Mark Lastovica accepted Christ in early 2002, and along with his acceptance came the compelling desire to participate in something bigger than himself. He decided to help make a difference by participating in a mission trip held by his Church! However, when he went to sign up, the trip was booked, the cost to be unfeasible and the trip duration daunting. Was there an alternative? Spoiler alert: there wasn't. So, Mark set off to create an organization where mission trips could be accessible to everyone, regardless of income status. Thus, Weekend Missions was born.
In March of 2004, Mark received a newspaper article about Rocky Point and the need to build hygiene facilities in the Women's Rehab Center. By the next weekend, Mark and 5 others from his Church small group began the project to renovate the facility. After experiencing 6 trips within 8 months, the group realized that these trips had positively improved their lives, brought them to a closer relationship with Christ and each other and gave them the desire to share the experience with others.
After continuous trips between 2004-2009, the group began to explore available real estate options to settle their ministry in. Villa Granada, an old hotel, was desolate, ravaged and inhabited by homeless people, yet it was almost as if God audibly spoke to them that this would be home for Weekend Missions.
From October-December of 2009 the real estate was posted at least 5 times but the owner wasn't getting any offers for the asking price of $400K with a $200K downpayment. Needless to say, Weekend Missions was not able to pay that either. Because Mark knew that Villa Granada was the future home base of Weekend Missions, he continued to offer and remained patient. For the last offer, Mark told the owner that God wanted to buy his hotel. The final offer was $160K with $10K downpayment. At this, he accepted the offer. It took an entire month and many long hours just to get all the trash out. The renovation of the VG is ongoing; however, with the generous donations and volunteers, Weekend Missions have a place to call home for our missionaries and volunteers both local and from the States.
Through Weekend Missions, we lead a minimum of nine mission trips per year across our three distinct experiences. Though the tasks of our missions vary according to the community's specific needs, some common themes include building homes, repairing roofs, constructing churches, and working with local youth to teach them the Word of God.