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.

 

Think Long

Think Long

Everyone loves a good report. At Mission Builders International, we love hearing about our volunteers’ experiences serving alongside global YWAM ministries. The connection between Mission Builders and missionaries is more than just about the value of the work that’s accomplished; it’s also about the rich insights and relationships that result when people work together for kingdom purposes.

David H., who serves with MBI’s RV Associates, blessed us with the following two-week snapshot of his time of service at YWAM Orlando in Florida. We’d like to share his infectious joy and encourage you to find out for yourselves what God has in store for those who offer their time and skills. David wrote:

“A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks. Events below are just some of the highlights.

More Mission Builders!

This morning the dining hall is filled with Mission Builders! About fifty Amish from Pennsylvania arrived over the weekend. Men, women, young and old! Many of them have been here before, several times.

After breakfast, the projects planned for the week are announced and the volunteers join the group where they feel led: replacing a roof on a house, building the deck on the dining hall, pool house rehab, cutting and clearing trees in the upper camp grounds. The tree cutting turns up a little shy on people, so I get asked to help with the chain saw work. Not a problem. It will be some good exercise for me, and the project I’m working on is not urgent.

An Observation on Christian Unity.

Throughout the week, as I work on the various jobs, I get to know several of the Amish: Jim, Lewis, Marcus, Lester, Mary Jane and others. They are hardworking people. They may dress and talk differently, but they have good hearts, and many times I catch a glimpse of Jesus in them, and I know they are my brothers and sisters in the Lord. This is very interesting, because YWAMers and Amish/Mennonites must be at opposite ends of the Christian spectrum, at least in outward appearances. YWAMers are quite free and open in their worship and style of dress, the Amish/Mennonites quite conservativAmish Mission builderse.

I am coming more and more to the opinion that unity among Christians will not come about by some new doctrine or theology, but rather by the individual followers of Christ discovering their brothers and sisters as they work side by side pursuing the kingdom work the Father has called us to do!

There is something about doing those things I know the Lord has called me to do. In that step of faith, new revelation takes place in my heart, and I begin to see with the eyes of my heart (my spiritual eyes) a new and broader perspective on the kingdom of God. A realization that my perspective of God has been too small. That I am a part of a family of God much bigger than I ever thought. How else can YWAMers and Amish come together in common effort and worship? Wow! Just a small glimpse of the kingdom of heaven!

Returning DTS Students!

More new faces are showing up at the base and great excitement is in the air! DTS (Discipleship Training School) students who studied here in the fall have been on “outreach” for the last two months. They are now finishing their program and are beginning to return. They will be arriving today and through the weekend, totaling about 80 students and staff who have been in Haiti, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. They will have some incredible stories. There will be a graduation for that class in a week or two. The next two weeks will be very exciting with all the stories.

The dining hall is pretty full with people; still many Amish and Mennonite Mission Builders here to finish up the deck. Most all the students who had been on outreach have now returned, and they are sharing the dining hall also as a central gathering place. The returning students, together with the Mission Builders, are making for a pretty busy place. All meals are now being served in the Arena, since the dining hall is too small!

Speaking in Code

Morning worship is full of people. It’s a good thing they don’t use chairs for our worship services; it’s standing room only this morning! Lots of hugs going around with the returning students. The singing is enthusiastic with all the excitement in the air. Worship ends with a few announcements. One of the leaders asks: “Raise your hand if you were in a country where you could not speak the name of Jesus or in a place where you had to speak in code.” Hands all over the room go up! I am amazed.

The Dead Baby

One evening a few days ago, some of the staff felt called to just go out to the community and seek the Holy Spirit’s lead in finding someone who might be in need. One of the young ladies ended up at Target, and once there, felt led to go to the baby clothes section—a little odd since the YWAMer was not married and had no children. At the baby section, she found a very pregnant mother who seemed troubled. She engaged her in talk. The young mother soon broke down and, with tears flowing down her cheeks, said, “My baby is dead. I haven’t felt anything for three weeks, and now the doctor has said the baby will be stillborn.” She asked the mother if she would like prayer. As the YWAMer prayed, the mother started sobbing and laughing; the baby had started kicking and the mom got all excited. “I can feel the baby! Here, feel it, feel the baby kicking!” They exchanged contact info, and the next day at the doctor’s office they found the heart beat right away and found everything normal with the baby!

YWAM studentTuesday Evening Service

The enthusiastic singing of the returning students seems like it will bring the house down. The message: “Think Long.” What you do today will be the stories you’ll tell your grandchildren. Think about what kind of legacy you will leave.”

Ready to leave a legacy? The door to global volunteer opportunities is wide open. Contact us at www.missionbuilders.org and fill out your volunteer application today. Be sure to check out MBI’s RV Associates if “home” is wherever your RV takes you.