35 Years of Milestones

February 26, 2015 by Gayla Congdon


With the upcoming 35th Anniversary of Amor we would like to reflect on the decisions that we believe have been key to moving the Ministry forward to the future:

  • March 7, 1980 Amor was founded by Scott and Gayla Congdon to take people on short-term mission trips to serve those in need in Mexico.

  • Steve Horrex led us to make the decision to begin building houses in the Tijuana Dump in 1985.  This decision set the course for the mission and purpose of Amor.

  • The establishment of our first Ministry Planning Board in Tijuana in 1986, which is the foundation for how we serve in any location.

  • The establishment of a volunteer program that gives the Ministry additional support throughout the year.  The Project Barnabas, Project Nexus, and Intern programs allow us to best serve our groups when they are on the field.

  • Moving our headquarters from Fullerton to San Diego in 1989 which gave us closer proximity to the field where we were primarily serving.  We believe that the Ministry grew significantly as a result of this move.

  • The creation of Mexico Family Camp in 1995 under the leadership of Dean and Amy Mathis.  This summer we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Family Camp!

  • Expansion of the ministry to other locations – Ciudad Juarez, Puerto Peñasco, South Africa, San Carlos, and, most recently, the Yucatan Peninsula.

  • Expanding our specialty trips to include the Amor 3 Day in Baja, Women of Strength in South Africa and the Global Gathering in the Yucatan.  The specialty trips have allowed individuals to participate on a trip.

  • Developing the local build necessitated initially by the decision to not take groups to Juarez.  With this program, we get houses sponsored, and the local church members build the house instead of a short-term group.

  • The sabbatical of 2010 for the Congdons where they received the vision to move Amor from a sending organization to a sending/equipping organization.  The Global Gathering 2015 was focused on this.

  • Began our plan of succession in 2012 with the decision to move Andy Lyde into the Chief Operation Officer role in charge of running the day to day.  He oversees an Executive Team that is leading the Ministry into the future.

  • The book, Disrupted: Cultivating a Mission Focused Life by Gayla Cooper Congdon, came out in January 2012.

  • The ground-breaking of Cienega in January, 2014 in the Yucatan launching the University of Amor, School of Sustainability, and Descanso Retreat Center.  Over the next several years, Jordan and April Congdon will be laying the groundwork for Cienega in Puerto Morelos.

  • Designing homes for community leaders where they provide the funds and the people to build.  Amor has designed a home for a community in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world.  

We are excited for what the future has in store.  Thank you for being a part of our 35 years!



Topics: Gayla Congdon