Love Looks Like Something (Part Two)

In our last newsletter, we shared about YWAM Bend, Oregon, a one-of-a-kind ministry with a vision calling for equally visionary mission builder volunteers. True to form, the first project accomplished at their location was out of the ordinary, just like the mission builders who showed up to help get the job done. David and Crystal Cook happened to be in the area in early October of 2014 and volunteered to help set up YWAM Bend’s Mongolian gers (yurts), which would become housing for ministry staff. In the span of four days, David helped spread mulch, set up one ger, disassembled a second one at another location and prepped it for moving. Crystal helped with meal preps and garden gleaning (and David found time to cook some of his famous burgers for the staff as well). With the Cook’s help, the YWAM Bend team was settled in before the snow fell. YWAM Bend wasn’t the first ministry nor will it be the last to benefit from the Cook’s volunteerism. Along with their son, Michael, and daughter, Amy, the Cooks began their mission-building adventure while visiting friends at YWAM San Francisco six years ago. David, who owned his own construction business, says, “While we were there we noticed so many broken toilets and door hinges and the like. We said we would stay and help and began to get a glimpse of the need out there.” On their first long-term mission building trip, the Cook family traveled from Seattle to YWAM Orlando in Florida in a truck, living out of a camper on the back. There, David says, “The young staff...

Wrench Theology 101

Getting God’s guidance to find the way forward is everyone’s challenge. And when a wrench is thrown in to thwart or slow progress, I wonder if it’s God’s way of challenging me to persevere or re-directing me to another tactic. I tend to look at life and ministry analogous to the glass being half empty as opposed to half full; a positive outlook about the way forward is not natural for me. I generally see what is NOT done and frequently forget to celebrate what HAS been done. Some 1200 YWAM operating locations in 185 nations could benefit from the helping hands of mission builders like the Cook family (see related article) on a monthly basis. Doing the math (taking into account there are some that have no projects or room for mission builders while there are others that could use 100 at a time) 1200 locations x at least 2 mission builders a month = 2400/month x 12 months = 28,800 mission builders needed per year. That’s a LOT more mission builders than we presently serve! Where are those volunteers willing to say “Here am I, send me!” to serve alongside YWAMers passionately pursing God to make Him known among the nations, and how does MBI reach them? That’s the question (or wrench) I cannot answer alone, and along with our board of directors, we have not found an affordable solution. How about you? Do you have ideas, strategies or the means to reach the hundreds of thousands it will take? Please let me know if you do, and let’s pray and work together! MBI SHOULD be celebrating...

Love Looks Like Something (Part One)

Mission Builders International loves missionaries. We value what God accomplishes generation to generation through those who listen for his call with fresh ears. That’s why we’re dedicated to recruiting and sending volunteers to assist global YWAM ministries—ministries with remarkable vision—like YWAM Bend, Oregon. In this two-part series, we’ll not only share YWAM Bend’s unfolding story but also the equally delightful account of the YWAMers-turned-mission builders who intersected with them on a very unusual project. Apostolic pioneering. That’s a fancy term used to describe how visionary leaders birth and multiply self-supporting, reproducible ministries worldwide. It requires sacrifice, persistence—and a plan. The staff team at YWAM Bend consists of apostolic pioneers. “Spud” and MaryEsther Hooley and their sons, Zach and Caleb, can trace their family tree back through many generations of agriculture. Having lost everything to crop failure after years of farming in southern Idaho, Spud and MaryEsther took their young sons and embarked on a four-year missions stint in Eastern Europe. As a result, Zach and Caleb—brothers and best friends—found their own missions call. God led the Hooley family through seasons of personal seeking, life-defining YWAM schools and outreaches, and leadership opportunities at YWAM Idaho. These proved to be training grounds for their next step in missions. During a time of family vision-casting in January of 2012, the Hooleys asked themselves: “What passions do we have and how does God want to use them to fulfill our destiny and build his kingdom?” Their conclusion: “After14 generations in agriculture, 40 years on a potato farm, and 14 years in missions, we believed God had providentially created a foundation for us to...