares some of how TEAM decides when to get involved. Last week a retired TEAM missionary couple in southern Illinois had no idea that as they headed out to church, the home they would later return to was about to become rubble. While they prayed and worshiped with their church community, a tornado ripped through their town and destroyed their house and everything in it, leaving them with little more than the clothes they were wearing….Read More
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s the time of year when college students begin feeling the stress of looming deadlines and final exams. Many slip into survival mode, put their heads down, and count the minutes until they can head home for Christmas.
Across the world in Indonesia, college students feel this stress, too. But in-between everything else, they also must make time to fish for their dinner, chop firewood to cook it with, and fetch drinking water from a well.
Students at the Roesler Memorial Bible School, a TEAM ministry in Papua, Indonesia, juggle far more in a semester than just books. Most come from rural tribal villages to study the Bible and bring that knowledge back to their communities as pastors, teachers and church leaders. They not only have to adjust to academia — a completely new experience for many of them — but also to the somewhat more urban environment of the campus, located just outside the city of Merauke. Their days begin before 5 A.M. and stretch well into the night.
Yaimo Perew brought his whole family to the school so he could study. He’s not only trying to reach his village for Christ, but his own family, as well.
Watch Yaimo’s story above.
This is the last of a three-part series exploring self-funding short-term missions. In this post, we explore whether you should consider self-funding your next mission trip. Read Part I and Part II of this series here. An estimated 2 million people or more in the United States take short-term mission trips each year. If you’re one of them, or even if you’re considering long-term missionary service, should you try to pay part or all of your own costs? Should you fundraise for the whole amount? “There’s really no best way to do it,” said John*, who uses seasonal work to…Read More
This is the second of a three-part series exploring self-funding short-term missions. In this post, we explore the financial aspects of self-funding a mission trip. Read Part I of this series here. Or jump to Part III. John* began working summers as a firefighter on a tip from a friend. The gig got him through college. He kept it up after graduating, using his earnings to serve on repeated trips with TEAM as a short-term missionary in a creative-access country, at around $10,000 per trip. Now those summer wages are putting him through graduate school, and he has more mission…Read More
This is the first of a three-part series exploring self-funding short-term missions. In this post, we look at saving for a mission trip as a spiritual discipline. Read Part II. In August, Eliza* got two pieces of good news: a nannying job, and the email she had been hoping for. It was an offer to participate in the School of Biblical Studies, a nine-month Bible training program offered through Youth With A Mission (YWAM). As with most YWAM programs or any mission trip, participants generally raise support to cover their costs. But as Eliza considered fundraising, she peeked into her…Read More
Today, TEAM Stewardship Manager Mark Watson contributes to the blog, addressing the growing trend of Christmas charity gift catalogs. If you’re like me, starting right about now, your mailbox is cluttered with Christmas charity gift catalogs. Especially if you’ve been involved in missions or child sponsorship for a long time, these catalogs will find their way in-between other catalogs for shoes, sweaters, electronics, hunting gear and just about everything else. You may drop your holiday postal pile on your kitchen table and ask yourself, “Should I look through all these gift catalogs this year? Should I look through any of them?”…Read More
In Japan, the moment of truth for a Christian often comes during a funeral. At Buddhist funerals — which constitute around 90 percent of them in Japan — the custom is for mourners to pay their respects by bowing before the deceased and offering up a prayer to the dead, often along with some incense. When it comes to Christianity in Japan, that practice poses a big problem. Most Japanese Christians stop praying to the dead and other spirits when they start following Jesus. According to Stella Cox, a longtime TEAM missionary in Japan, funerals are often big social events…Read More
Here’s a little secret: Missionaries are ordinary people. And just like ordinary people, sometimes they have conflicts about ordinary things like misplaced dishes. These days, good missionary care teams keep an eye out for interpersonal conflict as the source of potential burnout. As it turns out, it’s not a new problem. Not by a long shot. TEAM writer Lisa Renninger was recently researching for a project on TEAM’s history and stumbled upon a story of narrowly avoided-missionary burnout set in Venezuela over a century ago. In 1906, two pioneering missionary families, the Bachs and the Christiansens, had established a new…Read More