"Many years ago I participated in my first Homes of Hope build with Sean Lambert and his committed band of world changers in Baja, Mexico. It was such a moving experience I did it again, this time bringing along some folks from my company. I wanted them to feel the joy that comes from working together toward the incredible goal of building a real home for a family in need. The experience touched everyone so much that we arranged another build trip the following year.
In my years of teaching business leaders all over the world, I have found that those who understand and embrace servant leadership principles come out ahead every time—and so do their people. The most successful businesses and nonprofits become great because they under- stand and apply these principles. Jesus Christ, the greatest leadership role model of all time, gave freely of himself for the benefit of the whole world. Not only was Jesus a servant leader, but he was also a developer of people—he took a bunch of ordinary folks and shaped them into world changers.
The Homes of Hope Story is a book about leadership formation. Within these pages you will read about a nineteen-year-old who dropped out of college to follow the teachings of Jesus and make a difference in the world. It’s a story about the poor and their cry for help. It’s also a story of people who responded to the cry by joining the Homes of Hope movement. The story is told through the eyes of Sean, but you will also recognize the hand of God on his wife, Janet. And you will be inspired by his daughter, Andrea, who at three years old asked a simple question that launched the Homes of Hope movement.
Sean, Janet, and their wonderful Youth With A Mission staff have given their lives to serve the poor—and their approach has created a pathway of engagement for thousands of people who, like me, had been mere spectators. They inspire us to get out of our seats and go onto the playing field with them. They make the act of loving our neighbors into a fulfilling adventure—one I highly recommend to you, your family, and your organization.
I hope this book encourages you to discover for yourself the richness of serving God and the poor—and the joy of giving."
Chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies Coauthor of The New One Minute Manager® and Lead Like Jesus
Author of The Advantage and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
"The Homes of Hope Story is not just a wonderful book, it is at once a fascinating tale of entrepreneurship, a joyful guide for building a non-profit, and more than anything else, an inspiring lesson in obeying the Lord’s call to serve “the least of our brothers.” What makes it particularly powerful is the tangible, realistic nature of Sean’s story. Homes of Hope is about real people trusting God enough to take one small step at a time, and knowing that He will turn those small steps into something great for His honor and glory. This story has changed me, my family, and my company in profound ways. Read it, and don’t be afraid to take a small step of your own."
Loren and Darlene Cunningham
Founders, Youth With A Mission
"Jesus admonishes us to “care for the poor and the least of our brothers and sisters,” giving them shelter in their time of need (Matt. 25:35-40). Homes of Hope has been doing this on four continents for decades. Thousands of impoverished families now have their own beautiful home, personal dignity and shelter from inclement weather and thievery. By this one generous provision, their lives have changed dramatically. Also changed are all the volunteers who have used their own funds, personal energy and skills to go serve the poor, as Darlene and I have done, as well as our children and grandchildren. Read Sean's book and get involved. You, your family, your church and business will be transformed as well."
Author of The Energy Bus and the Carpenter
"I have found that a compelling story embedded with life giving principles, changes lives. Homes of Hope is one of those compelling stories. But be careful, in reading it you may find yourself joining the Homes of Hope movement just like I did. Their story will touch you and their mission will inspire you. Read it today!"
Dave & Jessica Lindsey
"Homes of Hope is the best FAMILY mission trip in the world! We should know, after sending over 6,000 of our employees and their families to build over 300 homes for the poor, we are the ones that have been blessed. Sean and Janet along with their team helped us transition from a giving company, to a company of givers!"
Dr. John Townsend
New York Times bestselling author, founder, The Townsend Institute of Leadership and Counselling.
“Doing good in the name of Christ has always involved both sharing the gospel, and also helping the physical needs of those in want. Sean Lambert’s book is an inspiring narrative of how his and his wife Janet’s ministry has integrated both of these themes seamlessly. You will learn lots of life lessons for your own growth as well. Highly recommended."
CEO, Boardwalk REIT
"The Lambert's story truly brings to life Jesus' promise that it is indeed better to give than to receive. The Lambert family and many thousands of lives have been touched by this magnificent display of miracle of miracles. This book shows that the unbelievable becomes believable when we together serve the poor and change the world in such a positive way with unconditional love always. Can there be a greater purpose in our lives?"
CEO, LensCrafters (Retired)
"Homes of Hope is an incredible service experience for you, your family, or your business associates to go on. Building for the poor is a life changing experience not just for the family receiving the house, but for those that come to serve as well.”
Shawn Johnson East
Olympic Gold Medalist 2008
"Homes of Hope has changed a countless number of lives, including mine. The tangible product they provide in the form of a home for a family in need, while important, pales in comparison to the spiritual and emotional impact left on both the recipients and builders of the home. I am thankful for Sean Lambert and his commitment to such an awesome cause!"
International Ambassador, YWAM Medical Ships, President Emeritus YWAM
"I have awaited the publication of this book impatiently because it tells one of the most remarkable stories of our generation. A passionate love runs through these pages. A vision of loving people that is infectious and transforms the heart of the reader. This is a story of tears, tears of compassion that became tears of joy. Well written, full of wisdom, this story is also a handbook for a rebuilt world. Revive your own heart, learn a strategy that changes everything. Explore these pages, then join me in passing on this story to everybody you know."
Dave & Trina Stone
Co-founders & Worship Leaders, First Rate, Inc.
"The Homes of Home story has changed our family's life. We have also made this story a part of our lives beyond our family. We have engaged our friends, church, local charities, youth organizations and company in the story too. This story is the best taste of God we have ever had. Don't read this book until you're ready to be changed by God's heart for the poor. Love, Give, Serve & Enjoy!"
"This is the inspiring story of how God has richly blessed tens of thousands of people through Homes of Hope ... and not just the poor. Many times I have taken my family or leadership team to build a home for a poor family. We went to transform the lives of others, but each time found that we also experienced a profound transformation. Homes of Hope is the best hands-on mission experience that I have ever done."
President and CEO, World Vision International
Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo (Retired)
“My family and I were very moved by our experience building a home in Mexico. It has had a lasting affect on all of us and we salute the work that Sean leads. This book captures the true spirit of his calling.”
Former CEO, NPL Construction Co. and Co-founder, Chairman and President, Canadian Utility Construction Corp
"My wife and I, kids, friends, business teams, YPO Chapter and forum have been going on Home of Hope builds around the world since 1997. The feedback is outstanding; “Best family trip ever!” “Best YPO event.” “I can’t believe I get to work for a company that allows us to do something this amazing!” I have experienced through Homes of Hope the joy and fulfillment that comes through giving and it’s contagious! If you’re looking for a life changing adventure in our world of spandex heroes and political disappointments, this is the real deal!"
Pastor Bruce Greeco
Summit Church San Diego
"I am honored to be Sean and Janet Lambert’s Pastor as well as their friend. After 20 years of observing the Lamberts up close, I would use three words to describe them; humble, faithful and visionary. The fruit of their humility and faithfulness to the vision God gave them birthed the Homes of Hope movement, which has impacted thousands of lives around the world. This is an inspiring story and also a great example of what God desires to do through all His people who, like the Lamberts, will simply be willing to live out the call of Micah 6:8… to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God' (NKJV)."
President, Murchison Capital Partners, L.P. Dallas, Texas
“We have been blessed to build homes with Homes of Hope for thirteen years. Every build is exciting. Building with our children and friends, the family, the YWAM staff, and other volunteers is a deeply fulfilling and even spiritual event. It gives us the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ and it is a blessing to know that we have made a difference in the life of the family for whom we are building.”
CEO, the Westfall Group
"Take time to savor this rich treasure. Along the way you will learn about a ministry that started with $1000 offering and with Gods help become a ten talent organization. Having participated in a dozen home builds myself, and knowing the founders personally, I can say with all sincerity this story is a must read. And if you haven’t built a home for the poor yet, sign up soon and help write the next chapter of this ongoing story."
John C Tlapek
President, Summit Equity Group
"I still see the faces and the flowing tears of the many families as we handed them the keys to their new home. Over a 48-hour time span the impoverished family’s life transitions from living on a dirt floor in a flimsy structure susceptible to the elements, into a dry, safe, cozy home with a solid concrete floor. The impact goes well beyond the recipient family. As a business owner, it affords an incomparable bonding experience for my partners and their families. One of my CEO's told me; “I learned more about my new executive team during this two-day build, than I had learned in two years with my former company.” The experience of building homes for the poor is the closest I’ve come to looking into the eyes of God."
"Our two daughters (ages 12 and 9 at the time), VERY reluctantly did their first HOH saying "oh dad, do we really have to go?" Upon their return they raced to their room's and phone's and computer's to tell their friends what an amazing trip they had, how fortunate they are and how much they helped another family. No parent could ask for more than to see their family blessed by helping others. Read this book, take your family, change lives!"
Executive Pastor, The Crossing Church, Las Vegas
"What difference one weekend can make? As a pastor of a large church, I have had the privilege of convincing hundreds of individuals in 40+ trips with Homes of Hope, that serving a family in need will forever change one’s perspective on God’s love and the role we can play in it. And they are never disappointed. Hope given away, is returned to the giver in greater measure. Mankind’s capacity to love our neighbor is far greater then we realize. Be inspired by this story and the seemingly foolish steps of faith that led to thousands of lives being transformation."
President: Teach Every Nation
“One of the highlights of my life occurred on a trip to build houses for the poor with Homes of Hope in Mexico. What sheer delight to build a complete house from the ground up with my daughter and other families—and then watch the eruption of joy from the family that were given the keys to their first home. Homes of Hope not only exemplifies a well-run humanitarian organization, but it links the love of Christ to practical Christian service. As you read this compelling story, watch out, because your heart may pull you to pick up a hammer and join with their grand vision!"
Author, "Great CEOs Are Lazy" and CEO, Inc CEO Project
"The Homes of Hope Story" has given us a look into an amazing mission that has helped thousands, given purpose to thousands more and started a global movement to house the poor. We all have a short time on earth and want to fill our lives with purpose while we are here. Sean has been blessed to live with purpose and guide a multitude to this calling. If you want inspiration to grow impact in your company and your life -- read this book."
Co-Founder Truth At Work, International Best Selling Author
"Homes of Hope once again proves that those things that transform our world and make it a better place, almost always begin with one small act, one little idea that gets set into motion. As you read this amazing story, contemplate two things: (1) How to engage with Homes of Hope so that you too will experience this life changing opportunity, and (2) how to pursue and act upon that idea, dream, or vision you have to make the world a better place."
David and Lise Ash
Langley, British Columbia
"Every year thousands of Mexican Families stream into Tijuana dreaming of a new and better life. They struggle to make ends meet and many lose hope along the way. As a family we have found participation in Homes of Hope not only changed the lives of the poor, but its changed our lives as well. Sean and Janet and their team of dedicated volunteers freely share Gods love with everyone they meet. Read this book, be inspired and discover for yourself why it’s more blessed to give than to receive."
Robert and Jill Kulhawy
Founders, YPO Homes of Hope, Calgary, Alberta
"Participation in Homes of Hope has taught us a very practical and real theology in that God has a huge heart to bless the poor. When you give to the poor, you are doing God’s work. When you do Gods work, you meet God. When you meet God you get to know him, when you get to know him you have the opportunity develop a deeper relationship with him. It has been a privilege to work with and support Sean and Janet and the entire Lambert family as they have so tirelessly devoted their lives to helping the poor. If you have not yet been part of the Homes of Hope experience, don’t delay, book a trip, bring your family and those you care about. You may come with the great intention of helping others, but you will depart with a much greater and indescribable gift."
Founder, Adopt A Widow
"Sean and Janet Lambert are our heroes. We've watched them for 24 years build Homes of Hope and they are the real deal."
“Homes of Hope has had a wonderfully positive impact on our family. We love it so much that one of more of our family members have participated in 34 Homes of Hope experiences. We have seen Homes of Hope change lives among those who receive a home and also among those who go to build.”
Founder, Bandera Ventures
"Each year for the last 15 years our family has participated in the Homes of Hope program. After every build we have gone home feeling more blessed than when we arrived. Sean and Janet and their staff have done a fantastic job showing the least of these the love of Jesus. I hope this book inspires you to form your own team and discover for yourself the joy of serving the poor."
CEO, Wermers Companies
“As a builder myself, I know the importance of people having shelter – a safe place they can call “home”. Homes of Hope has recalibrated my thinking about how to help the poor in this endeavor. Not only have I participated in Homes of Hope builds, I also served on their Board of Directors for 8 years and helped guide the ministry through some of its biggest growth challenges. You will enjoy reading this book, but you will even more enjoy participating in a Homes of Hope build for yourself. It will definitely change your life for the better!”
Singer/Songwriter for Hunter Smith Band, Author of "The Jersey Effect", Super Bowl XLI Champion
"These days it seems people are searching for significance, but in their quest are losing sight of impact. Sean and Janet Lambert, through Homes of Hope, are enjoying an abundance of both. I have had the privilege of building two Homes of Hope and on both my trips I have experienced the true and guiltless joy that comes from serving the poor. My faith informs me that the poor are much greater than the rich--not only in number, but in priority to God. If true then it stands to reason that their voice should be one of the clearest, most influential voices on the earth. "It Matters To This One…" is the voice of the poor front and center. Their voice is beautiful and it calls us to a life of service. I'm grateful for Sean and his obedience to write this book. May it lead us to lives of service, significance, and impact."
Founder, Hope Sports
“Over the past few years hundreds of Olympic and professional athletes have built scores of Homes of Hope through Hope Sports, a non-profit organization I started after being inspired by Sean Lambert, the founder of Homes of Hope. As a professional cyclist myself, I understood the emptiness of living only to win the next race. Participation in Homes of Hope is a game changer for athletes and it helps them discover the joy and fulfillment of giving. Sean Lambert was not the only person that inspired me, after meeting his daughter Andrea I decided she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and we got married. Together we are committed to; Inspire athletes to bring hope to the world."
Professional Cyclist and Tour de France rider, 2014
"Nowhere in all of my travels around the world have I encountered a clearer vision of God’s kingdom at work than with Homes of Hope. This program has brought hope to thousands of impoverished families by providing them permanent shelter and by demonstrating God’s love to them in a tangible way. The Homes of Hope experience is so powerful that it has brought some of the toughest athletes I know to tears. God has used the Lambert family’s small steps of obedience to make a big impact in the world. Read the book and be inspired, it’s a compelling and entertaining story."
Dr. Ben Houltberg
Associate Professor of Human Development at Fuller Theological Seminary
"One of the biggest lies that elite athletes face is that their self-worth is based in athletic performance. This pressure can lead to a self-centered life that lacks community and fulfillment. The simple but transformative act of building a home for an impoverished family challenges self-focus and connects athletes to a greater purpose. This act of generosity no doubt changes the future of a well-deserving family but it also inspires athletes to live more meaningful lives as they experience the power of unconditional love. The beauty of what Sean Lambert started with Homes of Hope that inspired the creation of Hope Sports is everyone leaves changed."
Reverend Canon Doctor John Ashley Null
U.S. Olympic Chaplain
"In over thirty years of working with Olympic and professional athletes, I have never seen a program as effective as Homes of Hope for inspiring, challenging and transforming an athlete’s life. Elite competition requires intensive self-focus and all that self-focus can easily take its toll, numbing athletes to their need for relationships. Homes of Hope in partnership with Hope Sports gives these elite competitors an opportunity to make a concrete and life-transforming difference to a family in need. As they work alongside the parents and their children, they become included in the family's circle of love, the athletes discover something deep within themselves coming alive--their need to and utter joy from reaching out and touching others. When the home is finished, both the athletes and the family are in tears, their lives permanently changed."
Carpenter, painter, electrician, roofer, and former CEO
“My good friend Chris Crane ‘dragged’ me down to Tijuana in 1993 to build a home for the poor with YWAM. I was very sure that it would be my one and only time. God had a much different plan, as I have now completed more than seventy-five Homes of Hope trips, and I will continue to build as long as I am able. I have led home-building trips for people of all faith expressions, including family, friends, business groups, YPO chapters, churches, and inner-city kids. The joy of serving the poor is so fulfilling that my wife and I decided to get married in Tijuana after we had completed ve new homes for the poor with family and friends around us. To say that serving the poor has transformed my life would be a vast understatement. While building that first home, I began to discover my true identity in Christ and what would become the most important purpose for my life—serving the poor in his name.”