Stories of Transformation


I am so amazed at the difference young people make when they are given the opportunity to be creative, intuitive, free and themselves.  The summer of 2016 caused me to believe in young people with an increasing confidence and with an enthusiasm to live out the rest of my days empowering them to be who they were created to be.

On our first day in Ensenada, the team were split into two groups.  The team I accompanied went along to a rehab centre for girls who had been in abusive relationships, their stories were of the type that our yimg_2466oung people were horrified by.  As the girls told their stories, some of our girls just wept in disbelief that people could be treated in such a dreadful way.  Kristi from Morpeth said. “You don’t think people go through things like that, when you come face to face with someone, it just shows a whole new side to life…”  This made them determined to invest as much happiness in the girls as they could.  Some of this meant taking part in their Zumba classes, making friendship bracelets, singing songs, playing games and drawing/painting pictures.

img_2293Some of the girls wanted the opportunity to talk one to one about other issues that were troubling them, it’s as if, for them it was more than a story of their lives but something much deeper.  Members of the team that owned a faith in God prayed for them that a difference would be made in their lives.  They really appreciated those prayers and were glad that we could spend the time with them that we did.  It’s no easy thing for these girls to live apart from their families, however, they are in a much safer place.  It was a privilege to share in their lives.

The other half of the team went to a Day Centre for children whose parents work during the day or those whose parents have given them up.  On the morning they arrived, they witnessed a couple of children whose mother had dropped them off with the words “I cannot afford to keep these children, please take them and maybe I will be back in three years to collect them”.  This broke the heart of so many of our leaders and volunteers.  The two children who were left cried and cried and cried…all day.  They were inconsolable; one of the workers put them in a wheelbarrow and tried to play with them to try and make some kind of difference.  I recall seeing the two children days later and not much had changed.  They stuck together and it was as if they didn’t know how to smile.

Since the unimg_5546folding of that awful story, I’ve been in touch with the Day Centre to find out what the present day is like for those two children.  The mother is living with her sister not far away and one of the workers from the Day Centre has been meeting up with her to see what can be worked out.  The Day Centre do an amazing job with all the children they have, at M10 Missions we’re looking at ways of how we can support them in their day to day work.  We’re hoping that things will never be the same again.

img_3336I was in the team that built the blue house for a young family. The mother and father, Andrea and Luis were only in their early 20s and had previously been living on the streets for 6 months prior to the house build just so that they could save the money to buy the land where we would build their house. Andrea spoke of how her children aged one and two, would get sick as a consequence of not having a roof over their heads.

Me and some other girls found two little wooden trucks that their father had built them. We decided to clean them up and paint them in bright colours to give it a bit of character. The two children also helped with the painting and loved every minute of it.

On the second day of the house build we finished off painting the last few things and prepared to get everything set in place so that it would look perfect for the family. Whilst we were running in and out of the house getting everything in place, it reminded me of 60-minute makeover, we were on a time limit as the family were due to arrive back any second.  As I left the house and turned to look back at what we had achieved in only two days and how happy the family was, I broke down in tears, it was so emotional and overwhelming. I then realised what it was I was in Mexico for. It was to see the joy and happiness on the faces of people who have nothing. it was giving them something that they never would never dreamt of having and it was an experience I will never forgetSam E.

For some time M10 Missions have been wanting to expand its reach into other countries.  As a result, YWAM San Jose was identified as a possible location. Consequently, an exploratory / fact-finding trip was made to YWAM Costa Rica to investigate the possibilities of organising a future trip there.

img_0763February 2016, Sam Rogers (a past volunteer) and myself went to ‘spy out the land’.  The journey was long and tiring but soon passed by, we were welcomed by a great couple of YWAM staff who took us to the base.  Upon arrival, because it was very late, we headed to bed, ready for the days that lay ahead.

Costa Rica is a rugged, rain-forested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Though its capital, San Jose, is home to cultural institutions like the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes and immense biodiversity.

We were there for a slightly different purpose, we wanted to see how YWAM were reaching out to the communities living in poverty, what their house builds were like, their ministries to street children and more.

2016-03-04-11-08-47The ministry that amazed me the most was their medical outreach.  They like to go into communities and offer medical support for those who have no access to such.  YWAM San Jose have a bus they have converted into a type of dentistry and an ambulance type vehicle which they use to provide medical care.  In 2017, we are seeking to take a team out to build a house, support at children’s day centres and offer assistance with YWAM San Jose’s medical support team.  If you know of any dentists, doctors or ophthalmologists willing to join us, please put them in touch.

To apply to volunteer on our trip to San Jose, Costa Rica, please visit our website and download the application form and appropriate contract.    We would love to look over your application and see how you could make a difference to communities and families living in extreme poverty.



Before taking part in M10 Missions I had low self-confidence for a number of years. I failed my English Language speaking controlled assessment 3 times, after the third time my teacher gave up on me because he knew I wasn’t going to pass.  I struggled to have conversations with people one to

Emma Burns

one and I couldn’t even think about talking to a group of people without having a panic attack. I tried a few things to try and improve my confidence that had worked for other people, such as taking part in NCS and some self-help tips that I found online, however, nothing worked and I got frustrated at myself that I couldn’t manage to have normal conversations like everyone else could. Emma B               


Since being a part of M10 I can have one to one and group conversations without an issue.  In Mexico I spoke in front of the whole M10 team and the YWAM staff. That was the moment that I realised that my confidence had improved. Since being back home I have spoken in an assembly in front of a whole year group at my old school, I’ve talked to the Christian youth group which I now help with about the work that we did while in Mexico, and I have spoken to other groups that have asked me to tell them about my time in Mexico.  M10 Missions has had a huge positive impact on my confidence and it has been the best thing I have ever done.

img_5612After finishing building the house for the family I couldn’t help but break down into tears. These tears were both happiness and sadness as after 10 months of fundraising and planning it had all come together and I had finally finished what I had intended to do since the day I signed up. The feeling was the greatest feeling I have ever had as I had giving something to someone that was going to change the rest of their life by bringing their family closer together, giving their children somewhere safe to sleep, helping the parents to move onto the next stage in their life and most of all giving them somewhere to call ‘Home’. At the same time there were tears of sadness among this as I knew there were still hundreds of families like this in Ensenada, still living in harsh conditions and I strongly urge anyone to go out to Mexico and change one of these family’s life as it is THE most rewarding and life changing experience you’ll ever have.  P. Smith




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