Tag - South Africa

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What the Psalms Taught Me About Safety in Missions
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Building a Kingdom of Diversity
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What It’s Like to Raise My Young Kids Overseas
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How a Water Bottling Factory is Reaching Orphans
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5 Reasons to Be a Missionary in Lesser-Known Lesotho
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Eight Meals Until They Get to Eat
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The Best Thing About Being a Missionary
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Do Western Missionaries Damage Cultures?

What the Psalms Taught Me About Safety in Missions

safety in missions
Missions work isn't always safe. But TEAM missionary Beth Barthelemy uses the Psalms to remember that no matter what we do in life, there is true safety in God's sovereignty. Photo by TEAM

In the summer of 2008, I spent two months in the Middle East. My time was focused on discipling Christian women by training local teachers in English and leading Bible studies among nurses at a local hospital. My first day there, I accompanied my hosts to a local wedding reception. Upon arrival, we saw a group of men celebrating by shooting guns straight up into the air. My hosts explained that this was a cultural celebratory tradition, regretfully sharing about the unfortunate deaths that occur from falling bullets. I lay in bed that night, listening to gunshots in the distance,…

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Building a Kingdom of Diversity

African-American missionaries
From their 20-plus years of missionary work in Africa to their continued service in the States, David and Marjory Patrick have been trailblazers for promoting diversity in missions. | Photo courtesy of David Patrick

As she listened to African-American missionaries from her home church tell their stories in front of the congregation, 14-year-old Marjory heard a voice — small at first, but distinct. She was completely enthralled with these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for the sake of the Gospel. Could she ever be like them? Then, she heard the voice again. Louder this time, and clearer: “You are looking at your future.” Several years later, a visiting pastor offered David Patrick a pamphlet called “Hearing the Call of God.” David flipped through it as the author, David…

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What It’s Like to Raise My Young Kids Overseas

raising young kids overseas
Beth hasn't been on the mission field long, but she's had a crash course in what it's like to help her children transition and thrive overseas. Here are her lessons learned. Photos courtesy of Beth Barthelemy

I have three kids, all 4 and under. And six months ago, we moved across the globe. To be honest, some of the thoughts I’ve had are: Am I crazy? Am I irresponsible? Definitely not, I’m so equipped to not only raise my own kids but also to write a fantastic blog post about how I do it so well! I’m sure there are many others who’ve been overseas longer, who have golden nuggets of wisdom on parenting overseas. But all this aside, here are some reflections from a fresh-on-the-field, young mama of three on what it’s like to raise my…

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How a Water Bottling Factory is Reaching Orphans

In South Africa, an HIV epidemic has orphaned over two million children. Read how two missionaries are using their skills in engineering and marketing to help these children to flourish. Photo courtesy of Brett and Kara Richstone

“Why don’t you have HIV?” “Why do we have HIV if we haven’t had sex?” “Why don’t we see our parents on holidays?” These aren’t questions a typical engineer deals with during his work. But for Brett Richstone, a TEAM missionary and water bottling plant manager, nothing about the last few years has been typical. He starts his day with factory maintenance, applying for licenses or filling orders for fresh spring water. But by the afternoon, he’s leading a Bible study, buying groceries for an entire village and having heart-to-heart conversations with children affected by HIV and AIDS. It all…

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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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Eight Meals Until They Get to Eat

orphan care south africa
When Zama was 17, she was orphaned and left to care for her four younger siblings. On the weekends she never knew where their meals would come from. Then she met Bonga.

The sickness that struck Zama’s parents might have been AIDS, or it could have been an ordinary illness. For Zama, the results were the same: By the time she was 17, she was head of her household, caretaker to four younger siblings and balancing high school concerns alongside the worry of where she would get her next meal. The weekends were the worst. Zama’s school provided free lunches during the week, giving the children just enough strength to get through an evening and morning with no dinner or breakfast. After Friday’s lunch, they were on their own. For the next…

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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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Do Western Missionaries Damage Cultures?

western-missionaries-southern-africa
Where culture doesn't contradict spiritual truth, western missionaries must take care to leave it unchanged. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

Today, TEAM missionary Brett Miller shares about how missionaries impact cultures in good and bad ways — and how to avoid the latter. Recently, I went pheasant hunting with some friends of my Dad who were kind enough to include me in their circle. It was a special day and, as one of them pointed out, likely my last day of pheasant hunting. There are no pheasants in Swaziland, where my wife and I are going to serve as missionaries. One of the men I was hunting with made a perceptive comment. He told me that missions had done serious…

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