Tag - Culture

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How to Handle Culture Stress
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7 Facts You Should Know About Taiwan
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5 Reasons to Be a Missionary in Lesser-Known Lesotho
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Yule Cats and 8 Other Global Christmas Traditions
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9 Intriguing Birthday Traditions From Around the World
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TEAM Eats: Recipe for Savory Thai Peanut Noodles
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Why the Missionary Must Consider Envy
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7 Things to Never Do on a Mission Trip [Video]
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20 Questions to Help You Prepare for a Mission Trip
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Photo Journal: Thailand

How to Handle Culture Stress

culture stress
Feeling tired, drained or frustrated while living overseas? You might be experiencing culture stress. Here's how to handle it and adapt to your new normal. Graphics by TEAM

In the last 18 years, I have traveled to countries on nearly every continent. Every country I traveled to has taught me about culture and about myself. Through my travels, I have experienced things completely foreign to my definition of normal. I  have bathed and washed my hair in a bucket, slept in a treehouse, eaten with monkeys, been roommates with scorpions, used two boards as a toilet, traveled through the mountains in the back of a pickup truck and eaten foods I can’t pronounce. All of these experiences, while exciting, triggered culture stress in me, which can affect your…

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7 Facts You Should Know About Taiwan

Facts about taiwan
Taiwan's culture is a captivating tapestry of old and new traditions. Here are seven facts about Taiwan you should know before you see it for yourself. Photos by TEAM

When the Portuguese landed in Taiwan, they called it “Formosa,” meaning “beautiful island.” And appropriately so. Taiwan teems with natural wonders like cascading rivers, hot springs and the highest mountains in Northeast Asia. Today, this natural beauty is the backdrop for some of the world’s most technologically advanced cities. Here are seven facts about Taiwan you should know before you see this tapestry of ancient and new for yourself. 1. It’s the size of Belgium with the population of Australia.   Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. It is only slightly bigger than Belgium and home to…

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5 Reasons to Be a Missionary in Lesser-Known Lesotho

missionary in lesotho
Lesotho doesn't make international headlines very often, but this lesser-known nation is in need of Christian workers to go and share the gospel.

When we consider overseas missions, we are often captivated by impact. We consider locations, gifts and desires to “maximize” kingdom effectiveness. Many of us look at cities like London, Tokyo or Dubai where we pray that the ripple effect of our efforts will carry on for generations. The longing is God-given, and if the Lord leads us there, we should joyfully accept the privilege. But it’s good to remember Jesus isn’t confined to big cities and major outposts of industry and commerce. He cares about the less dense populations, the marginalized and the forgotten but equally wanted. He cares about…

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Yule Cats and 8 Other Global Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions From Around the World
Learn 9 ways cultures around the world are celebrating Christmas this season.

From colorful piñatas to 12-course meals, Christians around the world celebrate Christmas in ways as unique as their cultures. Read to discover 9 global Christmas traditions you might not have known about. Midnight Mass in Brazil Tropical temperatures in Brazil mean churchgoers don’t have to bundle up to attend Missa do Galo (“Rooster’s Mass”) at midnight. After services, fireworks illuminate the skylines of large cities, and families hurry home to enjoy a large meal together and exchange gifts. The Yule Cat in Iceland Children and adults alike in Iceland hope to unwrap a new set of clothes for Christmas. Traditional folklore…

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9 Intriguing Birthday Traditions From Around the World

birthday traditions
From whacking a piñata to scarfing a slice of fairy bread, check out these intriguing ways birthdays are celebrated around the world. Photo by TEAM

North Americans have long-standing traditions when it comes to birthdays: People gather, eat good food and cake and receive presents. Paper streamers and balloons and maybe even a banner that says, “Happy Birthday!” make the place look festive. Year after year, these traditions remain. Around the world, though, this scene might look a little different. Here are nine intriguing ways birthdays are celebrated around the world.  Ireland You might want to watch out if you are in Ireland on your birthday. Irish tradition states that the birthday boy is to be lifted by his arms and legs and “bumped” into the…

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TEAM Eats: Recipe for Savory Thai Peanut Noodles

Savory thai peanut noodles
Growing up in Southeast Asia gave missionary kid Emily Sheddan a long-lasting love for all things noodles and rice. She shares her recipe for delicious Savory Thai Peanut Noodles to share with your family, too.

If it’s anything noodles or rice, count me in. From the age of six, I’ve been told I can amazingly put away the food like a large Asian man. I love all of it and all of the strong flavors that come along with it like sesame, curries, ginger and garlic. Memories flood my mind of hawker stall delicacies from growing up in Southeast Asia. It wouldn’t matter if these were some of the dirtiest places to grab a plate of food either. What mattered and made people always come back was all the delicious choices from fried rice (nasi goreng)…

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Why the Missionary Must Consider Envy

In cultures where the group is more highly valued than the individual, envy can occur when the status quo is threatened. Missionaries from an individualistic culture need to be mindful of these differences and how they affect their ministry. Photo by TEAM

This article on the role of envy in missions is an excerpt from Envy: A Forgotten Word, which is available for download as a free ebook at the end of this blog post. The Role of Envy in Culture Have you ever thought about how envy plays out in culture? In Western capitalistic societies we do not usually think about envy, though it is a universal human emotion. Many people in the Majority World take steps to avoid becoming the target of envy. Being envied (or perceived as envious) carries significant social, and sometimes material, cost. Envy is a feeling of disappointment…

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7 Things to Never Do on a Mission Trip [Video]

mission trip travel tips
From bad t-shirts to wild gestures, watch this video for tips on how to avoid common mission trip blunders.

Whether you’re going on a mission trip to Thailand or Guatemala, there are a few universal best practices you should know. Watch the video below for a comical look at the blunders short-term missionaries have been known to make. Then, read on for practical tips that will help you avoid these common mission trip mistakes. 1. Don’t be loud and obnoxious. Going to a new place you’ve only seen in photos is exciting. With each novel experience, you might feel like snapping a few selfies and voicing great delight. It’s important to remember that while this is an experience for you, it’s another Monday for the people…

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20 Questions to Help You Prepare for a Mission Trip

prepare for a mission trip
Cultural preparation is critical to a short-mission trip. Jumpstart your cultural learning with these 20 questions. Photo by TEAM

Preparing for a short-term mission trip doesn’t stop when your funds are raised and your flight is booked. Before jetting off on your short-term mission trip, it’s critical to have an understanding of the culture in which you will be living and serving. Having knowledge of your host country’s unique customs will engender the respect you need from locals to be successful in ministry. It also might save you from a cultural blunder or two! To build a foundation of cultural competency, spend time answering the following diagnostic questions. You can download a printable version with space to record your findings here.  Questions to Help…

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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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