OASYS: Helping World Communities Thrive

OASYS: Helping World Communities Thrive

Mission Builders International provides essential training and volunteers to help frontline missionaries thrive and multiply their life-changing work. That’s why we recently featured YWAM Emerge‘s volunteer invitation to their intensive aquaponics training course at their ranch in Colorado. After completing the training, volunteers could travel to a designated global community to reproduce the aquaponics system.

The course immediately intrigued Brad Spencer, MBI’s then-volunteer services coordinator. He shared the information with fellow Canadian Brian Oldridge. They applied and headed to Colorado last October to participate in the training.

Brad says:

YWAM Emerge has a compelling story that I didn’t fully connect with until we got down there, met the players, and heard about where they are and have been. They have built systems worldwide and have current projects in Africa and the Middle East, working in communities to alleviate hunger and provide family and ministry income. Instruction is an important aspect of each OASYS build, as is surveying the local market to determine the most viable crops to meet local needs.

“Initially, they built very different systems, depending on the location and available materials. Eventually, they were motivated to engineer a repeatable design, reduced to the simplest, most common materials that did not require extensive startup expertise. Hence, OASYS was born. Building according to their OASYS design eliminates startup risk for the most part. They’ve streamlined troubleshooting and system support. The Emerge team and those trained on OASYS know how the system was built, significantly eliminating local design deviations.

“We met people from Africa, India, and other nations during the training course. International visitors were amazed and wanted to know how to get the system into their countries. Emerge tries to connect them with sponsors to help the visitors build in their nations. They just finished a system build in Kenya for a school.

“Some individual Emerge staff have projects underway in countries like Lebanon, South Africa, and Central Asia and are working to market them to other countries. Some locations are in closed countries, and the team uses the OASYS system to be in those countries legitimately. Offering high-value projects like this opens doors. They can share Christ by providing for peoples’ needs and building enduring relationships. Their relevance goes up because the people know that they care.

“Emerge is ten years into this and still strongly desires to make it happen. There is no shortage of vision; they share it with as many as possible. They need trained and skilled individuals willing to help make this happen in communities with needs.

“While Brian and I could not go on to the Kenya build, we did spend time encouraging the YWAM Emerge team in ways they could set up the ranch to accommodate Mission Builder volunteers. There are lots of opportunities to serve this ministry. What they accomplish is making a difference in communities worldwide and has excellent potential for multiplying and touching many more.”

Find out how you can serve YWAM Emerge by visiting  www.missionbuilders.org/explore/. Then, fill out our easy online application.

Learn more about YWAM Emerge and aquaponics: www.ywamemerge.org

Connect with MBI so others may thrive: www.missionbuilders.org.


Dancing With the Database

Dancing With the Database

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 onContactUs - Copy 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.

GrGregJanGriffin - Copyeg’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.