Jason is the co-founder of 1MISSION with his wife, Tina. 1MISSION is a community development organization, giving people in poverty the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community. Since 2008, 1MISSION has built over 950 houses throughout Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, with house recipients completing more than 200,000 hours of community service.
Facebook: 1MISSION - Home | Facebook
Instagram: 1MISSION (@1missionorg)
The XXXX Project:
Christ’s Church of the Valley: https://ccv.church/
CCV Missions: www.ccv.church/missions
Pastor Larrie Fraley: linkedin.com/in/larrie-fraley-53445032
Episode 12 Jason Law-1 Mission
Larrie: [00:00:03] Welcome to another episode of Let's Go 360 dot org. Let's go through 60 as a podcast for listeners who want to know more about what God is doing around the world here near and far. This podcast is sponsored by Christ’s Church of the Valley, also known as CCV. One Church. Many locations across the Greater Phoenix area with plans to expand wherever God wants to go. As always, our show notes will have links to helpful information discussed on each podcast, along with a complete transcript of every episode. Check out all episodes on www.letsgo360.org and check out CCV Church website at CCV.Church. My name is Larrie Fraley. I'm your host and lead pastor of the local and global missions here at CCV. I am so happy to have a dear friend with us today and someone that I've traveled around the world with. Jason Law. Jason is the co-founder of One Mission with his wife Tina. One Mission is a community development organization giving people in poverty the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community. Since 2008, one mission has built over 950 houses throughout Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua, with house recipients completing more than 200,000 hours of community service. This approach is different to most community development models, and in many missions circles, a bit controversial. Jason, welcome to the show.
Jason: [00:01:41] Hi there. Thank you.
Larrie: [00:01:43] Jason, before we dive in today, tell us a little bit about you and Tina and your family.
Jason: [00:01:48] Tina and I have been married almost 20 years. We've got four kids ranging from 2 to 15. We're busy parents with busy kids.
Larrie: [00:01:59] You know, I remember when you was just a snotty nosed little teenager and now you're a snotty nose 40 something. So take us back to your teens and what led you to the passion that you have today? In other words, share with us your story.
Jason: [00:02:16] Yeah, I love telling the story. So I was a freshman, 13 years old, I think was a new Christian, was new to actually my family. And I joined very early on. And I up until that point, I had lived what I call a kind of a privileged, sheltered life in the sense that I hadn't been to a lot of places where I had experienced real poverty. I joke and even say the poorest person I knew was my friend who didn't have a swimming pool. And, you know, that's that's sad but true in the sense that I had a very limited worldview and I went to Mexico, actually, rocky point on a mission trip, I think was a father son trip. And I mean, my eyes were open, my heart was broken. It was the first time I had seen and experienced smelt poverty. And it it broke me and it woke me up in many ways. And as a new believer, it was very powerful because I was just, you know, just coming into kind of understanding the spirit and even living living for for something bigger than myself. And so that timed with having a great youth group around me and good, you know, good men discipling me and then coupling that with seeing poverty for the first time. I mean, it was just kind of like a perfect storm for my faith. And that's really where I would say, you know, I met God at it, you know, before that. But I think I really experienced God and still do when I'm amongst his h people and even more specific, specifically broken people.
Larrie: [00:04:05] Right. So here you are today. Now, I know you are involved in more than just one mission, and we'd love to have you back in the future to talk about that on another episode. But today, let's let's focus on 1 mission. Share with us about one mission where it got started and how it has grown.
Jason: [00:04:25] Well, as I said, I think it got started in my heart with the first time I was, you know, seeing poverty in and through high school and college. I tried to, you know, engage myself as much as I could in missions. And I think that's when our our paths started crossing. So that's when, you know, you meet me as a as a snot nosed teenager. And I just wanted to to get as involved as I could in missions. And so that kind of led through college. And then eventually I started leading trips with CCV and bringing teams of volunteers down there and just loved it. And my wife and I met and we got we when we were engaged, we started leading trips together and it was just a part of our life from even when we were dating missions. And that just kind of grew into eventually when we became adults and married and we started businesses and we were entrepreneurs. Missions was a huge part of our heart and our passion, and we never felt necessarily called to actually move to the field. But we always felt like we were called to do this in some sort of full time capacity and at least giving it full time attention. And so in our mid twenties, you know, I think the, the desire to do more specifically in Rocky Point was growing.
Jason: [00:05:43] We had teen and I had done about 40 different mission trips there and just had a desire to do more. We had a desire to do a little bit different than we had been doing there, but primarily still building houses and still, you know, serving the people there in faith. But we wanted to do it more on a full time basis, etc. And that's where the RV park vision started to come about. And, you know, you got involved then, Larrie, you know, again in helping us architect that and there were several others that helped kind of navigate that. But that was 13 years ago, feels in some ways like yesterday. But you know, at the time we didn't know and we didn't have necessarily a desire for it to be anything more than we just want to buy this RV park and start running mission trips down here and be down here full time serving these people. And that's the kind of first step you take. And then God just puts the next paver in front. And now. Or 13 years later, we're talking about it as if it's history and it still feels like yesterday, you know?
Larrie: [00:06:43] Weel, it Does feel like yesterday. And I remember both of us were scared to death because we were stepping out to buy this RV park in Rocky Point, not knowing where the money was going to come from, not knowing whether it was going to be successful or not. But you hung in there and God provided, like He always has. Now, tell us a little bit about this model, because you and I both know as we kind of grew into this mission space, we saw problems with the normal way that that charity is, is is given or as funds are being distributed to those in need. We both realized that that was not a sustainable model. Tell us about this whole model of community health evangelism.
Jason: [00:07:24] Yeah, I think theoretically speaking, you know, any time you introduce capital into a community, whether it's human capital and investment capital, without realizing maybe the long term effects of introducing that capital, then, you know, it can undermine and create dependencies on that community. And so that's the kind of the theory of how do you enter into a community, provide relief or development, whichever is necessary, but have it at least appear as a partnership, if not more of a community led effort to where if you are introducing human or financial capital, the community is participating in their own development and not being passive recipients in that. And I think, you know, statistically over the last 50 years, the billions of dollars that have been put around in, sent around the world, they at least now have enough statistics to show there's healthy ways to introduce capital again, financial or human. And there's unhealthy ways. And unhealthy ways are typically the ones that look a lot more like just dumping charity on passive recipients. And so that coupled with kind of our our faith of how do we plant churches and create movements of discipleship with with using outside missionaries, they kind of go hand in glove in the sense that we're talking about physical and spiritual brokenness. And so when you're introducing ideas and concepts, whether it's, you know, building houses or wells or spreading the gospel in spirit form, I think a lot has to do with how are you empowering the local church, the local body, the local people, even local sectors such as medical and health, education. How are you empowering those to sustain the work so that your investment potentially takes a lot in the beginning when when it eventually either exits, it doesn't completely vacate the community and then you're left with again, the word is dependency where they're constantly dependent. So that's a long way to answer. I think the theory behind of it all, the specifics of one mission and how we do that. You want me to get into some of that? Yeah.
Larrie: [00:09:28] Yeah, exactly.
Jason: [00:09:31] Okay, I'll get there then. So one mission specifically, we use houses as a vehicle to build relationships. I think that's that's simply put, houses are a way that we can provide relief and development to the communities. Specifically, families earn those houses by doing community service hours. Right now, they have to do 300 community service hours per house. That typically takes about six months. So in that process of six months, our staff who are all believers, are both building relationships with them, introducing the gospel in different ways, and helping them earn their house by tending to community gardens, learning how to sew, learning how to read different, different opportunities in different communities. But essentially, it's a way that we found that the church body of the United States and even, you know, other countries, Canada, etc., it's how we can partner with this community and and truly partner with them, introduce the funds to to purchase the supplies, bring some of the human capital down in terms of mission trip goers, income alongside and capitalize alongside these locals who are sweating themselves into their own development in and through that process, lots of great relationships are built, which is really how, you know, the work is sustained is through the relationships. The house obviously has a shelf life, but the relationships are really where, you know, the spirit can move.
Larrie: [00:11:06] You mentioned the word relationships, and it's so important to know that the definition of poverty is actually different than what most people believe. We both know that poverty is really broken relationships, whether or not it's a broken relationship with God, a broken relationship with each other, a broken relationship with our creation that God created, or whether it's a broken relationship with the resources that God has given us. And so it's important that as we address the poverty needs of people, that these relationships need to be. Healthy. And with that said, the US and many of us in a culture that seems to have a lot are actually in poverty and perhaps even more poverty than those that live in rocky point. Correct.
Jason: [00:11:50] Yeah. I mean, I think to get into that, the types of brokenness that exist in this world, some of them are visible, some of them are invisible. Physical poverty is a very physical and very loud poverty and brokenness. It's hard to to not see it's hard to not smell when you're in that environment. But mental illness, for example, or spiritual brokenness or my neighbor who, you know, may be suffering from X, Y or Z, those are invisible injuries or invisible illnesses and ultimately invisible brokenness. And I think, you know, for us to to look at brokenness holistically is the same. To look at what is peace, look like holistically. But but with that being said, the brokenness that exist all around us isn't just defined as what we can see.
Larrie: [00:12:39] Which leads me kind of to the next question how does it work? How do you how does someone go about getting involved with one mission and building a home?
Jason: [00:12:46] Yeah, we partner with a lot of different groups, primarily churches, youth groups, corporations and individuals that can come on trips with us. We run trips pretty much year round when it's super hot in the summer, it's pretty difficult for people to build all day. But we'll mobilize 2 to 3000 people this year on 3 to 4 day mission trips. I say 3 to 4 some, some extend, but typically three days come down and stay at our RV park. And within those three days you're coming alongside to build a home for a family that's in the process of earning. They're earning that home and you're literally building it with them alongside of them.
Larrie: [00:13:31] What are they living in then before they receive their house? So before their homes built?
Jason: [00:13:36] Most families live in what we would consider like a shed. So picture maybe a ten by 20 foot shed that they've built out of scrap wood or a trailer that maybe they've they've found like an old camping trailer that they've scrounged together. You know, it doesn't have wheels or anything, but they've drug it onto a piece of property. The big, piece that they are that they need is the piece of land. And once they get the land, then they can kind of build a little shack. And so our requirements are that the families have to own their land and that they have to earn 300 hours doing community service hours. And the requirement for them to own their land goes back to the sustainability efforts that if we're going to make an investment in a community, we want that that that person to own that property. That's to say if they earn that house doing community service hours and then somebody else comes along and takes it, it kind of pulls the rug out from the entire program. So it also creates by them owning their land an asset for them, which gives them a little bit more upward mobility in the economy. But with that being said, you know, each family I don't know what was the original question again, Larrie, did I answer it already?
Larrie: [00:14:49] Yeah, I think you did. I think I think the you know, how does one get involved and actually. You know, participating in a house build. I think you've answered that. So. So give us some some numbers of how many people have participated in one Missions, how many homes have been built, and if you know how many homes has built, that would be interesting as well.
Jason: [00:15:14] Yeah. So we've almost built 1000 homes since we started. I think we will we'll get there this year. So it's a that's a big water line. I think for us, we're excited about that. We've mobilized almost 30,000 people on mission trips in 13 years. And those, as you mentioned earlier, the families who have earned those homes have served over 200,000 community service hours and doing a lot of things I could list off, you know, in terms of bullet points. But you can imagine how those hours have been leveraged into, you know, all sorts of programs and projects such as gardens and even churches have been planted and built by by those hours, I would say from the beginning, you know, has been a huge part of both mobilizing people and then also funding the work out of those. I want to say out of the two, out of the 1000 houses, I want to say at least 250, maybe even 300 of them are CCV, which is a huge accomplishment for a church to do in a city amongst everything else that you guys are doing around the world. But just in one city alone, to have been a part of that many homes, I mean, those are entire neighborhoods.
Larrie: [00:16:34] Well, I know we have a couple of trips a year that we do. One is a high school trip where we've got several hundred high schoolers down there experiencing that. And then, of course, we have a family trip as well. And so it's been a real highlight for our church. And we're honored to be partnering with you on this.
Jason: [00:16:55] The barrios are no no different than the brokenness we've talked about throughout this episode. I mean, there is brokenness. You might not see that that is very traumatic for these families. And so we're we're glad that we have staff there that are that are able to be there for these families in more ways than just building a house for them. I mean, literally help helping rescue kids that are in traumatic, dangerous situations.
Larrie: [00:17:23] Well, I know you've you've developed a great staff. I think I've met most of them, but you've done a really good job in creating leaders that are pretty much down there right now on on in the field. And which doesn't require you to be there. Your staff of many of them are indigenous. People there that are now leaders leading their communities. So what what advice would you give our listeners regarding what we've talked about today?
Jason: [00:17:53] I think I think the more we all and this, myself included, I think the more we all think about Something other than ourselves, the more it opens up opportunities for God to move you and to move through you. And so, you know, whether it's one mission or, you know, any of these other episodes that we've we've listened to or any opportunities locally, I think sometimes we overthink things and we're like, Oh, I got to plan this big thing. And, you know, someday I'm going to go on this. And typically that never happens. It's just like you get in a rhythm where you start seeing opportunities and doing something about it. And typically if you think about things, they lead to action. And so I would say for us, you know, thinking about the people of Rocky Point, you know, many of them are immigrants from Central America that left devastating situations. And they're in there, they're immigrating to Mexico is a safer place. You know, many of them have stories that are very traumatic and very hard. And for us to think about that empathetically, it changes our posture. But even if it's if it's somebody local or opportunities local, I think taking the eyes kind of off of us and putting it on others and, you know, seeking God in those efforts to God, show me those things. I think with that song, like let me see things the way, you know, like through his eyes, you know, I think. That advice upon all of us is going to lead us to helping each other and allowing God to move in and through us.
Larrie: [00:19:26] Well, Jason, I thank you for being here today and I look forward to another episode with you. There's a lot we could cover regarding what you're involved with, and so thank you for being here. The last question that I have for you is how can we pray for you?
Jason: [00:19:43] I think continuing to pray for God's wisdom and discernment for our leadership, myself included. But but our entire team is we're again leading through things that are difficult and oftentimes dangerous, I think praying for God's favor, praying for his wisdom and discernment. But our team that works every day of the year to, you know, restore God's kingdom here on Earth, need all the prayer they can get. They're the ones that I would say are in the front lines of of spiritual warfare and brokenness that is hard for them. And I think all the missionaries around the world doing God's work or are in need of of our prayer to protect them.
Larrie: [00:20:26] Well, we'll certainly do that. And thank you for coming, Jason.
Jason: [00:20:31] Thank you, Larrie. Appreciate it, man.
Larrie: [00:20:34] You can check our show notes and look at different links that we will provide regarding one mission and other things we've talked about today. And so as we wrap up today's show, we want to thank you for listening. You can follow us on your favorite podcast app and leave us a five star review if you like what you've heard today and want to hear more. That way more people can hear what God is doing around the world. Also, you can follow us on our website at let's go through 60 dot org. You sure? And check out the missions page at ccv.church. Thank you for joining us. And as we talk with those who are living out the great commission inspired by the Great Commandments so that we all might stand with the great multitude before the throne when the mission of God is complete. May God bless you as we go and send those here near and far.