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.
“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.
For years we’ve stated that YWAM Mission Builders International’s goal is to connect Christian volunteers with Youth With A Mission ministries worldwide, and we have faithfully been doing just that. But while the practical help delivered by thousands of volunteers has made it possible for those ministries to “keep the main thing the main thing,” it is clear that they also need the kind of support that can only be provided by experienced people who understand the unique needs and inner workings of YWAM and who know exactly what it takes to help individual ministries grow, prosper, and effectively deliver on their missions goals from the inside out.
Now, MBI is poised to help meet those needs!
As you know from our previous newsletter, we recently welcomed Ron Brewster (former director of YWAM Lakeside Montana) as MBI’s new director. With Ron at the helm, we’ve enlarged our “tent” to include an expanded staff team and several new-to-us working ministries, each one dedicated to doing whatever it takes to see global YWAM ministries flourish.
MBI is now home to a tactical team of qualified, long-term YWAMers who have first-hand experience not only in volunteer placement but also in leadership development, debriefing, financial and strategic planning, financial stewardship, donor processing, visa and immigration matters, IRS compliance, and more. Seasoned leaders and mentors as well as key staff and organizational resources are now available for YWAM locations seeking to overcome internal challenges and build enduring foundations.
Here is what MBI offers:
SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT TO LEADERSHIP TEAMS
- New! Leadership13 (L13) is a small group of experienced leaders that exists to serve YWAM leaders and their teams worldwide. Bringing our combined years of leadership experience and entering into a unique one-year time commitment, L13 seeks to strengthen and enhance the vision, values, and calling of each location by identifying their challenges and helping them develop an effective plan to address them. Whether it’s clarifying vision, developing a team charter, or helping to create strategies and systems that will strengthen the overall ministry, it is our deep desire that, with God’s help, YWAM ministries around the world will not only survive but thrive in all of their efforts to “know God and make Him known.” ~ Gordy McDonald
STAFF AND ORGANIZATIONAL SERVICES (SOS)
- New! L.I.F.T. is designed to help YWAM North America leaders strategically address legal, immigration, financial, and tactical/risk areas. ~ Ron Brewster
- Biblical Financial Coaching provides resources that help missionaries/ministry workers be “good and faithful stewards” of whatever God has provided them. The YWAM Leader’s Financial Toolkit as well as the Personal Financial Coaching and the Steps To Wise Investing Workshop work together to light the way to biblically sound financial stewardship. ~ Stu Sorenson
- Strategic Planning is a ministry-development strategy aimed at helping individuals in their life- and project-planning as well as teams in the areas of ministry planning, team-building, problem-solving, counseling, and improving effectiveness/efficiency. Used primarily for YWAM location staff and students, this planning process has helped over 600 missionaries, largely in Latin America, the U.S., and China. ~ Chip and Sandy Wanner
- New! Debriefing is a week-long ministry time focused on helping YWAM missionaries process times of stress, grief/loss, transition, and injustice. By filtering their circumstances through Scripture, debriefees are able to gain perspective, hear from God, find healing and freedom, extend forgiveness, and move forward renewed and strengthened, confident that Jesus has taken their burdens. ~ Jeanette Brewster
- MBI continues to recruit short-term volunteers, matching them with global ministry opportunities within YWAM. Mission Builder volunteers “lift up the arms” of frontline missionaries through practical, hands-on service. ~ John and Donna Briggs
- MBI RV Associates facilitates volunteer opportunities for those who have re-purposed their retirements and want to use their time and skills to render practical assistance to YWAM missionaries (and other ministries) at RV-ready locations throughout North America. “We serve God through serving others.” ~ Lynn and Jackie Battermann
- Mobile Mechanics helps keep missionaries on the move by providing the expertise of a 35-year veteran mechanic, who brings all the tools and skills needed to get vehicle repairs and maintenance done. This saves money for individual missionaries and missionary organizations, allowing them to put their valuable dollars toward spreading the good news about Jesus Christ. ~ John and Michele Whitlock
- New! After DTS is MBI’s placement process geared specifically toward students who have finished their missions training and are actively looking for their next assignment. MBI is positioned to connect DTS graduates with YWAM locations worldwide, where they can assist as volunteers while exploring where God may have them serve long-term. ~ Ron Brewster
- New! Virtual Volunteers (coming in 2020) MBI’s version of LinkedIn, focuses on attracting skilled volunteers who can offer long-distance help to global YWAM locations. From web design to graphic design to leadership coaching to digital mobilization—and much more—those who may not be able to travel will soon be able to help “make God known” by serving as virtual volunteers. ~ Ron Brewster
- New! Volunteer Teams: Vacation With A Purpose (VWAP) is a one-week volunteer trip designed for families and church teams who want to work alongside full-time missionaries. VWAP volunteers do construction, painting, and landscaping projects on YWAM campuses, helping them steward what God has given them. During the week, participants not only do physical work but also get encouraged and challenged in their faith and walk with God. ~ Andrew Hobby
With all of these new tools in its belt, MBI will continue its legacy as a conduit, offering a full spectrum of services in order to see thriving YWAM ministries knowing God and making him known all over the world.
“MBI provides leadership support, practical resources, and volunteer connections to YWAM locations worldwide. Our goal is to help YWAM locations thrive and be empowered to know God and make him known.”
I have had friends, family, supporters, and fellow YWAM coworkers ask ‘why MBI?’
When I was a young base leader in my early thirties at YWAM Lakeside, MT, I was faced with many challenges. Not enough people to help accomplish the vision. Not enough resources to realize our goals. More leadership development needed in my personal life. There were always projects and needs that required extra help and expertise, and God often provided those things through Mission Builder volunteers.
When YWAM Lakeside was given a motel that was located a mile away, we had to set the three massive, incoming sections of the hotel on foundations. God brought a team of volunteers to help, and now the Bayshore is a gracious home to students and visitors. When we discovered that one of our twenty-seven houses was sinking into the ground, we had to demolish half of it and figure out how to rebuild in such a way that it would not sink again. A visitor “happened” to be walking through, saw our dilemma, and said, “I can help you solve the problem you have with this house sinking.” He volunteered, and 13 years later, the house is still standing.
These stories might not seem like much to some (and we have many stories of God bringing volunteers at just the right time), but to me, as the campus director, those volunteers were like water to a person thirsting in the desert.
It’s now been three months since I became the director of MBI. We have a great team working hard to continue the legacy of volunteer placement that MBI is known for as well as adding new vision. We’re stretching to reach goals connected to our expanded focus of seeing YWAM locations thrive through increased volunteer placement, leadership support,and staff and organizational services.
Beginning with volunteer placement, we have prayerfully and in faith set a goal to grow from recruiting and sending 500 volunteers yearly to 3,000. How? We have to tap into new pools of potential volunteers, so for the next six to nine months, we’ll be focusing on recruiting:
• Volunteer teams: Families, couples, and singles may serve as a group at a YWAM location, assisting with specific projects. In turn, they’ll be deeply and personally impacted through what we call a “mutually transformative experience.” One expression of the volunteer team concept that we want to multiply to other YWAM locations is a program called Vacation With A Purpose (VWAP), which has helped transform the YWAM Lakeside campus over the years.
• Discipleship Training School students: Many graduates of the DTS program are excited about missions but not sure what God is calling them to next. We now offer those students a platform (called After DTS) through missionbuilders.org where they may volunteer and discover where God may be calling them to serve long-term.
In our next newsletter, we’ll expand on MBI’s newest areas of focus: leadership support and staff and organizational services. We believe that with MBI’s new three-pronged approach we can more effectively help build the mission.
Why MBI? So others may thrive.
P.S. Watch for our new newsletter design, coming this summer!
“Volunesia (noun): that moment when you forget you’re volunteering to help change lives, because it’s changing yours.”
Mission Builders International’s assignment is to help harness one of the most powerful forces on earth—volunteers. We point do-gooders toward global service opportunities, and together, we see lives transformed. While volunteer service involves a sacrifice of time and finances, the rewards of reaching out with a helping hand are immeasurable!
Sometimes the amazing things volunteers accomplish are just accumulations of many small, well-done deeds. Tasks as ordinary as cooking meals, mowing lawns, cleaning toilets, or hammering nails become extraordinary in their collective effect.
A volunteer’s “job well done” may provide nutritious meals for orphans, or it may put a roof over a needy family. A job well done may insure a clean, vibrant classroom space for young children or needed housing for missionaries-in-training. Or a job well done may simply be helping steward one of the many worldwide YWAM facilities that are home to distinctive training schools and outreach ministries.
As missionary Pat E. reported:
“Our Mission Builders have served us in the kitchen, in the garden, in our preschool, in leading a daily devotion, in our worship team, being a hostess and decorator, and yes, installing electrical, framing walls, laying carpet and tile. Mission Builders International is the key to unlocking the most exciting investment of your life and opens the world of missions to you. You will always receive more than you give and that in itself is the blessing God has waiting for you.”
According to our friends at YWAM Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise, Australia): “Everything we do at YWAM Gold Coast is considered sacred and unto God, so we believe that whether one is in the kitchen preparing food for the troops or teaching on DTS, it’s all important to Jesus.” In other words, volunteer service is holy work.
Beyond just a job well done, those who volunteer are often overcome by volunesia, which is “that moment when you forget you’re volunteering to help change lives, because it’s changing yours.” If you would like the satisfaction of volunteering—making a difference in others’ lives as well as your own—MBI would like to extend an invitation to you to take your first step. The needs are real and the opportunities to meet them are plentiful.
In the words of missionary Michael L.:
“I have seen the great need for mission support through having supporters come physically alongside and get involved. The mission field can, at times, be lonely and daunting, but having witnessed how effective MBI is in helping relieve those stresses (not just by sending teams to help with projects, but also simply by having supporters help with day-to-day chores), I believe they have proved themselves to be a caring and professional ministry that is first amongst equals.”
All you need to do to step into a volunteer opportunity is: 1) Visit the Mission Builders website at www.missionbuilders.com. 2) Click on the ‘Where to Go’ tab to discover which location and what part of the world tugs at your heart. 3) Click ‘Contact Us’ to create your personal record and start filling out your quick-and-easy online application.
Go ahead! Do something extraordinary today!
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!