Easy In, Easy Out: A World of Opportunities

Mission Builders International has had one job to do since 1996: recruit volunteers to come alongside YWAM missionaries around the globe and assist them with their practical needs. Each year, hundreds of people bring their skills and strengths to jobs ranging from construction to teaching to auto maintenance to cooking. There’s always plenty to do on YWAM campuses, and volunteers can help for as little as two weeks or up to three months, allowing for easy-in, easy-out service. The downside? The need for more people—of all ages—to see what’s going on in missions and catch the vision. There are so many ways to be involved! When it comes to volunteering, nothing beats teamwork. By concentrating and organizing the labor, time and abilities of multiple people, projects get done in record time. Veteran mission builders Lynn and Jacky Battermann, Pat and Thelma Lewis and Lynne and Len Benson are masters of the team concept. They recruit friends, family, churches and fellow RVers to band together and travel from one location to another to get things done fast. As a result, missionaries get past logistical needs and on with the core work of their missions calling. Adoption is another win-win between missionaries and volunteers. Some mission builders love to serve at numerous locations so they may enjoy a variety of cultures, friendships and travels. Others find a single campus they fall in love with, embracing it as a gathering of like-minded friends and making it the recipient of their ongoing service. Master electrician Phil Sauer, for instance, has become a trusted co-laborer and campus-development advisor to YWAM Chapala and YWAM Mazatlan...

Oh, What a Year!

Forest fires rage in the West. Hurricanes batter Texas, Florida and the Carribean. Earthquakes shake cities. Nuclear war threatens nations worldwide. Economic, social and hot-button political issues stymie our government. Life is challenging to say the least! Gratefully, God is neither surprised nor daunted by the seemingly endless outpouring of doom and gloom. Instead, He reminds those of us who are willing to take time to watch, listen and walk with Him to see glimmers of hope wherever we choose to look. “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it’” (Jeremiah 6:16). Are you still standing and asking but not moving—yet? Then let MBI help you get moving to where the Lord may want you to be! Whether you serve alongside MBI team members in places like South Africa, Tanzania or Russia or take yourself to some of the 1200 operating locations where Youth With A Mission currently resides, there’s rest for your soul in serving others! This past year, we’ve reported on developments with our new database, developed by MBI team member, Greg Griffin, and the way it would revolutionize your ability to quickly and easily volunteer at YWAM locations of your choice—all online. While there have been a few bumps in the road and a few bugs to work out (which early users helped us overcome with patience and understanding), we’re pleased to invite you to come walk with us!  If you tried it earlier and found it...

MBI Team Member Gregg Scott: Medical Equipment for Tanzania

Our first container of medical equipment and supplies, shipped in 2016, was received gratefully by Mwanamonga villagers, three hospitals and many village dispensaries. The Mwanamonga dispensary had no beds or gurneys, and now have all they need for the size of their facility. While I didn’t get to visit every hospital and village dispensary, I did get to pass out a few wheelchairs. To be able to share some hope and dignity with folks who are Polio survivors but who have crawled on their hands and knees for the past 30 years was a highlight of my life. Esther, on my left in the photo below, had done just that. To sit alongside her in her wheelchair the following week at a church service was an incredible joy for me. I was able to travel to Bugando Hospital and help Dr. Masala’s team unpack and install the women’s mammography biopsy machine. Dr. Masala had completed 7 years of oncology training in Italy on an identical machine and then returned to Tanzania, never dreaming that very soon the same machine would be delivered to his workplace. One of the engineers said to me during the installation: “Do you realize just how impossible it would be for us to even hope for a machine like this? Do you realize how many Tanzanian shillings it would cost?” The average villager’s income is about TZS 10,000—$5.00 USD per day—that’s if they can get work. Please pray for our efforts as we pack and load two more shipments. We need God’s favor in every area. We’ve taken on a seemingly enormous task, but, one day...

MBI Team Member Brad Rauch: The Power of One in South Africa

My wife Joyce and I are involved with MBI as field staff in and for South Africa. We work with YWAM campuses in South Africa as well as HuntSA, a hunting and safari operation that encourages Christian sportsmen and women to come and have an adventure in God’s playground and then serve the marginalized children of South Africa. There are an estimated 3.7 million orphans in South Africa. Close to half of them have lost their parents to AIDS-related diseases, and there are many more children living with sick and bedridden caregivers. About 150,000 children are believed to be living in child-headed households. They need the hope only Jesus can bring. This year we helped bring 42 people over to hunt, recreate and serve in many ways in our villages, orphanages and soup clubs. But even with the numbers of people coming there is really only one thing that counts—the power of one! We all possess the power to make a difference in one life. We have that opportunity every day, whether here or in Africa. I want to tell you about Peter. He’s about 16 years old. Last year, Sharon L. came over with Joyce and me to teach preschool for two weeks at Jehovah Jireh Haven orphanage. She bumped into Peter, who lives there. Sharon found out he was illiterate and that he wanted to learn to read, so she taught him. That was one year ago. He’s now reading at the seventh-grade level and has been sponsored to attend the Christian academy we work with.  He wants to be a lawyer. Peter is so happy, and he is...

MBI Team Member Craig Blair: The Happiest Place on Earth

“English camp is the happiest place on earth! Coming here, you find yourself in a completely different world. You forget about your problems, you meet amazing, unique and sincere people. There is an absolutely indescribable atmosphere. This camp greatly influenced me and my life, and I am extremely grateful to the organizers and the camp team for such a place. May God bless you all!”  – Ksenia Lysenko, camper Words like these were heard over and over again on the last day of the English camp as kids from each lesson group got up in front of all the other campers to share their impressions of the week. One young man, Yury, seemed to talk non-stop about his love for Jesus and wanted to tell everyone he met. One day, Yury asked me why his friends don’t want to hear the gospel when he tries to tell them about Jesus. I encouraged him to keep trusting God to work in the hearts of his friends. Our part is to tell them about Jesus, pray for them and love them with God’s love, but only God can change their hearts. He was very encouraged to realize that it is all in God’s hands. In all, three kids put their trust in Christ during the camp and five more kids have started going to church. More than 50 kids came to the first youth meeting after the camp, and they continue to be in touch with the camp leaders. Just this past weekend, the Volgograd church gathered again for a special baptism of 7 young people. Pray for more fruit to be harvested in the coming months! Craig...