Oh, What a New Year!

The concept of MBI—connecting Christians with frontline missions—is entering its 40th year. Let that sink in for a moment, if you will. Behind that seemingly simple statement are thousands upon thousands of connections between volunteers and their friends in missions who have responded to the same call: “Who shall go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) MBI has served as the bridge for countless connections, not just of lifelong friendships but connections of eternal value: revealing the God Who knows us well to those who did not know Him. Over the years, MBI’s story has not changed much. The locations and the characters (MBI’s ageless volunteers from around the world) who respond to the call make up new angles and opportunities to our story. However, the central theme is still the same: connecting Christians to frontline missions, co-laboring with YWAMers around the world to know God and to make Him known. And it has worked – very well. Despite my occasional George Bailey moments in which I question if “it’s a wonderful life,” I can honestly answer: “It truly is.” When I consider the hundreds of personal friends who have grown with us over the years and those who have come to a loving relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior, I can exuberantly say, “Yes, I want to finish this race well!” My bride Donna and I are also entering into and celebrating our 40th year of marital bliss and thirty-three years as YWAM missionaries. We’ve been privileged to raise our family of three children, who now have families of their own, and God has provided a way for us...

A Different Kind of Vacation

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...

MBI Team Member Brad Rauch: The Power of One in South Africa

My wife Joyce and I are involved with MBI as field staff in and for South Africa. We work with YWAM campuses in South Africa as well as HuntSA, a hunting and safari operation that encourages Christian sportsmen and women to come and have an adventure in God’s playground and then serve the marginalized children of South Africa. There are an estimated 3.7 million orphans in South Africa. Close to half of them have lost their parents to AIDS-related diseases, and there are many more children living with sick and bedridden caregivers. About 150,000 children are believed to be living in child-headed households. They need the hope only Jesus can bring. This year we helped bring 42 people over to hunt, recreate and serve in many ways in our villages, orphanages and soup clubs. But even with the numbers of people coming there is really only one thing that counts—the power of one! We all possess the power to make a difference in one life. We have that opportunity every day, whether here or in Africa. I want to tell you about Peter. He’s about 16 years old. Last year, Sharon L. came over with Joyce and me to teach preschool for two weeks at Jehovah Jireh Haven orphanage. She bumped into Peter, who lives there. Sharon found out he was illiterate and that he wanted to learn to read, so she taught him. That was one year ago. He’s now reading at the seventh-grade level and has been sponsored to attend the Christian academy we work with.  He wants to be a lawyer. Peter is so happy, and he is...

Think Long

Everyone loves a good report. At Mission Builders International, we love hearing about our volunteers’ experiences serving alongside global YWAM ministries. The connection between Mission Builders and missionaries is more than just about the value of the work that’s accomplished; it’s also about the rich insights and relationships that result when people work together for kingdom purposes. David H., who serves with MBI’s RV Associates, blessed us with the following two-week snapshot of his time of service at YWAM Orlando in Florida. We’d like to share his infectious joy and encourage you to find out for yourselves what God has in store for those who offer their time and skills. David wrote: “A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks. Events below are just some of the highlights. More Mission Builders! This morning the dining hall is filled with Mission Builders! About fifty Amish from Pennsylvania arrived over the weekend. Men, women, young and old! Many of them have been here before, several times. After breakfast, the projects planned for the week are announced and the volunteers join the group where they feel led: replacing a roof on a house, building the deck on the dining hall, pool house rehab, cutting and clearing trees in the upper camp grounds. The tree cutting turns up a little shy on people, so I get asked to help with the chain saw work. Not a problem. It will be some good exercise for me, and the project I’m working on is not urgent. An Observation on Christian Unity. Throughout the week, as I work on the various jobs, I get...

Six Great Reasons to Be a Mission Builder

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...