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.

 

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! 

Easy In, Easy Out: A World of Opportunities

Easy In, Easy Out: A World of Opportunities

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!

 

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.

 

 

 

4 to Go: Launching a Family of Volunteers

4 to Go: Launching a Family of Volunteers

Every evening for the past several months, I would put the kids to bed and cozy up with my Chromebook and start searching. I researched places around the entire world. Looked at everything from medical missions in Africa to hockey camps for Jesus in Russia. I sent emails galore and received few responses.

Then, I finally came across something that seemed promising. A program through Youth With A Mission (YWAM) called Mission Builders International. They recruit short-term volunteers and match them with global ministry opportunities within Youth With A Mission. Mission Builder volunteers “lift up the arms” of frontline missionaries through practical, hands-on service.

This sounded absolutely perfect!

After discovering Mission Builders, my routine changed a bit. I would find myself looking at all of the YWAM campuses throughout the world, searching for one that could use our help and was willing and able to take kids too.

In my search, I came across the website for the YWAM St. Croix campus and read the following:

“We get it! We have five families on base and ten kids under the age of eleven. We understand the unique situations that families face, but we also see the unique gift that it can be to your family. One of the greatest things that you can do for your child is to expose them to another culture while they are learning more about God and how to serve others. It helps to change/form worldviews that are priceless. Kids learn by doing, and short-term missions is a way to teach them about serving, loving others, and God’s heart for the nations in a way that your kids will never forget. It is also a great opportunity to bond as a family as you work together without all the distractions that you face at home. This is also a good first time opportunity as we are a U.S. territory. If you are willing to take a “leap of faith,” we are willing to help you discover missions with your family!”

I sent them an email to double-check that they allow really little kids (some ministries have a minimum age of 6 or older) and what the cost would be to stay for two weeks. Someone sent me answers the very next day!

After months of praying and preliminary planning (time off from work, finances, etc.), we purchased 4 plane tickets to St. Croix! I am beyond excited and so incredibly nervous all at the same time.

My pride keeps telling me I should wait until after everything is completely said and done before telling what we’re doing. That way, if the entire trip is a horrendous disaster, nobody would be the wiser! But . . . being a Christian does not mean living a perfect storybook life. It means trying your best to live this life making a difference for eternity.  — Jayme with Cory, Conner and Jenna