A Pleasant Surprise

It’s not every day you find a $5000 check in the day’s mail. When you do, it’s a pleasant surprise, especially when the story behind the $5000 is as encouraging as the surprise itself. MBI’s calling is “connecting Christians to frontline missions.” When someone who is not a Christ-follower contacts us to volunteer at one of the hundred-plus locations we offer on our website, we may be somewhat surprised, but we’re never discouraging. You see, it’s our understanding that if a YWAM location is doing the work of bringing the lost to Jesus, wouldn’t they want to invite someone who isn’t afraid to work alongside them, even if that person isn’t a follower of Christ yet? When we know someone is not a Christ-follower, we coach (or warn) them that YWAM locations are usually pretty evangelistic, passionate about worshipping Jesus, and willing to open their doors to strangers – especially if the stranger is willing to offer their labor and not their criticism. When I telephoned the donor of the $5000 with my thanks, he explained that, a few years ago, he and his wife had a friend who did not know the LORD but wanted to be involved in offering his building skills to a trustworthy organization with international connections. The donors put the potential volunteer in touch with MBI, and we contacted a YWAM location that was willing to host him. According to the donor, their friend traveled to Europe, volunteered his time, and then returned to his community as a new believer. He joined a local church and has since gone on a few more mission-building...

Good Will, Great Adventure

When Pat and Thelma Lewis of Wenatchee, WA, arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they were surprised and delighted to learn the only way to get to their village destination involved United Nations transport. It was one more remarkable experience to add to their four-month mission building adventure. Shoulder to shoulder with Pakistani peacekeeping soldiers, the Lewises arrived in Minembwe by helicopter to assist missionary friends for two weeks at the village’s primary school and fledgling University of Eben’ezer. Nearly 300 students attend the two schools, many of them walking an hour or more one way for the privilege. Pat spoke to the students about MBI’s role as a Christian volunteer agency, and together, using a curriculum designed in part by the university’s teachers, he and Thelma taught English classes to “very bright” children in the primary school. Thelma also instructed college students in basics of dental hygiene and created diagrams for use in future classes. “Older village women,” she noted, “reveal a thin, black line of gum tissue when they smile—the result of brushing with coal.” The Lewises also helped with local projects. “God really used these opportunities to give back to communities wherever we went,” they said. “People in the Congo have nothing. Their provision is whatever they can raise, and their dependence on God is much greater than we could even comprehend. As Americans, our norm far exceeds their wildest dreams. Congolese men talk about survival, not retirement. So Westerners coming to give of themselves and help was the biggest gift these villagers could imagine.” Even the Pakistani soldiers responded to the Lewis’s good...