It’s no secret that poverty and hunger plague communities of people at home and abroad, from rural villages to inner cities to drought-stricken and war-torn nations. Statistics show that 719 million people live in extreme poverty worldwide, and 828 million suffer from hunger.
YWAM missionaries know feeding and caring for impoverished men, women, and children is a powerful part of its mandate to make God known. Meeting real physical needs reveals God’s intentional love for those who hunger body and soul. YWAM Gleanings for the Hungry understands this. They say:
“As a mercy ministry of Youth With A Mission, our mission is to feed the hungry of the world, both physically and spiritually. A large part of fulfilling our mission is the procurement and production of shelf-stable food. In the summer, we dry peaches and nectarines not pristine enough for sale. Year-round, we produce a dehydrated vegetable soup mix, mostly from donated products. We give everything we produce free of charge to partner ministries worldwide for distribution in impoverished areas, along with the love of Jesus. We are a destination for all ages to come and volunteer, working together for eternal impact in a hurting world.”
YWAM Gleanings’ work depends on volunteer help. MBI’s Volunteer Placement ministry provides the visibility ministries like YWAM Gleanings need to attract helpers while offering an easy, seamless application process that gets volunteers on campus and to work quickly.
“The work was so rewarding because we helped prepare food to send to the poor in developing countries.” —Joan and Morry ▪ “Their mission of feeding the hungry locally in their community as well as around the world is a sight to be seen.” —Juli ▪ “Wow! Lots of service opportunities here that are touching people all around the world.” —Ed
MBI supports the work of YWAM frontline missionaries by providing the volunteers and vital services necessary to help keep them productive and thriving. Visit our website at www.missionbuilders.org and apply to volunteer today!
Many students of YWAM’s Discipleship Training School graduate with a desire to serve full-time in the mission, and YWAM campuses worldwide need people just like them to achieve their mission goals and thrive. MBI brings these two dynamic groups together through our After DTS program.
DTS graduates can now explore opportunities and locations through volunteer placement, allowing them to experience a variety of service opportunities, places, cultures, and causes. Graduates may learn new skills, encounter new people groups, fall in love with a ministry vision, find their “tribe” of like-minded missionaries, and more! They volunteer at global locations, build lasting relationships, and find their best fit for long-term service. MBI makes easy what used to be laborious and time-consuming.
Dawn Mekunwattana from Thailand did her DTS in the spring of 2011 at YWAM Lakeside and knew she wanted to join their staff someday. She spent time mission building on campus between the secondary schools she attended after her basic training. She says:
“My mission building experience gave me a snapshot into the behind-the-scenes life of missionary members on campus and helped to solidify my desire to serve full-time in Montana. I loved the Mission Builder community! We had our meetings and times of connection and prayer outside of the regular base meetings, and I loved connecting with all the people who would come through for those short seasons to serve and bless others. Mission building also grew my confidence—I could serve and work in many capacities! It’s been ten years since I did my DTS and six years since I last worked as a mission builder. Now, I’m finally here as a full-time missionary member!”
DTS graduates like Daniel, Fabio, Presley, and others have utilized the After DTS program to explore the exciting ways and places available to them to serve within YWAM as they’ve fulfilled God’s call on their lives.
Are you a DTS graduate with a passion for moving to the next step of service? Apply at www.missionbuilders.org to volunteer with After DTS and discover your next step!
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!
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 assignments.
The donor thought we at MBI should know that what we do matters – especially to those who come to know Jesus through the simple act of just showing up where Jesus can meet them. And he hoped the check would bring encouragement to us to “keep on keeping on.”
He was right, the check was the exclamation point that caught my attention and caused me to call and learn “the rest of the story.”
Some surprises are worth more than a check in the mail. So surprise yourself: Check out MBI’s website, find an opportunity to volunteer and tell a friend!
May God surprise YOU with a gift of encouragement today!
P.S. Yes, that’s a “happy stick” in the photo above mine!
For most of us, it doesn’t take long to feel overwhelmed when reading, watching or listening to national and international news. How dumb, how ignorant, how stupid, how outrageous, how immoral, how heinous, how tragic can it get?
Which reminds me of King David’s laments:
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do” (Psalm 11:3)? “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me” (Psalm 13:2)?
One alternative is to ignore the news; to just turn it off. Sadly, it doesn’t go away or get better by simply ignoring it.
King David answers with this: “In the LORD I take refuge” (Psalm 11:1).
Since God doesn’t retreat or ignore the plight of the innocent, he sends those who are willing to say: “Here am I, send me.” Mission Builder volunteers like Pat and Thelma Lewis (our lead story) are not Hollywood-style heroes. They rejected resignation and chose to trust God, who rejuvenated their faith to just show up where he led them.
Gratefully, most Mission Builder opportunities are pretty tame—but not boring. Sometimes the opportunity may be more challenging to the faith of friends or family than to those who actually go and get the job done.
Until Jesus returns, the world will continue to be a dangerous place. But we serve a dangerous God who promises us his refuge and rejuvenation—not resignation. It’s my belief that when we respond to God’s call, the enemy is pushed back one project, one person, one sorrow at a time.
If you want to take a step toward rejuvenation, check out MBI’s website for your opportunity: www.missionbuilders.org