Bringing Hope to Those in Need

Bringing Hope to Those in Need

This is the story of just one person, my friend Todd Johnson. He's making a big difference in people's lives. But he didn't start out with any grand plan. He just started. And one thing led to another. Then to another.

Now, twelve years later, here's what Todd has to say ....

In 2011, I was at a point in my faith life where I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and do something different—for others. My best friend at the time (and still today), Brian Bovee, had been on a mission trip once before and talked to me about going with him on another one.  

In February 2012, I joined Brian and 10 other guys on a trip to Ensenada, Mexico. We were going to build a home with Homes of Hope, which is part of a bigger organization called Youth With a Mission (YWAM).

I thought it would be a one-and-done type of trip. Little did I know what God had in store! 

In 2013, Brian and I led another trip with 20 people attending. Then in 2014, 30 people came to help. From there the trip just kept growing with volunteers AND in the numbers of homes being built. 

In March of 2023, I returned from my 13th trip to Ensenada. This time I led 200 volunteers to build fourteen homes over ten days.

Here's a video of what we did last year:

Since that first trip in 2012, Brian, my friend Phil, and I have led over 1,000 people to build 77 homes to date.

We don't only build homes though. When we're there, we also visit and support a local orphanage as well as a local women’s shelter.

Plus, we pour money and love into the various missionaries who serve with us when we’re down there. They get no salary, yet they’re involved with selecting the family that’s to receive a home and building with us while we’re there.

They’ve surrendered everything in life (literally) to serve the poor. They're the true heroes!

The volunteers that Brian, Phil, and I bring with us range from as young as eight years old to as wise as eighty years old. They come from all over the United States, mostly from Minnesota, including family members, neighbors, clients, etc.

Bringing Hope

The word of mouth for this trip is extensive. Over the past few years, we’ve had waiting lists of people who want to attend this trip—and we're limited to a maximum of 200 people!

We plan on returning in 2024 and taking another 200 volunteers. This time we’ll build sixteen homes, up from the fourteen homes we built on this most recent trip.

I’ve received countless blessings over my many trips to Ensenada. I think the most notable is being able to visit families we’ve built for in the past and seeing the transformative change that the family has experienced by having a home.

In addition, on coming back to the U.S., volunteers have altered their outlook on life—realizing they can make a difference wherever they are.

Whether that is joining and serving in a local Church, volunteering more with local charities, and/or giving more of their financial resources to charity. It’s been amazing to see the impact that’s been extended right here at home.

I’m fortunate and so grateful to God to be part of this amazing effort. Here’s to the 2024 trip!

Screenshot 2023-09-13 at 1.09.36 PM

Todd Johnson is a Financial Advisor in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He's been helping individuals and families achieve their various financial goals for over 30 years. Todd is happily married with two grown daughters and a recent son-in-law! In his spare time, in addition to his various volunteer endeavors, he enjoys running, biking, playing piano and being with family.

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