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...

God’s Fantastic Idea

“Has God ever promised you something? Has God ever clearly led you?” When twenty-nine-year-old Kristen H. of Fredericksburg, VA, gave God the opportunity to fill her heart with His desires, she didn’t dream it would involve living boldly and serving Him globally. God surprised Kristen with a mission-building journey. She spent a gap year as a volunteer with Mission Builders International, helping at YWAM locations and visiting missionary friends in Uganda, Swaziland, South Africa, Cambodia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Israel and Germany. How did it all get started? Kristen says: “A little over one year ago I was able to attend a retreat just a couple hours from where I live. You’re thinking I’m going to say that God slowly showed me something through the speakers that weekend, right? But no, God didn’t even wait for the retreat to officially start to speak to me.  “It happened that I was there a couple hours early, so I walked down to the pond, with my Bible in hand, and just sat before the Lord and quietly read and prayed. While I was sitting there, God clearly spoke to me through a few different verses in Psalm 20 and 21 and promised me that He would give me the desires of my heart. I asked God to do as He promised and grant me my heart’s desires, to make His desires mine and direct my steps. I didn’t know what those desires of my heart were and in what way God would fulfill that promise until almost a year to the day later.  “I do love to travel and, while I...

Holy Work

Holy Work by Amy Lindstrom I remember looking in my husband’s eyes as we sat across from one another at a local restaurant. I had called a meeting. I had a lot on my mind. I was fighting my way through the sadness of an empty nest, looking for new meaning and purpose. I knew I needed more and I wanted to “finish well.” I had deep fear that my last productive decades would be spent going out for lunch with friends, sharing photos of grand babies, scrap-booking and reading an occasional book. It wouldn’t be enough. “Give me a few more years,” Paul said. So I did. I waited a few more years, finding more meaning than I’d anticipated. I finished a master’s degree in Christian counseling ministry. I was involved in mentoring younger women and mothers, counseling, praying, leading small groups, teaching. Still, I knew there was more. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was going to look like or how it would happen, but my soul longed for adventure, depth, more of Jesus and a community of others that longed for the same things. Finally, God intervened and some rearranging began to happen in our lives. Some was good, some was difficult. Paul submitted to the changes, remembering the agreement he made across the table that winter day. It was time for an adventure with Jesus. Depth, growth, challenge, pain, revelation, surrender; all of these were part of the MBI Crossroads DTS we participated in during the spring of 2014. Not even two years ago! Amazing, considering all that has happened since then. It was as...