Our Legacy of Hope

Amor's mission remains the same. We believe that God has called us to keep families together. As we carry out this mission, we realize that building a house doesn't just provide shelter. It builds a foundation for the future.



Our Vision

Our very name means love. We choose to show God's love through simple, tangible acts of service.  Amor demonstrates to the poor the same grace we have all received through Jesus. Our mission statement is:

Bring people together to manifest Jesus.


Serving the poorest families through life-changing mission trips

When Amor Ministries began in 1980, many of the poorest families were sending their children away to orphanages because they could not provide for them. Orphanages were filling up with children whose parents loved them, but lacked the resources to take care of their general needs. After encountering this reality, Amor’s Founders decided to offer an alternative. For the last thirty-eight years, Amor Ministries’ main purpose was and continues to be to provide adequate housing to keep families together. In addition to helping make life easier by providing a home, we share the grace and love of Jesus by providing security, safety, and stability to families who would otherwise be without.


Baja California and Puerto Peñasco

Amor started its ministry in 1980 by building with families in need in Mexico.  The need there is still great and Amor will always be there to serve the people.  We believe that Mexico is our neighbor and we know that we are called to love our neighbors.



South Africa

In contrast with South Africa’s incredible beauty, it is a country that has seen much tragedy. In addition to serving alongside families in need, we have an opportunity to learn and lean in to the healing and restoration of the country in its entirety.



Our Strategy

Amor is compelled to share the love of Jesus with families by meeting tangible needs that help keep them together. We do this by providing homes, food, clothing, backpacks filled with school supplies, Christmas presents, winter relief items like blankets and jackets, and water filters.

We believe in partnering with the local pastors that live and serve in the communities where we build. The pastors of local congregations in each Amor location provide us with an awareness of the spiritual, social, cultural, and economic realities that influence their communities. These pastors have the best eyes for their community, and partner with us by locating and evaluating potential Amor home recipients. They help us to prioritize our builds, serving those with the most need. Once your Amor Impact Trip is complete, these pastors continue to build relationships with the families you helped by sharing the love of Jesus with them. The local pastors also serve on our Ministry Planning Board, whether in Mexico or South Africa.

Our effectiveness comes from our highly interactive partnerships with local pastors in each Amor location, our Ministry Planning Board, and YOU – our Amor Impact Trip participants. 


Our Story

More than thirty years ago, Gayla Cooper felt reluctant to spend even one day ministering to children in a Tijuana orphanage.  However, after meeting a group of children from a Mexican orphanage, Gayla's heart was touched so deeply that she decided to pack her bags and move to Mexico to work in the orphanage full-time.

Meanwhile, Scott Congdon traveled to the very same orphanage with a community service group from his college.  The children had such a profound impact on Scott, that when he returned home, he began collecting food and clothing for the children, returning to deliver the collected items.

Together, Scott and Gayla soon discovered that they shared the same dream of ministering alongside the poor in Mexico.  In March of 1980, Scott and Gayla founded Amor Ministries.  That fall, they recruited their first ministry group to participate in a building project at a Tecate orphanage.

One year later, Scott and Gayla were married and four more missions teams traveled to Mexico with Amor.  The Ministry continues to live out the Congdon’s initial calling and provides homes for families each day.  Today, more than 300 missions groups take part each year in short-term Mission Trips with Amor Ministries! Each of those trips is part of the bigger mission of the local communities.

Scott and Gayla, along with the full-time Amor Team, carry out their commitment and passion for helping the poorest of the poor in Mexico, South Africa, and, increasingly, other locations around the world. They mobilize volunteers and work with local churches to respond to the physical and spiritual poverty throughout the world.