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!
If you’re familiar with Mission Builders International, you’ll know we send hands-on help to YWAM ministries all over the globe by recruiting and placing volunteers. You’ll also know those volunteers come in all ages, sizes, skills and abilities and are passionate about serving Jesus. Each one has their own particular motivation for serving, whether the location is near or far. Here are just a handful of the reasons they go. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to go!
To prove that no one is too old to work for God.
“Remind yourself that you are never too old to make a difference and have a purpose,” said one elderly woman, who volunteered at YWAM Salem, OR. “We’re never too old to work for God. I’m 73. As long as God keeps me going, I’m planning on doing His work.” Mary, another 73-year-old, served at YWAM Ozarks, AR. She wrote: “Most of the students are in their early 20s, but all [of them] talked to me and shared their stories when asked. Their genuine, faith-filled, humble attitudes but normal young dress and actions so inspired me! They really appreciated everything I did to help. I left rejoicing, so encouraged for our younger generations.”
To mentor students, staff, and locals with their skills and know-how.
Retirees Brian and Karen volunteered at YWAM Montana Lakeside. Brian taught carpentry, built cabinets for kitchen units and worked on a local Habitat for Humanity project. “A life skill like carpentry is a valuable outreach tool as well as being useable around the world,” Brian said. Karen added, “He was immensely proud of the young men he trained and absolutely loved teaching them.” Karen worked as the front desk receptionist, but occasionally slipped on the title of Mom or Grandma, “blessing students and staff with prayer time and long conversations.” They said their time “was refreshing and recharged our spiritual batteries.”
To indulge a special passion or life-celebration.
Lynne, a regular mission builder (along with her husband Len) said: “I LOVE to travel! By connecting with MBI, not only do I get to travel anywhere in the world, but I get to travel with a purpose, connecting with and supporting missionaries wherever I go. Where will we go next? It doesn’t really matter, the possibilities are endless, and we know God has our course already planned.”
One lady wrote: “My husband and I volunteered for two weeks with Mission Builders at YWAM Amsterdam. It was a highlight of our two-month retirement celebration trip to Europe. We were warmly greeted . . . made to feel like valued members of the team . . . told several times how much they appreciated having people our age there, and of course, they were very thankful for the work we did. We’ll definitely explore volunteering at other YWAM campuses.”
To offer their individual skills, abilities and gifts.
Mission building is “a chance to use the gifts that you possess to help further the gospel message,” Michele wrote. “From cooking to computer programming, and gardening to construction, there are so many ways to help. My husband John is a mechanic, and I am an avid gardener and cook. We’ve served all around the U.S. and are so glad we can be a part of mission work without having to go to a seminary for training! We just serve using the gifts and skills we already have.”
Manoela F. from Brazil said: “I’m almost 22, an industrial engineering student and intern worker at Bosch, Brazil. I got vacation from work and college to be a Mission Builder in YWAM San Jose, Costa Rica. I understood a calling from God saying I needed to go someplace not so close and make the people feel loved through things I like to do; for example, playing soccer. As a Mission Builder, I could help in hospitality, I could help in the kitchen to cook for the base, I could play soccer again. I could help the Homes of Hope and the Metro Ministries, too, and join some of the DTS soccer classes.”
To do something they’ve never done before (and take their families with them).
Linda wrote to say: “My family (she, her husband and three kids ages 12, 7, and 5) had an amazing time watching God work through our time at Cowboys With A Mission in Meteetse, WY. We had odd jobs around the base, from cleaning out the cows’ water tub to helping build a house for staff to looking for a rattlesnake that bit three horses early one morning. Mission builders with an open mind and a willingness to fall in where needed will greatly benefit this campus. The directors blessed our family by allowing us to be a part of the CWAM family!”
To broaden their horizons and better their lives.
Swiss couple Kurt and Edith volunteered at YWAM Muizenburg, South Africa. They wanted to improve their English but got so much more. Edith said: “It broadened my horizons to see so many other cultures. It was our first time in an English-speaking country. It was interesting and a challenge. Friendly students, full of passion, were thankful to have older volunteers on campus.”
Mission Builder volunteer Casey said: “Seeing how the Lord is working outside of the U.S. was really eye-opening. My wife and I had a life-changing experience while we were helping out. We’re currently praying about joining YWAM full time; they’re mobilizing today’s youth for Christ’s mission!”
One young volunteer, who served at YWAM Guadalajara, Mexico, said: “I got to learn more Spanish and was able to touch many peoples’ lives with the love of Jesus. I felt so useful! All my gifts in teaching, music, and audio engineering were used. It was a life-changing experience. The Mexican culture was devoid of materialism and the driven-ness I constantly feel while living in the big city here in America. So when I returned home, all that ‘stuff’ hit me like a wave. But now that I’m back in the swing of things, I can see how my experience serving the peoples of Guadalajara, Ixtlahuacan, Chapala, and Ajijic will help me to live better while I’m here in the States. I have a much broader perspective on life—one I don’t believe I could have without physically going outside America.”
As you read through these testimonies, you may have seen your desires mirrored back to you and had an aha! moment. If that happened, remember, there’s room for you to give of your time and energy for the kingdom of God, and MBI can help you find just the right place to do it. Check out the possibilities and fill out an application today at www.MissionBuilders.org!