How We Started Homes of Hope
I was asked to take a trip from YWAM Perth all the way over to YWAM San Diego/Baja… Let’s back up a bit first. I’ll start by telling you about our decision to become long-term missionaries as a family of five. We joined staff at the Youth With a Mission Perth base in June of 2012. It was a huge decision for us. I was leaving a job with my father in construction and we were stepping into the “unknown.” We really wanted to do this as a family but we needed to receive a confirmation from God first. It came very clearly which gave us confidence. We prayed as a family and felt God leading us to commit here for two years. For us, we weren’t really stepping into the “unknown.” We knew without a doubt that it was where we were supposed to be.
I’ll start by telling you about our decision to become long-term missionaries as a family of five.
Our kids joined a co-op home school program offered on the campus. This is where my wife, Robin, got her first taste of teaching. God has given her grace in learning how to teach our children and be a mother at the same time. She also currently works with a ministry called Australian Mercy, who help families in need locally.
I joined property/maintenance which made the transition to becoming a missionary quite easy. I also helped to staff a Discipleship Training School and as a family we went on outreach to Katmandu. It’s really quite amazing what we get to do for our jobs and the fact that we get to travel the world too is the icing on the cake.
After about fifteen months on staff, I was asked to pray about starting a new ministry in YWAM Perth. We would build homes for the poor and I sensed that it was the right direction for me. I prayed with Robin and we both felt that it was for us. Now, I’ve never ran a ministry but I’ve run construction sites. I’ve never led missionaries but I’ve led a family. God really showed me that I am qualified to do this, not because of my resume but because of His.
Now, here we go… I was asked to take a trip from YWAM Perth all the way over to YWAM San Diego/Baja. The base was actually located in Tijuana, Mexico and they were hosting a University of the Nations Workshop. The clincher was that they also ran a very successful ministry called Homes of Hope. So I flew across the ocean to attend an amazing workshop and get an invaluable experience from people who’ve gone before building homes for the poor. The man’s name who founded the ministry is named Sean Lambert and to date Homes of Hope has built over 4000 homes, mainly in Mexico.
God really showed me that I am qualified to do this, not because of my resume but because of His.
I was in Mexico driving to a construction site with people I didn’t know at all. But, I’ve rarely felt so excited. I worked with the staff from the YWAM base there to assist a team that flew in from the U.S.A. There were about five staff and nearly 20 people on the team. We arrived at the construction site and saw a pile of lumber with a concrete pad that had been poured days before. The family who we were building for had two children, a baby and an 11 year old (who had a severe allergy to the sun.) We prayed to start our first day and got straight into it. The staff had the experience having built hundreds of homes and the team had the enthusiasm. They were just a regular group of people from a small church. Some were experienced in building, however, most had no building experience.
The house went up so quickly; the family was handed the keys to a brand new home within 48 hours! I was so impressed, the team was incredibly efficient. At the finish of the house we gathered as an entire group and shared about what the experience meant to each of us. The tears flowed freely from nearly the entire team. This experience for the teams that build, really impacts their lives significantly. People love it because its a way for Christians and non-Christians to show God’s love in a practical way. They get to be a part of changing someone’s life, and they will remember it forever.
The house went up so quickly; the family was handed the keys to a brand new home within 48 hours!…It’s like they were walking directly into God’s love, on display for all to see.
The family was so blessed and they prayed that God would bless each one of us. I’ll never forget when they opened the door to their new home. It’s like they were walking directly into God’s love, on display for all to see.
I’ve now launched Homes of Hope here in YWAM Perth. I’m helping change the world for the better. The families are so blessed by their new homes and will know that their not forgotten. They experience hope and feel valued. There’s also the practical side of it, they have a house that’s safe and that keeps out the weather. For some this is their first time having a home without a dirt floor, which is essential for keeping their children healthier.
The team that comes to build the home is something that really excites me too. This may be the opportunity that people are looking for, to work with others in their church, youth group, school, business, etc. They get to go on an adventure and will be able to see what they’ve done. Some people want to help but don’t know how, they want to see where their money is going. This is the experience of a lifetime for some. God wants to change the world, but He wants to do it with our help. What a great opportunity to lend a hand.