Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Correct Craft Press Release

Correct Craft President/CEO, Bill Yeargin, sent me a press release about their recent trip with Amor to Mexico:

Correct Craft, Inc announced today that a team of its employees recently traveled to Mexico to spend part of their summer vacation building a new home.

The team of twenty-one Correct Craft employees built the new home for a family of seven living in Tecate, Mexico. The project was coordinated by Amor Ministries, a non-profit organization operating out of San Diego, California. Over the past 27 years, Amor Ministries has coordinated the building of over 10,000 homes for needy families in Mexico.

Correct Craft President/CEO Bill Yeargin, who worked with the team in Mexico, said "It was great to see so many of our employees raise the money to go and then take their time to help with this important mission. I know that while the family in Mexico will significantly benefit from this new house, the employees who traveled with us also had a life changing experience." Yeargin added “To see our Board Chairman, Ken Meloon, hand the family the keys to their new home was a very emotional and rewarding experience.”

Correct Craft Board Chairman Ken Meloon added, "For many decades our company mission has been to build boats to the glory of God. To actually live out our values by helping this family was an incredible experience. I enjoyed my time working together with the Correct Craft team on this worthy cause."

Celebrating 82 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft is a family-owned manufacturer of Nautique water ski and wakeboard boats and boats for recreational enjoyment. Correct Craft, Inc. is known for superior quality product, cutting-edge technology and innovative hull designs. To see the complete line of Nautique boats, visit www.correctcraft.com.

Correct Craft team hands keys to recipients
of their new home

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fly your troubles away

There is something about being in a plane that totally relaxes me. It didn't used to always be this way. I used to be terrified of flying (that's another story in itself). But these days I do really look forward to it. I think in part its because I am less connected, for once, when I am 35,000 feet above the earth. I wish it was due to a sense of being closer to heaven, but I think it really has more to do with being further from the earth for awhile.

Being that I am a seriously digitally connected individual, you might think the opposite for me. How can Scott not stand having an active cell phone connection and a wireless broadband connection? I wish I could answer that. All I know is that once I walk on a jet, I immediately feel more relaxed and look forward to the opportunity of having far less on my plate to juggle for awhile. My choices are limited, my opportunities minimal.

It makes it very understandable why Jesus would head into the wilderness to get away from it all. So he could spend some un-distracted time with his heavenly Father. I often wonder how he could even manage this time alone when he knew his time was very limited on this earth. If anyone should have been in a rush to reach every person on this earth is just three years, I would have imagined it would have been him. What an amazing example of keeping life on this earth in perspective.

I needn't wait for the next jet ride to find time to disconnect from the hectic pace I face everyday. I need to find alone time even when I have the ability to be "connected" in every way. Let's see, where is that bookstore/coffee shop I love in Sea Port Village? Hey Jesus! How about we meet there for coffee this Friday at noon? Awesome! Its a date!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Making Friends- Best Business Practices

I just spent a couple days with a wonderful friend and great supporter of Amor. We spent countless hours discussing the history of his involvement in the early 1970's with a British organization (a movement is really a better way to describe it) that had a huge influence, if not fathered Amor Ministries. I can't wait to share more about this in future writings but something that my friend Dan said I can't resist sharing.

We were talking about success, business ethics, and the likes when he quoted a business person who meant a lot to him in the past. When Dan asked him what the key practice was that he believed led him and his business success, the CEO said, "I strive to make everyone a friend."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Essential Business Philosophy of Amor Ministries

I am borrowing a practice of the San Diego Business Journal were they interview entrepreneurs and other industry leaders. I find these articles to be extremely interesting as I get to take a peek into the heart of these leaders and their businesses or organizations. SDBJ has a long list of questions and subjects they ask these leaders about. I am going to periodically blog about one of these topics. This first top is about what is Amor's "essential business philosophy".

As Jesus chose Peter to be the cornerstone of the church, Amor has chosen the church to be our leading core value. Many a para-church organization actually believe they are the replacement for the church or have no interest win working with churches. Since it founding in 1980, Amor has always focused on serving the church in Mexico and well as the United States. Our Mexican local pastors meet monthly at our Mexico Ministry Planning Boards to select needy families to receive homes, to determine which churches Amor should build, and even to help Amor determine which programs most appropriately meet the needs of their local Mexican communities.

Equally important is Amor's National Advisory Board which consists of church leaders, pastors, and youth leaders. Annual they participate in reviewing our community programs and give serious attention to new projects being developed.

At Amor, we are very proud of our dedication to serve the poor in Mexico by working with, through, and for local churches. No one knows the needs of the local community better. Every house that Amor builds is consider a gift to a needy family from the local Mexican church. Such a home is only one way the local church shows God love in caring and appropriate ways. When a group builds a home for a family they can be assured that the home is not the end of God's amazing outpouring of his love. The local pastor will continue to follow-up with the family; ministering to them if they need; praying with them if they desire; coming to church if they decide to.

I am very humbled knowing that each of us are truly a part of God's church as we serve him and glorify him by our serving hands and hearts. We serve a powerful and truly amazing God. He loves his church and we eagerly join him in doing the same.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We want Chelsea!

One of the pleasures of working with work groups in Mexico is watching them have such a great time with Amor team members. Yesterday and today I had the pleasure of working with Chelsea with the Correct Craft group. Today we ended the day having built a double wide home in two days. The slab was poured by our Mexican pastors before Correct Craft arrived.
Chelsea left the work site a little after three pm today and the group said they wanted to finish by 5pm. At 4pm we started the second coat of stucco. They wanted to set a record or something silly like that.

I knew they would have to really work hard to do the second coat in one hour (they were exhausted already) so I poured on the enthusiasm. I coached them to move faster!! Mix harder!! Keep the stucco going!! I guess they didn't appreciate it like I thought they would and they started chanting, "Shut up Scott, we want Chelsea! Shut up Scott, we want Chelsea!". No one ever said leadership was easy....or even appreciated. I think I'll just drive across the border and craw onto my favorite couch and feel sorry for myself.

Or...Maybe I'll make a t-shirt that says, "Shut up Chelsea, we want Scott!". Not really. Great job Chelsea. You won their hearts!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Depend on God

One blog I am bragging about technology, the next I am dreading it. My previously wonderful Treo 700p cell phone was killed today when I was attempting a software upgrade to it. An upgrade I was instructed to do.

Long story short, I am writing this blog on my backup Blackberry on top of a hill in Tecate, Mexico. The view is quite expansive over the Tecate valley, but the smell is quite poignant since I can also see the sewage treatment plant. Guess which way the wind has been lowing this week? Straight into us.

The group working on this house where I am is a team from a company called Correct Craft from Orlando Florida. Twenty one hard workers are building a double wide for a family of seven. Presently they all live in a small two room shack on the side of a dirt cliff.

The father, Felipe, is carry stucco around to those who are applying the stucco to the walls as I write. Its a team effort all the way around. We have the likes of boat builders, sales people, executives, and the CEO working on this greatly needed home.

Correct Craft is a great company. A company with strong ethical values. Its founder, W.C. Meloon, once said that success comes primarily from God, not from following a business formula. He concludes, "I've tried both ways, and I'd rather depend on God.".

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Why People Give To Amor

Why do people give to Amor? I often ask myself that one. Is it because we show the huge needs in Mexico and compel them to eradicate poverty? Are they touched by the field person who listens to them at a work site? Is it because we produce great brochures that show compelling conditions of poverty?

In "MegaGifts" by Jerold Panas, the author states that "People do not give because there is a need. Countless thousands of organizations and institutions have great needs. But donors run from "needs". Large donors give to heroic, exciting programs rather than needy organizations. The case must catch the eye, warm the heart and stir the mind."

Alex Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers stated that he never gives because there is a need. "There are lots of needs. I give because I'm interested in and I think I can make a real difference", says Spanos.

As Amor embarks on many significant endeavors we must always remember that it is God who guides our steps. He leads us to the needs, and he reveals to us the solutions. I love seeing how he then provides in miraculous ways to serve those in spiritual and physical needs around us. People serve in Mexico with Amor because they know they are a part of making a real difference. As we continue to provide such opportunities, God will then provide the resources, the people, and the passion to continue making a difference.

One of my favorite things in ministry is to see other people catch the vision that Amor has to show God's love in tangible ways. Our mission and our vision is extremely compelling. I truly believe that we must simply continue helping people make a difference in this world.

The stories we tell and the differences we make, by the grace of God, are truly the reasons people get excited about giving support this ministry. I'm excited every day when I see how the families we build homes for are changed. I can never hear enough stories about people coming to Mexico on a mission trip whose lives are never the same.

We must keep telling the stories,
and we must keep helping people make a difference.
Its our calling, and its why people give to Amor.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Facing The Dire Effects of AIDS in South Africa

I just finished reading a book called, "Shades of Difference" by Padraig O'Malley. Its a fascinating, but very detailed read about South Africa's struggle for freedom from once imprisoned and ANC activist Mac Maharaj's perspective. What really caught my eye was the stunning statistics about aids in South Africa.

"Within the next ten years, an estimated 4.4 million people will die of HIV/AIDS- more than ten percent of the current population. One in four people is HIV positive. Life expectancy, sixty-three years in 1991, is now fifty-one and will drop to below forty, perhaps as low as thirty-six years, by 2010. "

If this doesn't break your heart, I don't know what would. And to think that South Africa has the best economy of any African country. They also have the most cases of aids of any African country. No doubt, we will be building homes for many families who have been drastically affected by the consequences of aids... loss of a parent, parents, or grand parents.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

And The Story Begins

After 27 years of amazing history, I am finally taking on the task of writing the Amor Story. Yes, today is officially the first day that I am seriously taking on the grand opportunity of writing a book about Amor Ministries. You probably won't see much of me during the entire month of July. I have cleared my calendar and have mostly locked myself into my home office to write, write, write.

I have been inspired, in part, to do this as the result of several books I have read in recent times. "Me, Myself, and Bob" is an incredible story about creator and producer Phil Vischer. In this amazing work, Phil describes the rise to success of "Veggie Tales", as well as the challenges that eventually lead to its decline. Previously, I had also read "From the Bottom Up: One Man's Crusade to Clear America's Rivers" by Chad Pregracke who tells an wonderful story about his journey from a one-man rubbish remover to an internationally renowned river campaigner.

As I read Chad's book about cleaning rivers I reminisced about how we had first built homes in the Tijuana, Mexico dump in the early 1980's. I began to recall the life changing events that happened in those days. Ones similar to my recent blog about when Rocco Ferrario recorded the story of a woman having her baby on the dirt floor of her shack in the Tijuana dump. Several years later, and close to 300 homes being built, the Tijuana dump was closed down and a community was transformed. This story alone inspires we to write about the remarkable ways that God has transformed our lives for the last 27 years.

Say a prayer for me as I undertake this very challenging project. I am both very excited to have this opportunity as well as being awed about the enormity of writing this story well. But then again, isn't this what Amor has always been all about, taking on things we have never done before as we continue to seek God's wondrous guidance. To Him be the Glory!!