Tag - personal narrative

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What Life on the Mission Field is Really Like
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When God Calls You Off the Mission Field
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A Day in the Life of a Missionary
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Why I’m Learning One of the Hardest Languages in the World
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The Best Thing About Being a Missionary
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A Short-Term Mission Trip to Japan Changed My Life
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3 Things I Learned On My Short-Term Missions Trip
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Reflections on the Paris Terrorist Attacks
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Taste and See That God Is Good
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A Ministry Marathon

What Life on the Mission Field is Really Like

life on the mission field
Deb went to the field as a single woman and came home as a mother. Each season taught her something powerful about what it really means to be a missionary.

They arrived on our doorstep in East Asia, travel weary, hungry and tired. Of course, we had no warning that they were coming, and as I got their beds ready in our tiny home, I wondered how long our houseguests would stay. They had journeyed two days down the mountain to get here, and I knew a short stay was probably not what they had in mind. As I scrambled to get a hearty meal ready for our guests, I tried to prepare myself emotionally to live in their story for the next while.     About a year earlier,…

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When God Calls You Off the Mission Field

missionary calling
When her daughter developed serious health issues, Deb traded her exciting life among nomads in East Asia for doctors' offices in suburbia. But through her deferred dream, Deb learned critical lessons about her true calling in life. Photos courtesy of Deb Wyss

One of my clearest memories from my seven years in East Asia is lying inside a nomad tent, under a blue tarp, while rain gently drummed my entire body. I was alone — alone in the sense that there was no one like me for miles and miles around. Baby yaks stirred within arms reach on one side, and a family of nomads with wild hair snored on the other. How did a girl from the suburbs of Minnesota get here? I thought. It was a feeling of elation, as I had long yearned to live among this unreached people group. But it was also…

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A Day in the Life of a Missionary

tori and matt missionaries in japan
Being a missionary isn't always an adventure. Sometimes it's just ordinary. TEAM worker Tori Jansson shares her candid thoughts on what it's like to be a missionary in the normal but beautiful everyday. Photo courtesy of Tori Jansson

As a worker in Tokyo, I’m often asked, “What is a day in the life of a missionary?” Well, which day are we talking about, exactly? How about my first day training at SonRise Cafe? Or, our first month grocery shopping – trying to read Japanese labels to distinguish between sugar and salt, laundry detergent and bleach? What about Christmas time with a different outreach every week, sharing the Gospel at every turn? Or, the first time I was able to ask a train station worker for help in Japanese? That week we got to share our testimonies with 200 freshman high…

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Why I’m Learning One of the Hardest Languages in the World

language learning japan
We don’t go through language learning to get to the “real ministry." Learning Japanese is ministry. Photo by TEAM

There was a time God used a travel-size bottle of shampoo to connect me to language learning. In May 2015, my husband and I went on a vision trip to Japan. We were toward the beginning of our support raising process to be long-term missionaries there. During our stay in Tokyo, I ran out of shampoo, so I stopped at a local store by the train station to purchase some more. I found a small bottle and saw that the price tag in yen appeared to be roughly $1 USD. Not a bad price for travel shampoo I thought. Happily, I took my…

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The Best Thing About Being a Missionary

the best thing about being a missionary
The best part of being a missionary is following God on a journey to bring him glory among the nations, an endeavor that cannot fail. Photo by TEAM in Mozambique.

Today we welcome Stephen Langley, an appointed TEAM missionary to South Africa, to share his thoughts on what motivated him to choose missions as his career. It may seem presumptuous for a missionary who has not yet left for his assignment to claim to know “the best thing about being a missionary.” But bear with me. I think I’m onto something here, and I invite any of my veteran missionary friends to tell me if I’m wrong. Last week, I was vacuuming one of the hallways in my church and pondering my family’s future. I had just finished listening to a John…

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A Short-Term Mission Trip to Japan Changed My Life

japan-temple
A short-term mission trip to Japan gave one couple vision for longer-term missionary service with a few plot twists along the way. Photo by TEAM

It certainly wasn’t the first short-term trip I had taken. My husband and I knew before we were married that we wanted to be missionaries in Japan, as we had traveled there with our church and other organizations. Short-term ministry was nothing new to us, but on March 11, 2011, as we saw the tsunami hit Japan in one of the worst disasters the country ever experienced, we knew we had to go back and help. In our mind, we wanted to just go and aid the country we loved in their hour of need. What we didn’t know is that…

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3 Things I Learned On My Short-Term Missions Trip

Short-term missions isn't one size fits all, but here are three lessons I learned on my short-term missions trip to Greece.

Short-term missions isn’t one-size-fits-all. Every trip is different. Every person is different. But when I traveled to Greece this past summer, I learned three important lessons that likely apply to anyone considering being a short-term missionary. It will be harder than you expect. Yes, there will be the planes delayed, luggage lost and miscommunication, but these won’t make or break your trip. When I was called to step out of my comfort zone and go on this trip in the first place, I reached points where I doubted this was what I was supposed to be doing, and in those moments…

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Reflections on the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Eifel-Tower-Paris-France
The Eifel Tower in Paris, France. Photo by Taylor Nesse

I wake up Saturday morning to the news. Paris has been the target of a coordinated terrorist attack. Paris is certainly not the first and already not the last, but like so many of my students at Black Forest Academy, this to me was not just something to read about in the news. This feels close and personal. This is the city and country I called home for most of my childhood. Both of my sisters were born there. This is a country that is currently only a 20-minute drive from my apartment. Several of my students commute daily from France….

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Taste and See That God Is Good

Italy in the fall. Photo by TEAM

Have you ever had a ripe persimmon on a crisp day in October?  I’m sad to say, despite priding myself on a broad palate and a love of eating locally and seasonally, it’s something I’ve only recently discovered. This is my seventh autumn in Italy, and every year, right around this time, I see the cachi start to show up in the markets. Every year, I think I should buy a few and figure out what to do with them, and every year I let the fall pass without actually following through. A few weeks ago, the missions pastor from…

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A Ministry Marathon

Ministry is not a sprint, but a marathon to the finish line. Photo by TEAM

Today we welcome a long-term worker in South Asia to the TEAM blog. After decades on the field, she shares with us a poignant reflection of her ministry among Muslims. Because of governmental opposition to the gospel and gospel workers in her region, her identity will remain anonymous.  Before I left to serve overseas, I had a litany of worries. What if the language is too hard to learn? What if I’m lonely? Will I be able to adjust to the conservative culture of South Asia? Will I be able to make friends? Will I be able to lead someone into God’s kingdom?…

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