2018 in all honesty has been a whirlwind for our family. There has been the normal flow of teams coming to build homes, Carnaval outreach, Discipleship Training Schools, etc. And to add to that we've had a bit of travel and our third kiddo Bella is now mobile trying to keep up with her big brothers. Really, when you look at it, it doesn’t seem all that different to last year but it has been. So what has made this year so different to the last few years?
I absolutely love Homes of Hope. It's one of those ministries that everyone goes into wanting to bless a family in need, but we all come away transformed by the experience.
Each morning we gather to pray and receive instructions to kick off our day.
He started this company on the wishes of his father "help your people". That's what Morales Group continues to do in the United States, Mexico and beyond.
Our little buddy that we met on the build site. His 7 year old brother was taking care of him this day.
Putting the final touches on the home
Vitor is on staff with us. He's a big guy with a tender heart.
We did it!
The classic, team in front of the home shot
Mr. Tom sharing about how much he was impacted by the opportunity to come and build this home
It doesn't get much better than being able to share this ministry with the brothers
The day after
The day after the build the team put together an event to bless all the families in the colonia. These girls wanted to be the first in line
Noah's a pro
In 2013 Noah was a part of handing out relief goods in the Philippines. Look's like he hasn't lost his touch
Koa holding down the toy section
Mom & daughter
We sacrifice time together, but when we have the opportunity to come together like this, we're reminded of why it's worth doing
When it's all said and done, you've given it your all. On the outside it seems like you gave something, but the reality is that you get back so much more than you could ever give
Homes of Hope was established in 2006. Since then hundreds of teams have come down to build homes for families in need. Just like every family we build for has a story, each team has a unique story of how they came to be. These are the stories that make up the 2018 Hope Chapel Maui - Homes of Hope team.
This is the scharnhorst family
For 15 years Jeff has been coming to Mexico on mission trips. This time his wife and daughter were able to join him. They’ve had an awesome experience jumping in and getting involved with the home build and the YWAM missionaries
This is Helena & Alex
23 years ago, Helena wanted to join YWAM. Now Helena along with her daughter Alex are building a home for a family with YWAM.
This is the Markey family
The Markey family came to Mazatlan in 2017 after hearing report backs from previous teams. They came and introduced LEGO ministry to Homes of Hope and it proved to be a hit with the kids in the neighborhood. Now they are back for a second time in 12 months because they feel this particular trip is a family friendly mission trip
This is the Gillis family
Diane Gillis signed up her family for this mission trip. Although it may have taken a while for everyone to warm up to idea, once they started building the home they all really loved it
This is Miles
Myles works for a roofing company on Maui and has been able to put his trade to use on the Homes of Hope build
This is the Yasunaga family
Jennifer, who is from the Philippines heard about the mission trip at church and felt it was important to get back to her roots.
This is CJ
CJ works in finance, but came to the Homes of Hope build ready and willing to learn. When the build was done, he expressed to me how much the trip and the build had impacted his life and he's keen to make another trip to YWAM Mazatlan in the future.
This is Paul
He heard about the mission trip at church and has always been his ambition to go on a mission trip. This was his first mission trip, but he’s already looking at another trip to the Philippines.
This is Shannah
Shanna is from Texas and has been able to use her Spanish to work with the local neighborhood kids while the build has been going on.
This is Alexa
Alexa heard some missionaries sharing at church and got inspired to do a trip. This was her first mission trip, but she says it won’t be her last as she’s considering joining YWAM after high school.
This is Lino and Brandon
Lino has built around 28 homes and Brandon close to 20. These guys are the next wave of Homes of Hope builders at YWAM Mazatlan.
This is Vitor
Vitor is from Brazil and this is his fourth Homes of Hope build. He has a special connection to this team from Hope Chapel Maui because he is a part of a church in Brazil that was started by a Hope Chapel Maui missionary.
This is Manny
Manny is the Homes of Hope director and continues to uphold the legacy of Mexican leadership of the ministry.
This is Areli & Alice
Areli is from Mexico City and Alice from Newcastle, Australia. This build is the first of many for both of them as hosts for Homes of Hope.
This is Tere
Tere is the only team member to serve in Homes of Hope as a local Pastor as well as YWAM Mazatlan staff. She brings a mother's heart as she connects with families before, during and after the builds.
This is the Castro Robles family
This is the Castro Robles family, who just received a brand new home for their family of five. Jose Antonio was working in Los Cabos while his wife and three kids we're back in Mazatlan living in a shack. Then one day, someone told them that they would be receiving a home. They are the reason that God brought people from as far as Hawaii, Australia and Brazil together Mazatlan. We all have a story and this time it was the Castro Robles story that brought us all together.
Bella and her abuelo at the Homes of Hope build site
Morales Group dedicates another home
A pizza treat for the kids in the colonia
Bella is getting bigger
Noah enjoying his auriga (truck taxi) ride home
La lucha libre
Sargento, by far my favorite lucha libre
Hope Chapel team visits the M/V Amazing Grace
The Prangnell's playing memory
Surf lessons with the DIF kids
Bella enjoying her first Homes of Hope build
It was a family effort
A little touch of Hawaii for the new home owners
Celebrating the only way we know how... tacos!
The boys getting ready to distribute the bible in El Armadillo
The boys dealing with Moctezuma's revenge
BBQ with the boys
Izzy and Hezzy
How we eat when mommy's gone
The girls hard at work
It's been about a year now since we first said "The Amazing Grace should be headed down to Mazatlan in two weeks". On February 12th 2017 around 100 YWAMers gathered at Marina Mazatlan to welcome the Amazing Grace to Mazatlan and celebrate the end of "two weeks". Over the last year "two weeks" has become a bit of a catch phrase around the base. At the beginning it was funny, but as weeks turned to months you could tell that "two weeks" started wearing on people. What was funny, was now the butt of the base jokes and as we have journeyed over the last year there are a few lessons that we have learned about two weeks that we wanted to share.
Share God's vision
Over the course of the last year, one thing was clear. We need to share the vision of YWAM Ships Mazatan with as many people as we can and as often as we can. As we shared what could be, we were amazed at how people have continued to respond. Students off of our Ships DTS' and from other bases joined our staff team, even though there was no ship. Medical professionals and marine crew began inquiring and so many people got behind the vision financially.
Trust God's process
A friend who often speaks on the various training schools that we run, asked this question in a staff training session. "When is the last time they laughed at you?". They laughed at Noah while he was building the Ark. They laughed at Nehemiah, while he attempted to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. They laughed at Jesus when He told them that He was the Son of God. All of these people had one thing in common. They trusted God's process. When God speaks, all we have to do is obey and He takes care of the rest.
Embrace God's sense of humor
The last time I went up to the Bay Area to help prep the ship we set a tentative departure date, which was two weeks after I was set to arrive back to Mazatlan. Two weeks later on January 30th, the Amazing Grace left San Francisco on what was meant to be a 10 day trip. Thanks to some weather and scheduling delays the Amazing Grace pulled into Marina Mazatlan two weeks later on February 12th.
Never give up on God's dreams
When the Amazing Grace was finally here and the owners and crew were running up the gangway to the welcome party we realized something. God spoke to us in 2010 about YWAM Ships, but made it offical in 2015. For all of 2016 YWAM Mazatlan has been waiting for this moment, but the unsung hero's of this story are the owners of the Amazing Grace - Zeus and Charlotte Ebio. Almost 17 years ago, God spoke to them about selling their home, buying a ship and using it for His glory. For almost 17 years they lived on the ship, invested their blood, sweat, tears and money into the ship. They didn't know how, they didn't know when, they just knew that God had spoken to them. Perseverance can be defined as "I will not quit". The Ebio's embody perseverance, because they held tight to the promises of God and they did not quit.
Put God first in everything
Seem's like a pretty straight forward comment from a missionary, but you'd be suprised at how much we as human's try to get in the way by doing things the way we want to. We have timelines that we want to keep to and plans that we want to follow, but at the end of the day what is most important is to keep God first in everything and let him guide us. So when the crew of the Amazing Grace ran up the gangway to the crowd of YWAMers there to receive them, the very first thing we did was worship and give thanks to God.