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 in Mexico. Here in Montana, MBI depends on Jim and Joy McGatlin, who show up for busy summer months to serve as enthusiastic hosts and to manage the campus grounds.
The next wave of mission builders is rising from the millennial generation. Millennials are known for seeking meaningful ways to invest in their communities and the world. Because they naturally gravitate toward influential service and teamwork, they’re well-suited for volunteerism. Give them an opportunity to work as part of a fun, productive team that makes a difference, and they’ll make things happen. Offer a millennial a wide selection of service opportunities, and they’re quick to embrace multiple locations, as did Kristen Hinton (featured in MBI’s Connections, “God’s Fantastic Idea,” Fall 2016).
The world is accessible to those whose hearts beat for volunteer service. The only hindrance to realizing their dream is not knowing where their opportunities lie. MBI is a gateway to global possibilities, and we’re working hard to get the word out.
If you (or someone you know) have been searching for a just-right opportunity, whether it’s your first time to volunteer or you’re a veteran, MBI has what you’re looking for. Visit our website at www.missionbuilders.org and click on the Where to Go tab. Once you’ve found your “sweet spot,” go to our Contact Us page and fill out your application.
You’re halfway there, and a world of service is within your reach!
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 marry agriculture and missions.” Pioneering YWAM Bend became the logical answer to their question.
During a year-long, prayer-bathed incubation period for the vision, Spud, MaryEsther and Zach attended YWAM Idaho’s School of Apostolic Pioneering. There, they met Duane and Becky Zingale (and infant daughter Chloe), who joined them wholeheartedly in their vision. In September 2014, after leading a school at YWAM Idaho and building a community center in Mongolia, God opened the doors for the Hooleys and the Zingales to move to Bend and begin establishing foundations for a brand-new ministry.
YWAM Bend’s vision is to “cultivate kingdom culture in every culture,” beginning with the city of Bend, expanding to include America and extending, in particular, to the ethnic peoples of Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia. How will they accomplish their mission? “By modeling the fullness of God’s Presence (Spirit) and God’s Word (Truth) and teaching organic agriculture, appropriate architecture, innovative technologies and renewable energy.” Through these, they seek to provide “physical and spiritual food, shelter, tools, and energy for the nations as an expression of the Father’s love,” because, they remind us, “love looks like something.” Out of their efforts will come communities that are both missional and self-sustaining technologically, ecologically and economically and which are capable of producing leaders who will reproduce that model around the world.
The apostolic vision of YWAM Bend’s pioneering staff is becoming a reality. That means there is plenty of work to be done and abundant opportunities for volunteers to come alongside with practical help (see the Opportunities section in this newsletter for details). Some of the initial projects accomplished at YWAM Bend have been unusual; like setting up two Mongolian gers (more commonly translated as yurts). The gers are now Zach’s and Caleb’s homes, reflecting their love for Mongolia’s people and traditions.
Mission builders David and Chrystal Cook, on their way from one YWAM location to another, stopped off in Bend just in time to help erect the gers before the snow fell. But that’s a story for our next Connections newsletter. Get ready to not only hear about the Cook’s adventure setting up the gers at YWAM Bend, but about their exciting mission-building lifestyle as well. In the meantime, check out www.missionbuilders.org or contact us to find out what volunteer opportunities await you!