Forgiveness for a Thief

Forgiveness for a Thief

Here at MBI, we love hearing stories about how trusting in Jesus and responding in love and forgiveness in the face of challenge can radically change the outcome of lives.  We’d like to share this beautiful story of God’s help and grace as told by DTS student, Christin Ingold, who took her training at YWAM Berlin in Germany and fulfilled her field assignment in Muizenberg/Capetown South Africa. (Mission Builders International supports YWAM Berlin and YWAM Muizenburg by sending volunteers.)


Yesterday was one of those days that showed me once more how precious and not-to-be-taken-for-granted life is. My friend Andrew and I were running at the beach. We were already on our way back when someone grabbed me by the shoulder and took hold of my shirt to stop me. As I turned around, I saw four guys, and in that moment, I already knew they were going to rob us. One of them held a knife, another one an empty bottle and one of them a long stick.

While Andrew stopped and came back to me, they took my phone and all the rings and earrings I was wearing. Andrew looked at one of the guys, who stood closest to him, and asked: “Can I pray for you?” Immediately, and for me unexpectedly, this guy responded: “Yes, I need it.” His eyes were empty, and the way he said it was so desperate. No hint of irony in his voice at all.

Andrew hugged him and held him while he was praying. I stood directly behind them, watching this guy’s face. He was obviously overwhelmed and touched by what just happened. As Andrew spoke forgiveness over him in prayer, this guy made eye contact with me and said: “I am so sorry. Please forgive me!” I already held his hand, as I had started to pray for him as well, but I pressed it even harder and said: “I forgive you. You are forgiven.”

The other three guys now were all standing with their backs to us. One of them came to me again, still wanting to take off one of my bracelets. As he grabbed my wrist, the guy who just received prayer, still in Andrew’s arms, reached out to his friend’s hand and pushed it away. There was change in his eyes, and God really broke my heart for him. I guess from this day on I’ll understand the story of the sinner hanging next to Jesus, taking the grace of forgiveness a little deeper and with personal attachment. Forgiveness is always there, but it needs humility to take it.

As Andrew and I got out of this situation, we fell down in the sand on our knees to pray. Only in this moment the awareness and reality hit me of what just happened … we were still alive. We weren’t raped or killed. This whole story could have had such a different ending. Both of us were able to stay calm and act in the opposite spirit, which wasn’t to our credit at all but only by God’s grace. That one of these four guys experienced God’s love deeply was so worth losing the phone.

I am thankful for my life once more, I am thankful for God’s protection and for my friend, Andrew, whose instinctive act of compassion calmed the whole situation down, me included. And I am thankful one more time for Jesus and the cross, which made this immediate forgiveness possible.

Can’t say it enough: God is good, more than we can imagine. All glory to him.

~ Christin Ingold, YWAM Berlin, Germany
on outreach in Muizenberg/Capetown, South Africa
January 2016

No Better Retirement

No Better Retirement

Mission Builders International’s job is to connect potential volunteers of every age and ability with worldwide service opportunities. God uses everyday people—like Phill and Pat S.—to accomplish extraordinary things in missions. As with many volunteers, Phill and Pat have discovered that serving has the added value of enlarging not only their circle of friends and family but their world. For them, retirement has become an exciting jumping-off point to a whole new life. Listen to what they have to say about their volunteer lifestyle:

“We have just returned from YWAM Berlin. It was the trip of a lifetime for many reasons, and we want to thank Mission Builders International for putting us in touch with them. Before we go to serve, we always pray that we will be encouragers, examples and servants. We saw God answer this prayer over and over during our month stay at YWAM Berlin.

“We served alongside Len and Lynne Benson. They are great traveling companions and work partners. The four of us complement each other and click as a team in every way.

God used four verYWAMBerlin_worship2 - Copyy ordinary people to impart hope on several levels, and there is not a greater joy! The staff and students, in turn, poured blessing after blessing into our lives. YWAM Berlin will forever live in our hearts. We were so deeply touched by them as they thanked us over and over again. They sent us off with a special blessing as they gathered around and prayed for us at the end of our time with them. We have gained friends and ‘grandchildren’ as we continue to keep in touch. The students and several staff are currently serving in South Africa on outreach. We are blessed to have the joy of praying for them, and seeing God at work in their lives equals joy!

“We have served more than 20 times at various YWAM campuses. We always say there is nothing spiritual about dry walling, tiling, painting, electric, cooking and so on, but there is great spiritual value in making it possible for young people to be discipled to go into all the world to share the gospel. Of course, we can’t go everywhere, but we can go where God leads.

YWAMBerlin_outreach2“If the Lord tarries and our health continues, we hope we can continue to invest in the lives of young people. We love encouraging the staff so that they, in turn, can spend their time teaching the Word and preparing others to serve. There is no greater retirement! And there is no greater joy than to impart hope to those who might be on the verge of becoming weary in well-doing.

“Thank you for connecting us with YWAM Berlin!”

Whether you are retired and young at heart, in the middle of raising your family or fresh out of high school and taking a gap year before college, volunteering is a great way to expand your world while making a difference. See where in the world a mission-building adventure might take you. Visit us at: