Walking the Path Together

Missionary man with local villagers.
Deep generosity prompted local believers to invite TEAM into a partnership to provide better access to a Gospel training center.

In this series of TEAM Ministry Updates, we’re sharing stories that highlight each of TEAM’s defining values. The following narrative is shared by a TEAM Asia global worker as an example of the value of “Church Focus.” 

As the motorbike bumped and slid over a rough and muddy track, I was doing my best to contain my emotions. On one hand, I was partially terrified of falling off and being injured in a very remote part of southeast Asia with medical help at least a half day away. Simultaneously, I was excited. This trip was the culmination of several years of planning and dreaming. Another global worker and I were hosting an engineer to evaluate a site for a proposed bridge to allow better access to a small village isolated by a river crossing. Our motivation was to help this village gain more consistent access to schools and markets and to help the village church be more accessible to others coming to worship and be trained.  

The trip didn’t go as planned. The river’s depth and annual flooding caused the cost estimates to skyrocket, and we left disappointed. The residents didn’t seem very perturbed; they just sort of shrugged their shoulders and carried on.  

Over the next couple of years, the project faded in my mind. On a subsequent trip to visit friends and assist in a training event, the leader of the village church pulled me aside and asked if I’d pray about helping with a small project.

A government infrastructure initiative was bringing paved roads to many remote areas. These brothers and sisters realized that the paved road would come within 2 kilometers of their church building. For about 2% of the previously proposed bridge cost, a small gravel road could be carved out of the mountainside to allow inconspicuous access to the training site and church. 

I stopped myself from screaming “Yes!” and agreed to pray about it. I asked a few friends for advice and multiple people agreed to give financially to make this road a reality. When I saw this pastor again, I came armed with a handful of cash. It wasn’t enough to pay for the entirety of the project, but I had resolved to make it happen and I was confident we were close.  

We prayed together about the road, and I pulled out the roll of bills somewhat apologetically to let him know that it wasn’t all funded. He smiled kindly and chuckled a little. I don’t think I’ll ever forget his next words: “Praise the Lord! He has decided to let you share in this with us.” 

I felt a little confused. The pastor continued, “We felt that the Lord gave us this opportunity to reach others and provided the idea to connect the road. Members of our fellowship have been taking on extra work in nearby fields and towns to earn money toward the project. In fact, we’ve already completed and paid for the first phase of excavation. We just wanted to give you a chance to share in the blessing.” 

Two men walking on a path together.

TEAM’s focus on the Church is evidenced when global workers and national churches walk together on the path to Kingdom work.


I was dumbfounded and a little embarrassed about my own hubris. Though I thought my motives were pure, I was guilty of thinking that it was up to me. I was guilty of pride and arrogance.   

Shortly thereafter, when security crackdowns and COVID-19 restrictions severely limited access to churches and training centers in more densely populated areas, the humble little bamboo building became a very busy place as leaders came to be trained and believers gathered to worship together.     

This experience reminds me why one of TEAM’s defining values is Church Focus. We are focused upon the establishment and growth of individual churches as a part of the larger movement of followers of Jesus Christ – the global Church. Historically, this has often looked like Christ followers from the west (typically North America or Europe) striking out and going to a place where the Church wasn’t yet established and helping to establish it. It is both amazing and miraculous that followers of Christ now reside in so many places where they did not just a relatively short time ago.   

The work of planting and establishing new churches is not finished. There are still many places, people groups, and even some countries that have little to no access to the Gospel. However, the days of that work being carried out solely or even primarily by western global workers are waning. At first glance, that may be an alarming thought, but we ought to rejoice that the global Church of Jesus Christ is His body, and it is not contained in just one individual or passport-holders of a particular country. 

TEAM’s mission statement is bookended with statements about the church with promises to “partner with the global Church” and “establish missional churches.”    

Partnering with and focusing on the Church means we must look around, listen carefully, and act in humble accord with our fellow Church members. It is not up to any one of us, but to God. First Corinthians 5:7 says, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 

The global Church is growing in size, capacity, and maturity. Take heart that we need not design and build a bridge to that future. Instead, we just need to learn to walk the path together.


Pray about how you can be a part of stories like this one by partnering with workers across the globe. Our GO Fund supports workers in all fields of ministry by providing necessary resources and support so they can spread the truth of Christ, train local leaders, and make disciples in every nation.

Play your part in growing the global church.




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This post was written by a TEAM worker located in a security-sensitive region.

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