by Becky Hefty | May 18, 2016 | Connections Article, Volunteer Viewpoint
Mission Builders International’s job is to connect potential volunteers of every age and ability with worldwide service opportunities. God uses everyday people—like Phill and Pat S.—to accomplish extraordinary things in missions. As with many volunteers, Phill and Pat have discovered that serving has the added value of enlarging not only their circle of friends and family but their world. For them, retirement has become an exciting jumping-off point to a whole new life. Listen to what they have to say about their volunteer lifestyle:
“We have just returned from YWAM Berlin. It was the trip of a lifetime for many reasons, and we want to thank Mission Builders International for putting us in touch with them. Before we go to serve, we always pray that we will be encouragers, examples and servants. We saw God answer this prayer over and over during our month stay at YWAM Berlin.
“We served alongside Len and Lynne Benson. They are great traveling companions and work partners. The four of us complement each other and click as a team in every way.
“God used four very ordinary people to impart hope on several levels, and there is not a greater joy! The staff and students, in turn, poured blessing after blessing into our lives. YWAM Berlin will forever live in our hearts. We were so deeply touched by them as they thanked us over and over again. They sent us off with a special blessing as they gathered around and prayed for us at the end of our time with them. We have gained friends and ‘grandchildren’ as we continue to keep in touch. The students and several staff are currently serving in South Africa on outreach. We are blessed to have the joy of praying for them, and seeing God at work in their lives equals joy!
“We have served more than 20 times at various YWAM campuses. We always say there is nothing spiritual about dry walling, tiling, painting, electric, cooking and so on, but there is great spiritual value in making it possible for young people to be discipled to go into all the world to share the gospel. Of course, we can’t go everywhere, but we can go where God leads.
“If the Lord tarries and our health continues, we hope we can continue to invest in the lives of young people. We love encouraging the staff so that they, in turn, can spend their time teaching the Word and preparing others to serve. There is no greater retirement! And there is no greater joy than to impart hope to those who might be on the verge of becoming weary in well-doing.
“Thank you for connecting us with YWAM Berlin!”
Whether you are retired and young at heart, in the middle of raising your family or fresh out of high school and taking a gap year before college, volunteering is a great way to expand your world while making a difference. See where in the world a mission-building adventure might take you. Visit us at: www.missionbuilders.org.
by Becky Hefty | May 18, 2016 | Connections Article
In September 2015, Mission Builders International recognized the growing challenges associated with using an internal database in a world of Internet connectivity. We were lagging behind in technology and efficiency. After years of successful use of the Access-based database designed by field staffer David McQuoid, the time had come for a change.
After researching and testing several platforms, MBI’s field staff member and computer IT technician, Greg Griffin, found one that allowed for rapid development and deployment. Working at all hours of the day and night for a month, Greg was able to pack over two months of development into one. Through his efforts, MBI reached its first milestones by October, relieving the most pressing problems associated with website locations and communications.
MBI now has a Message Center on its website retaining correspondence with everyone in a single place—no more cutting and pasting! Also, visitors to the website can now easily find locations to serve around the world, and potential volunteers are able to complete their applications and references entirely and automatically online.
Greg also added in the communication and coordination components of application processing with YWAM campus locations. YWAM location coordinators now receive automatic notifications and have the ability to read and approve applications online in a matter of minutes, even from their phones!
The real benefit of Greg’s work on the new database and communications system hopefully will become more evident as MBI continues to increase the number of people it can serve as well as by the ease with which remote location staff will be able to process applications. Soon, volunteers will be able to enter their personal skills and talents on the MBI website and be matched with specific locations in need of those abilities. They will also be able to align their schedules with the times and seasons when those locations could most use the help. These, Greg says, are some of the features he looks forward to the most.
Greg’s dedication to updating our application and placement process will potentially enable MBI to serve more volunteers and the missionaries who need their help. We welcome you to try out our new system on your way to the many ways and places you can make a difference around the world. Start by visiting us today at www.missionbuilders.org!
Special note: While Greg was pouring his time and skills into the development of MBI’s new database, he simultaneously carried on with his own multi-faceted ministry, speaking, teaching, encouraging and assisting in places as far away as Mauritius, Latvia and India. In addition, he and his wife, Jan, saw two of their three children not only graduate from university but also marry, all within the past six months.
by Becky Hefty | May 18, 2016 | Connections Article
Mission Builders International and the ministries it serves stand on the shoulders of a number of hardcore volunteers like Don McGalliard, who went home to the Lord January 20 of this year. He and his wife Lorraine shared a vision for providing support and education for children. Once they retired, they spent their time traveling the globe as mission builders to help build local schools. Don carried on after Lorraine passed away in 1997 and was instrumental in helping to build schools in Nepal.
“We have listened to our parents’ mission stories,” the McGalliard children say, “and watched MANY slide show presentations. We took in their mail, paid their bills, dog-sat, watered and mowed their lawn while they were gone. We know how much Mission Builders International meant to them!”
Don left an ongoing legacy of service. He wished to donate to organizations making a tangible difference worldwide. Thanks to his vision, foresight and generosity, Mission Builders International has received a $40,000 gift to help pay down the remaining mortgage on our campus. The mortgage has been reduced to $66,085 as of May 16, 2016, bringing us closer to increasing our recruiting capabilities unhindered by debt!
Thanks to Don and dedicated mission builders just like him, MBI continues raising volunteers to help frontline missionaries, and ultimately, see lives changed both here and abroad.
Have you considered your legacy? By including YWAM Mission Builders in your will, you too can have a dramatic impact in the life of missions.
by Becky Hefty | May 6, 2016 | Places and Projects
Each summer for the past four years, I’ve participated in a summer English camp near Volgograd, Russia, sponsored by members of various location churches. These past two years, I’ve led the team of American volunteers, who come to help with the conversational English lessons at camp and share their lives and love for God with the kids. This year, following my completion of a TESOL course (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at YWAM Montana, I took on the task of creating the lesson plan for this summer camp.
Each year the kids have become more and more receptive to the message of the gospel as we have built relationship with them. The camp organizers felt like this year the kids were ready to go deeper, and God did amazing things in their lives.
I met Yarik (short for Yaroslov) on the first day of camp. He was going to be in my lesson group, but when I spoke to him in English, he replied, “I only know German!” I wondered if he was going to be hard to crack, but as soon as he figured out I could speak Russian, he warmed right up.
One of our daily activities at camp after our group lessons are over is having one-on-one time with one or two of the kids for an hour. I knew Yarik came from a Christian family, but I didn’t know anything about his own walk with God. I figured he would be a good kid from my group to start with.
Most of our conversation was in Russian, as he knew very little English with which to practice. We talked about our hobbies, sports we liked and other general topics. Finally, I asked Yarik if both of his parents went to church. As he began to tell me about his parents and family, tears streamed down his face, but still he continued to share. His dad used to be a pastor, but his mom had walked away from her faith. He was so afraid for her and felt helpless to do anything. He was trying to be a good Christian and a good son, but it was so hard.
I could not imagine that already, on the first day, one of the kids from my group was opening up so deeply. He obviously was desperate for God to do something in his life. I felt God wanted me to encourage him with the story of the prodigal son. I told him not to worry so much for his mom. God still loved her even though she had walked away. He was waiting and longing for her to come back, but she was still his daughter and that would never change. We prayed together for her, and I also prayed for Yarik to find strength and rest in God’s love for him.
Later in the week, a special evening was set aside to highlight the gospel message with the kids at camp. It was called a ceremony of light. The atmosphere was charged by the presence of the Holy Spirit, who was touching everybody that night. Yarik was sitting next to me and very emotional as he thought about his sin and how God, in his love, sent his Son to pay for our sins so we could have a relationship with God.
At the end of the ceremony, we were encouraged to go around and say to our friends words of encouragement, care and love. After several minutes, Yarik approached me and gave me a big embrace, crying and not letting go. He said how, on that night, he finally understood just how much God loved him. It was a big moment for him in his walk with God, and a night he will never forget.
In this camp of 61 kids, we saw 6 decisions of faith in Christ, 3 kids who repented of sins and renewed their faith, 5 more kids who grew in their faith and 14 kids who were touched by the gospel and got more interested in the Christian faith. In addition to that, two boys, Misha and Vitya, who came from an orphanage the churches work with, experienced a tremendous change in their lives. They had been addicted to alcohol and were known as “bad boys.” Since the camp, they have repented of the things they were doing and have become members of the local church. They both desire to get baptized and want to serve other orphans in the orphanage where they live. Praise God for the work in the lives of these kids at camp, and pray for the ongoing ministry in their lives by the local church and youth groups they are now connected with.