I Did a DTS. Now What?

I Did a DTS. Now What?

Many students of YWAM’s Discipleship Training School graduate with a desire to serve full-time in the mission, and YWAM campuses worldwide need people just like them to achieve their mission goals and thrive. MBI brings these two dynamic groups together through our After DTS program.

DTS graduates can now explore opportunities and locations through volunteer placement, allowing them to experience a variety of service opportunities, places, cultures, and causes. Graduates may learn new skills, encounter new people groups, fall in love with a ministry vision, find their “tribe” of like-minded missionaries, and more! They volunteer at global locations, build lasting relationships, and find their best fit for long-term service. MBI makes easy what used to be laborious and time-consuming.

Dawn Mekunwattana from Thailand did her DTS in the spring of 2011 at YWAM Lakeside and knew she wanted to join their staff someday. She spent time mission building on campus between the secondary schools she attended after her basic training. She says:

“My mission building experience gave me a snapshot into the behind-the-scenes life of missionary members on campus and helped to solidify my desire to serve full-time in Montana. I loved the Mission Builder community! We had our meetings and times of connection and prayer outside of the regular base meetings, and I loved connecting with all the people who would come through for those short seasons to serve and bless others. Mission building also grew my confidence—I could serve and work in many capacities! It’s been ten years since I did my DTS and six years since I last worked as a mission builder.  Now, I’m finally here as a full-time missionary member!”

DTS graduates like Daniel, Fabio, Presley, and others have utilized the After DTS program to explore the exciting ways and places available to them to serve within YWAM as they’ve fulfilled God’s call on their lives.

Are you a DTS graduate with a passion for moving to the next step of service? Apply at www.missionbuilders.org to volunteer with After DTS and discover your next step!

A Different Kind of Vacation

A Different Kind of Vacation

Mission builder volunteers are a do-whatever-it-takes kind of people. They’re learners who aren’t afraid of new places or different cultures. They fit in almost anywhere; ready to tackle whatever work they’re handed. They love stepping into the relational and spiritual life of the campus they serve, often building life-long friendships with missionaries and other volunteers alike. Mission builders are the stuff real help is made of, which is why they’re first class world-changers.  

These are just some of the reasons why Mission Builders International is proud to continue connecting as many Christian volunteers as possible with frontline YWAM missions the world over. And Ken and Arlene W. are just the kind of service-hearted people we’re talking about. Here, in their own words, is their story: 

“We didn’t know what to expect when we stepped off the plane in San Diego in March. But we did know that God had put it in our hearts to have a ‘different’ kind of vacation this time—a vacation that would be more about serving him and others than about being served. We had heard about Mission Builders, an arm of Youth With A Mission, from some friends of ours. After researching several opportunities on the internet and spending some time in prayer, we both felt a peace about serving in Mexico at the YWAM San Antonio del Mar campus.

“Upon our arrival, we were overwhelmed (in a good way) by the welcome we received and the friendliness of those involved in various programs there. YWAM San Antonio del Mar is a big and busy place. There are many ministries that flow out of this base. So aside from completing our daily tasks, such as food preparation and serving, washing dishes or cleaning toilets and mopping floors, we were also invited to join teams doing outreach in Tijuana and other nearby locations.

Homes of Hope project.

“This was like a dream come true for both of us. Early morning visits to a local orphanage to make breakfast for the children and visiting a local school with the library bus gave us insight into the lives of many Mexican children. We also had the opportunity to share with men in an addiction recovery center and a homeless shelter. Going for a prayer walk through the red light district of Tijuana and joining the team members who had started a program for children and mothers in another needy area of the city were definite highlights and real eye-openers as to how people live outside the resort areas of this well-known vacation destination. We felt privileged to join in with three different teams to build houses for needy families through the Homes of Hope program. Our hearts broke as we began to see these people through God’s eyes and with HIS heart. “I haven’t even touched on the blessing it was to fellowship and worship and pursue God’s heart with like-minded people from all over the world! All in all, by the end of our stay, we had fallen in love with the place and the people. As they say, ‘We have been spoiled for the ordinary’! We went to give but received so much more in return. Now we look forward to the next adventure that God has for us.”

Does Ken and Arlene’s story resonate with you? Perhaps you, too, would like to take a vacation of a different kind. We guarantee your life will be changed while you’re busy helping to bring positive change to other’s lives.  

If you can see yourself serving, visit the Mission Builders International website at www.missionbuilders.org and search the “Where to Go” tab for possibilities (just look at how many!). Then click on Contact Us to request a link to the application process.   

We’d like to welcome you to our growing Mission Builder volunteer family! 

Do You Think like a Tourist or a Missionary?

Do You Think like a Tourist or a Missionary?

by Lori McDaniel

Every year over 2 million people participate in short-term mission trips.  

They exit planes on foreign soil, motivated by compassion, a desire to save the lost, or to do something they’ve never done before. They trickle into villages or cities with agendas and plans, usually toting candy, crayons, and their old vacation Bible school material.

They share the gospel, do humanitarian work, make relationships that melt their hearts, and then return home with their world-perspective changed.

I think I still have t-shirts from several of those trips!

Churches have the potential to use short-term teams strategically and the potential to use short-term teams destructively.

  • Over $2 billion dollars a year is spent on short-term missions.
  • Less than 1 out of 5 teams go to places that are unreached.
  • 75% of short-term mission trips are done poorly.

It is crucial that churches train short-term teams well and send them to strategic places. If we are going send over 2 million volunteers and spend over $2 billion, we need to steward our efforts.

We need to lead people to think like missionaries, not tourists.

When we lead people to think like missionaries, we move them from being mission volunteers to living a life style as kingdom citizens on God’s global mission.

They begin to understand the world as God sees it, learn to think like the people of the culture they are in, learn to share the gospel in a way it can be understood and received, and learn to think how to make a multiplying impact, not a one-time impact.


Take the test for yourself and mentally circle which ones describe you.

Tourists think: What can I take on my trip to make me more comfortable?
Missionaries think: What can I do to make the people I’m with more comfortable around me?

Tourists think: I’d like to fix all the problems I see.
Missionaries think: I’d like to know what the people of the culture think are the problems.

Tourists think: I’d like to take you home with me.
Missionaries think: I could live among you.

Tourists think: If I give candy, money, or my shoes I’ve made an immediate difference.
Missionaries think: What can I possibly do that will make a multiplying, reproducing difference?

Tourists think: I could build a church building FOR the people here for nearly nothing.
Missionaries think: I could plant a church WITH the people here using nothing.

Tourists think: I am on a mission to export my faith and convert people.
Missionaries think: I’m joining God, who is on a mission and already at work among the people.

Don’t cancel your plane ticket if you found yourself in the “tourist” category. And don’t mark your past mission efforts as a “fail.” Being on mission with God is a journey. I’ve lived on both sides and have another blog of stupid “mission” things I’ve done. I believe that if God can raise the dead, he can redeem my stupidity!

But let us be learners of doing missions well. Being on mission with God is a journey, a journey on which we should be active learners.

Let us raise disciples that live on mission in their local context so that when they cross cultures for a short time, they relocate thinking like a missionary.