5 Months Later

This group had staff and students from Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and the U.S! 

The Transformation Discipleship Training School or DTS focused on knowing God, experiencing His presence, and being transformed more into His image. DTS is a five month long program that equips you to be able to know God and to make Him known in the nations. During the lecture phase, the students not only had the privilege of being taught by experienced teachers from around the world, they got to implement what they were learning in YWAM San Diego Baja’s local ministries. The students had the opportunity to invest their time and efforts into seeing the transformation of the Mexican community and learning more about God's heart for Mexico. 

After lecture phase, came an eight-week outreach. This was a time for them to go out into the nations and continue to put into practice what they had learned over the past twelve weeks. For the first part of outreach, the students were able to be a part of leading our Mission Adventures program. Mission Adventures is a life-changing, short-term mission trip experience for junior high and high school students. During their time helping with Mission Adventures, the students worked and met the needs at local orphanages, soup kitchens and rehab centers.  God was faithful to bring transformation to the lives of many of the groups. For the second half of outreach, the team journeyed to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic for four weeks to serve and share God’s love. The team spent time teaching children bible stories and how to practice proper hygiene. They also took part in bible distribution in the local community and helped prepare meals for individuals in the homeless shelters. They truly saw change in the people they encountered and ministered to as well as experiencing transformation in their own lives.

Norma Ovalle: 22 years old from South Central, LA.

Getting to know the students 

Lost and weary in depression, Norma decided to do a DTS. She worked and raised money before getting accepted in the Discipleship training School with YWAM San Diego/Baja. She saw so much change in her life and now desires to go back to school at UCSD in the fall. Her plan is to find a church, begin to be involved with the ministries and help around her community. 

Why did you decide to do a DTS in Mexico?

"It was familiar. I spoke the language and I grew up in the Mexican culture so being there reminded me of many things from my past and family. I was broken and doing a DTS was my last hope. I felt comfortable and if I was going to be involved in something like getting to know God and helping others, I wanted to start by understanding my culture."

Kari Todd: 17 years old from Hawaii. 





Before DTS, Kari was finishing up school and working full time. She says that doing her DTS was the best season of her life and she will be returning to Tijuana to staff with YWAM San Diego/Baja for her next step.

How did God speak to you?

"One thing the Lord spoke to me about was how to deeply surrender and trust him with every aspect of my life, from the big things in the future, to the everyday tasks before me. That he wants all of our trust, not just a piece.”—Kari Todd


What's next?

Five months after seeing transformation in their own lives and seeing even more light being brought into Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, the students are now off to change their own communities. After having a life-changing experience through DTS, they now desire to see renewal in their families, friends and others around them! 

Thinking about doing a Discipleship Training School? Come join us, there is a school just right for you!



25 Years of Hope

We do the little and He does the big

25 families, 25 homes, 25 keys, 25 dreams came true. Over the weekend we had more than 500 volunteers say "yes" to building a home, washing dishes, cooking and serving in innumerable ways, all to celebrate 25 years of God's faithfulness in our Homes of Hope ministry. 

It all started Friday when we received 25 different teams consisting of VIPS, several Olympic athletes and many individuals that have been partnering with Homes of Hope over the last 25 years. The day started with painting, raising up walls, preparing the roof. It ended with a delicious barbeque with the neighbors and our beautiful home recipients.


The mother of one of the families holding on to her new keys. 

Olympic Athletes playing with some of the Homes of Hope recipients. 



On day two, the families welcomed the teams with excitement, and big smiles as they continued building. Inside the completed homes were new furniture, decorations, a pantry full of food and up on the roofs were shingles to keep the family dry and warm. 

It happened - 25 families received the keys to their new home!


I have been going through really difficult circumstances lately, and its been really hard to keep going, but today, this house is proof that God exists.
— Annabel, home recipient

One of the families reads a special plaq they received from the team during the house dedication ceremony.

On Sunday we put on a big celebration! It was a day to celebrate 25 years of building homes, new beginnings and a stepping-stone to the future of Homes of Hope. We were able to raise over 70,000 dollars in an offering to Jesus for the next 25 years, thanks to the generosity of our guests. 

Some former Homes of Hope recipients waiting to perform a dance for our guests. 

Loren Cunningham honoring Sean & Janet Lambert. 



Zona Norte

Ministries in the Red Light District of Tijuana 

Zona Norte is an area in the city of Tijuana that is taken over by prostitution and drugs. YWAM San Diego/Baja has been working in this location to bring light into the darkness. Below are just three of the ministries that we feel God is giving us favor and direction in. 

Alejandro has been faithfully coming to Zone Kids every week for the past 3 years.  

Zone Kids is our children's ministry that takes place in a local park in Zona Norte. Two of our long-term staff members, Amanda and Giezi Niño, began this ministry with a dream for these kids to grow up and be the change that the city of Tijuana needs. Every Tuesday afternoon we run programs in hopes to share truth, to encourage them to love one another and to enter into a relationship with Jesus. Alongside of the kids’ programs, we invite their mothers to join us in a small-group discussion, where they learn to bring positive encouragement into the relationships with their children and to advance them in their own personal growth. 

The children enjoy playing soccer, drawing and jumping rope. 

The Prayer Walk in the Red Light District is a ministry in the streets of Zona Norte where prostitution is rampant. On Saturday nights we focus on praying for the women working on the streets and we try our best to bless them with various gifts. We desire to mend the hearts of both the men and women by bringing hope and love into this broken atmosphere, and to introduce them to their loving Savior. God has given this ministry much favor and we are building relationships with these women and men and giving them hope for a future. 

We really enjoy singing with our friends at La Roca. 

Zona Norte is a ministry that we work with weekly which takes place in a homeless shelter called, "La Roca” or in English, “The Rock.” According to National Geographic, 1,179,877 people were deported from the U.S to Mexico from 2010 through 2013. Most of them have found themselves trapped in drugs and alcohol and are in need of shelter.

We enter through the doors of the building with the goal to build strong relationships with the men and women of this shelter and to share the gospel with them. Although the society marks these individuals as hopeless and worthless, God tells us that they have incredible value. We hope to deliver them from their addictions and to see them restored with transformation in their lives.

God is using YWAM San Diego/Baja in these ministries and He is slowly mending the hearts of the brokenhearted in this area of Tijuana. If supporting any of these ministries is something you would like to give to, this link will take you to a donations page. There, you will have the option of selecting a ministry of your choice.




Living Unbound

Mission Adventures has begun

Our first group of students from Norway took a trip to a safe house, where they got to perform a dance for the girls there.

March marks the kickoff of our Mission Adventures program! This spring we’re hosting around 300 youth from over three different nations. Every spring and summer, we welcome junior high students, high school students, and family groups to come experience a life changing, short-term mission trip down in Mexico.

A normal day for a participant of MA contains a variety of things. From feeding the homeless to building a house for a family in need, they are challenged to “Stand up and stand out,” as our motto says. Participants also have daily devotionals, worship nights, and teachings. 

Over 10 homes will be built by Mission Adventures teams this spring! 

Teams also have the chance to visit an orphanage during their trip. 

It’s incredible to see the transformation among the students that come, as well as among those they minister to in Tijuana and Ensenada. MA staff member Nicole Sonnenfelt had this to say about the students' experience-

"The energy is unreal. I love seeing the students' excitement when they experience God speaking to them for the first time!"

Mission Adventures is a full service experience. We provide food, housing, transportation, outreach supplies, and translators. To learn about how you can participate in Summer Mission Adventures click here. 



September Discipleship Training School (DTS) Recap!

The Outreach continues for the sixty-one students who just graduated from our September schools. Our students went home excited and prepared to impact their own communities with the love of Christ. Their DTS was a time of discovering identity, finding purpose, making disciples, and transforming the nations.

Sixty-one students went home with the knowledge of who God is and who they are. It was truly a privilege to watch them grow during Lecture Phase, and then live out all they learned on Outreach in India, Nepal, Uganda, Mexico, Belize and Dominican Republic. Check out this video to hear from the students about their experience in Discipleship Training School!



DTS: A Time to Seek God's Purpose for Your Life

Destiny is 19 years old and from Nashville, Tennessee. 

Meet Destiny Berger, DTS student

“I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school. I didn’t want to go to college, so I spent a lot of time praying and trying to hear God’s voice. A few my friends did DTS, in Australia and North Carolina, and they told me after they got back that it was the best thing you could ever do.

I grew up in church my whole life and I just feel like I’m used to hearing about God all the time, so I don’t really put effort into a personal relationship with Him. I always hear about how He’s doing things in other peoples’ lives and I feel like that kind of held me back from wanting to deepen my own relationship with Him.

But I need that badly. Five years ago my brother passed away in a car accident and that kind of opened my eyes that I need to strive for God with my whole heart.

Destiny is enjoying this week in lectures, as the students go in depth about the character of God.

"I just want to hear God’s voice and know His purpose for my life.

My favorite part of DTS is the early mornings. One of my expectations was to get up and spend the first 30 minutes of my day with God. And I’m already starting to see change through that.

I mean, it’s still hard, waking up and stuff but it’s so worth it, to just start your day with Him.

Being vulnerable with people here has had a big impact on me. I usually don’t like being open with people. But it had only been a few days and we all had to share our testimonies. So it was really cool to see that everyone was being super vulnerable with each other.”

The Transformation DTS has students from four different nations. 

The Transformation has begun in San Antonio Del Mar. The Transformation DTS, that is. Destiny is just one of 12 students who are here to pursue a deeper relationship with their Creator.

We also currently have a Compassion in Action DTS going on at our Ensenada campus with 10 students from 5 different nations. The students are all looking forward to next week, when they’ll find out their Outreach locations. 

Check out our Facebook page for more updates on these schools!



Looking Back, Looking Forward


2014 was a year of...


On the lineup for 2015...

  • Homes of Hope's 25th Anniversary

  • 6 Discipleship Training Schools

  • 3 Secondary Schools on Biblical Studies

  • 1 Secondary School on Community Development

  • 25 estimated Mission Adventures Teams


Here’s to 2015. May it be a year of MORE! We’re so thankful for the abundance that God has given us in our ministry, and hopeful that He will multiply it this year!





Training local Mexicans to be sent out to the nations

“Envia” is the Spanish word for “send.”

When our San Antonio Del Mar campus property was dedicated, our directors invited local Mexican pastors to come and pray over the property. One of our biggest prayers that day was for local Mexicans to be trained and sent out to the nations. Envia has played a huge role in making this vision become a reality.

“Most ministries that we have here go out the door into the local communities. But Envia is one of the few ministries that invites the locals to come through the door to our campus. Because of this, Envia is different in a good way. It is a huge thing to the Mexicans for us to invite them into our house, to invite them to be part of my family.” –Alejandro Flores. 

Alejandro started Envia with his wife at our campus near Tijuana. 

Envia is a ministry at both of our campuses. It first started in Ensenada and was brought to Tijuana about two years ago by Noemi and Alejandro Flores. “We have a huge heart to see the local community of Mexicans be transformed by God, learn more about who God is, and make Him known throughout the nations.”

The ministry consists of a 10-12 week course, similar to a DTS, that is designed for Mexicans in the local community. The course is a time of discipleship and training that helps students deepen their knowledge of Christ and understand His call to them as missionaries. Most of the students hear about Envia through word of mouth in their neighborhoods where many families have received a house from our ministry, Homes of Hope

Josephina and Erik have two children named Lupita and Erik.

Since Envia started, we’ve seen many transformations in the students’ lives. One student that stands out is a young Mexican named Ivan. At the beginning of his Envia course, Ivan was just starting to get to know the Lord. Now he is studying to be a pastor.

We’ve also gotten to see transformation in Josephina and Erick Ochoa. This couple initially received a house through Homes of Hope, and after that they decided to join us for Envia. Eventually they participated in a DTS and are now volunteering with us!

Check out this video to learn more about the Ochoa family’s story. 



Meet Brodie Wilson

The Leader of our Chronological School of Biblical Studies

Brodie has been with YWAM San Diego/Baja for 6 years. 

Q: What is your favorite book in the Bible?

A: Too, too many. I can’t do one. Hebrews is definitely one. I love Romans. I love Samuel. I love Leviticus.

Q: What gets you up in the morning?

A: I’m excited to see the students explore and discover truth in the Bible for themselves. I really enjoy seeing other people get excited about God’s Word.

Brodie and his wife Bonnie have an adorable 4-month-old son named Blake. 

Q: Tell us a little bit about the CSBS.

A: We walk students through the whole Bible in 9 months. Starting in Genesis we work through it as chronologically as possible and end in Revelation. We go through the Bible using the Inductive Study Method. We want to look at the Bible, study the cultural context, study the historical context, and really look at what is being said. And then from that, we determine what it means.

Q: What is your favorite part of the school?

A: My favorite quarter is actually the second quarter, when we go through the Prophets. Because for a lot of people, and when I was going through the Prophets during my CSBS, it was a lot of hard work. It seemed like it was very repetitive because God is saying He’s going to bring judgment and, “Repent, repent, repent.” God usually uses this time to bring up a lot of things in students’ lives that aren’t right, or bring up wrong mindsets, or lies that they believe. So I love the second quarter, just because I’ve seen transformation.

Brodie’s passion for the Word and his gift in teaching are part of what makes our CSBS spectacular. 

YWAM San Diego/Baja is home to the only Chronological School of Biblical Studies in Mexico. Our next school starts in September of 2015. Click here to read more about it and find out how to apply! 



Bringing Transformation Through Education

Our Círculo Andante ministry

Briseida is six years old and lives in Ensenada, Mexico. 



When we first met Briseida, she was a tough little girl who wouldn't speak to us. She was behind academically for her age and when she did talk, she either swore or said, "I can't." Despite the fact that she rarely participated, Briseida regularly came to our Círculo Andante ministry with her three siblings, and she spent most of her time disrupting the other children. 


Círculo has locations at both of our campuses in Tijuana and Ensenada. 



It has taken nearly four years, but we have finally seen Briseida start to open up and participate in Círculo, our ministry that disciples local Mexican children through education. By intentionally seeking her with love and acceptance, we’ve seen a transformation in her. She now respects others, finishes her classes, and even hugs our ministry team when they arrive and depart.