Journey Through Change

Journey Through Change

On the many occasions I walk through SeaTac International Airport, I generally enjoy joining the more than 46 million passengers heading somewhere through its gates each year for fun, for family, for reunions, for work, for weddings, for funerals, for service, for missions, for calling, for destiny. Walking through an airport means I’m heading somewhere for some (hopefully good) reason.  

While I have a general disdain for early morning or overnight red-eye flights, I usually enjoy the journey, meeting new people and watching for those to whom the LORD might introduce me. Traveling means a change of location—even if temporarily. I enjoy the “new, novel, and different” that travel rewards its participants with and count it God’s mercy to have traveled reasonably safely these past 34 years in YWAM.

John and Donna Briggs – 2002

Perhaps travel is part of the reason Donna and I willingly tethered ourselves to an office in Montana for 18 years, helping thousands of Christians connect with worldwide missions, with the perk of joining them when we could. 

At the same time, we have prayed and patiently waited for God to release His younger leader(s) in order to pass on the leadership of MBI with the charge to take it to the next level. Gratefully, God has answered those prayers with the return of Ron Brewster, a long-time personal friend, former director of YWAM Montana, current administrator of YWAM San Diego/Baja, and former member of MBI’s board of directors. Ron, his bride Jeanette, and a growing team of co-workers are scheduled to join MBI’s day-to-day team by January 2019. 

Serving alongside YWAM ministries in more than 185 nations lends itself to change, and not just in location. We constantly take the risk of introducing volunteers to young, often inexperienced, often carefree, and occasionally undisciplined YWAM co-workers around the world. Volunteers are often willing to overlook some of those traits to discover and enjoy God’s appointment. And despite the frustrations, YWAMers—youth in general—help keep us young with the shared passion and goal of knowing God and making Him known. Keeping our focus on Jesus and not the foibles of imperfect people (we include ourselves in that description) has increased our love for the mission and missionaries of YWAM.  It helps, of course, to be stubbornly called to serve alongside those who may not always recognize or appreciate the help MBI offers.

Sustaining and growing a ministry like MBI cannot be accomplished alone. In fact, over 80 friends and co-workers have labored together at one time or another over the past 18 years, guiding us with their wisdom from either a board of directors position or as day-to-day team members providing the practical service to get the job of recruitment and placement done. In addition, hundreds of prayer partners and financial supporters have provided their time and treasures to impact missions worldwide through MBI. As a result, it’s conservatively estimated that over 20,000 volunteers have served alongside hundreds of YWAM missionaries and ministries since July 2000 (including countless thousands more since MBI’s concept was formed in 1978). 

Donna and I are especially appreciative of the help and support of tenacious co-laborers like Becky Hefty, who has researched, written, edited, and posted countless articles about the people, places, and opportunities for service that have helped communicate MBI beyond our borders.  And of course, MBI is built around connections to friends like you, made possible by database programmers David McQuoid and, more recently, Greg Griffin, working in the background. But at the core of MBI for the past 18 years have been faithful partners on our board of directors, like Lynn and Jacky Battermann and Dean and Molly Ketchum. They have, like so many others, selflessly given time, talent, and treasure to follow Jesus wherever He leads. 

I’ll conclude by starting at the beginning of my journey with MBI: Sitting in an office in early 2000, I met Don McGalliard, a former board member and mission builder volunteer who traveled to Colorado Springs from his home in Oregon specifically to meet with and encourage me to assume the leadership role of the ministry. His kindness and generosity helped re-launch MBI that day. This past month, the outcome of his generosity showed up on our doorstep in the form of a young missionary from Nepal. She was testifying that Don’s compassion and generosity as a mission builder volunteer—giving himself in a labor of love to help build a training center in Kathmandu—directly impacted her family. As a result, she responded to the call of missions in service to Jesus, which brought her to Montana and the opportunity to personally say thank you to the ministry and the people behind her calling. That thank you is also meant for those who have helped MBI directly, as well as those who have volunteered through the years. 

And now it’s my turn. On behalf of Donna and our team, thank you to all of you for the years of Connections. The best is yet to come!

John Briggs






Leaving a Legacy

Leaving a Legacy

Mission Builders International and the ministries it serves stand on the shoulders of a number of hardcore volunteers like Don McGalliard, who went home to the Lord January 20 of this year. He and his wife Lorraine shared a vision for providing support and education for children. Once they retired, they spent their time traveling the globe as mission builders to help build local schools. Don carried on after Lorraine passed away in 1997 and was instrumental in helping to build schools in Nepal.

“We have listened to our parents’ mission stories,” the McGalliard children say, “and watched MANY slide show presentations. We took in their mail, paid their bills, dog-sat, watered and mowed their lawn while they were gone. We know how much Mission Builders International meant to them!”

Don left an ongoing legacy of service. He wished to donate to organizations making a tangible difference worldwide. Thanks to his vision, foresight and generosity, Mission Builders International has received a $40,000 gift to help pay down the remaining mortgage on our campus. The mortgage has been reduced to $66,085 as of May 16, 2016, bringing us closer to increasing our recruiting capabilities unhindered by debt!

Thanks to Don and dedicated mission builders just like him, MBI continues raising volunteers to help frontline missionaries, and ultimately, see lives changed both here and abroad.

Have you considered your legacy? By including YWAM Mission Builders in your will, you too can have a dramatic impact in the life of missions.





Love Looks Like Something (Part One)

Love Looks Like Something (Part One)

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.

Zach and Caleb HooleyThe 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 YWAM Bend, OR staff.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 Mongolian horse peoplelove,” 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 or contact us to find out what volunteer opportunities await you!