Issuu on Google+

THE

F A L L 2 0 13

A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

ULTIMATELY TRANSFORMED P2

PORTRAITS OF CHRIST P10

A PLEA FOR SIMPLE CHURCHES P12


ULTIMATELY TRANSFORMED

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Maranatha's annual teen mission trip goes to Ecuador

From L-R: Jesse Bartlett, Lauren Logan, Daniel Medrano, and Joedy Dalke sit on the steel roof frame of the Education and Evangelism Center that they helped to build in Ambato, Ecuador.


If you were to ask the average teenager about their spiritual life, there’s a chance your question would be answered with a blank stare or mumbled apathy. But in Ambato, Ecuador, a group of teens are speaking so eloquently about God that the conversation begs for a pulpit. “We’re here to serve others, we’re here to spread God’s Word ... I have to do something about it,” says Jeff Baxter. “Anyone can do great and amazing things with God,” says Selena Flores. “As long as He plants a seed in you, it will continue to grow. Right now that seed is not a tree as yet, but it’s still growing and it’s rooting deep in my heart,” says Eason Miller. “And I feel as if, like, I’m willing—more willing to do what He wants me to do.” The revelations are coming from the site of Ultimate Workout, a two-week mission trip for teenagers. In its 23rd year, this program gathers more than 100 strangers and drops them onto a construction site in a foreign country. Often, they have to forgo beds, phones, computers, and sometimes even running water. For two weeks, the volunteers build a church or school, run vacation Bible school, or work in a medical clinic. They make new friends and work out their faith. And when it’s over, the teenagers find that life looks different. They are different. They are ultimately transformed in Christ. “Ultimate Workout is a life-changing experience,” says Kelton Bower. “It changes you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Anyone that is lost or feels alone or doesn’t know who God is should come to this.”

Watch the Maranatha Mission Stories segment about UW23 at www.maranatha.org/uw23


Photo by Tom Lloyd

UW 23 in Pictures

Mitchell Anderson has the knowing look of a pro that has two Ultimate Workouts under his belt. His brother and sisters have also been on multiple mission trips, including previous UW projects.

Photo by Dick Duerksen

The proud UW 23 team in front of the Ambato Education and Evangelism Center.

Heather Barber and Mark Washington take a break from sifting sand at the construction site. Washington says, “The Mark that’s going home is a really changed person… I think he’s found Jesus in a sense that he’s not 100 percent but he’s almost there.”

Photo by Christina Lloyd

Photo by Tom Lloyd

From L-R: Dora Vukmirovic, Jade Deschamps, and Gabrielle Gladstone sing from their UW handbook during one of the daily worships.

Satiga Godrie, from the Netherlands, takes the temperature of a patient at the medical clinic. Godrie chose to be on the medical outreach team because one day she wants to be a surgeon.


Photo by Christina Lloyd

The UW 23 team working on the Ambato Education and Evangelism Center.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

An outreach team sings in downtown Ambato after handing out literature about Adventist beliefs.

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Hannah Magee uses her puppeteer skills to share a Bible story with local children. Magee has been on three Ultimate Workouts, and this time she was invited to be one of the student leaders.


FROM T.V. TO REALITY: How Maranatha Mission Stories convinced a family to jump into missions

Photo by Dick Duerksen

By Carrie Purkeypile

The Blake family (pictured above) ended up in Central America this summer, all because of 12-year-old Alexandra. The 8th grader, who prefers to go by Alex, has been watching the television program Maranatha Mission Stories faithfully for years. “Many times the whole family watches it,” says mom, Sandra. “But even if we don’t, she always makes sure that she watches. She never misses it!” We’ve all heard of kids asking for the latest cereal or toy advertised on the television. But after years of watching a show on missions, Alex was begging for a different kind of treat. She wanted to go on a family mission trip. “My daughter has been asking every Friday night,” says Sandra. Both of Alex’s parents were open to the idea. They had done their own kind of mission trips, including traveling to Sandra’s

6 | THE V O L U NT EER FA LL 2013

birthplace in Haiti to help out, but they had never done it with the kids. After more than three years of Alex asking, the family finally signed up for Maranatha’s Summer Family Project, which took them to Santiago, Panama to build a school.

very self-directed society. ‘It’s all about me.’ People want to take care of themselves in general. And I wanted my kids to look outside of themselves, to be able to help others. I think as Christians we are called to do that.”

“We are so glad that we found the Summer Family Project,” says Sandra. “Living in America, I see a lot of our kids growing up in a

In Panama, Sandra and her husband Philmore watched their kids blossom with a new awareness during the project. One evening as the family

www.mar anat ha.org


Photo by Dick Duerksen Photo by David Brillhart

“This has really exceeded my expectations,” says Sandra. “It has opened their world. … As Seventhday Adventists, it has given them a bigger picture of what our mission is.” Beyond understanding the broader church mission, the trip also encouraged personal growth within the volunteers – thanks to the leadership. “I was impressed by the spirituality of the leaders. It wasn’t just about the building, but about helping the volunteers fit into Maranatha’s mission statement of building people,” says Sandra. Veteran project coordinator Steve Case emphasized that the mission

ww w. m a r a n a t h a . o rg

project is more about building character, than a school. Construction superintendents Shane Anderson and Wils Teal made sure that the job site was a place of worship, and they measured progress in something much bigger than the height of the wall. “Work together, have patience and share with others,” says Philmore of the job site ethic. He is grateful that he and his kids got to live and work in such a giving environment. “I think it will rub off on them.” Photo by Dick Duerksen

paused to pray together, 10-year-old Phillipe had a big request for God that Sandra still remembers clearly. “It really touched my heart that he said, ‘My prayer is that from this school many schools and many churches will be built as a result of it, and that many will be in the kingdom because of it.’”

Another benefit was the opportunity to participate in a variety of service activities. Volunteers could build but also take a day to paint, teach Bible school, give a health talk, or work with the medical team. While Alex and Phillipe liked painting the best, Sandra enjoyed serving

on the medical team. Thirty medical volunteers served patients at a rural site. “It was very rewarding,” says Sandra. When the group arrived in the village there were only about 15 people waiting at the clinic site. But as the day progressed, more and more patients arrived. By day’s end the volunteers had seen more than 300 patients. Philmore has a special understanding of why medical work is such an important ministry. Growing up in Jamaica, there were not enough physicians to go around. Many people had to wait a long time or travel long distances to find medical attention. When he became ill as a 10-year-old, he made the decision to

T HE VOLU NT EER FAL L 2013 | 7


“I have taken that attitude into my church now,” continues Philmore. The practice of being a servant during the project had a real impact on him. “I think if everybody had that attitude everything would be a lot smoother. … Just put other people first. It is really simple, but a great lesson.” The Blakes are serious about bringing the missionary spirit home. They attend a small church in Texas, and they are asking their church to

8 | THE V O L U NT EER FA LL 2013

Sandra gets teary-eyed thinking about the changes she saw in her own children during the Summer Family Project. “I wanted for them to think of others and our mission as Seventh-day Adventists, and for [them] to want to see this church and this school prosper and grow and make many souls for the kingdom. That is the very point of coming here. To see the change in [my son], I am thankful for that.” This year’s family mission project will not be the last for the Blakes. “Just one week after we returned home, I overheard Philmore say at work, ‘I wish I was back in Panama,’” says Sandra. “We will go again.”

As for Alex, she admits that four years ago, when she started watching Maranatha Mission Stories, part of the draw was that she wanted to be one of those smiling faces on the television every Friday night. But as time went on, she absorbed the stories of people holding church under a tree and the real difference a building could make. She wanted to build a church or a school, to help. The Summer Family Project made that dream come true and led to even bigger dreams. “The leaders said that helping people was important,” she says. But more than building school walls, they focused on hearts. “We prayed that lots of kids would come to know Jesus through it, and that the church would help people know Christ.” Hear what volunteer Steven Kim had to say about the Summer Family Project at www.maranatha.org/stevenkim

Photo by David Brillhart

Going from being a physician at a hospital to a volunteer at a construction site brought a new perspective for Philmore. “It taught me that no job is too small to be important,” he says. “If they needed the floors to be swept, I just grabbed the broom and got it done. No task is too menial to do.”

come together to support a mission trip experience for at least one young person each year. “Mission trips should be part of everyone’s bucket list. And the younger you are, the better! Because it will make changes in you that last a lifetime,” says Philmore.

Photo by Dick Duerksen

become a doctor himself. Philmore graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has been a practicing urologist for 15 years now.

www.mar anat ha.org


Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Dick Duerksen

ww w. m a r a n a t h a . o rg

T HE VOLU NT EER FAL L 2013 | 9


Portraits of Christ: More than 1,700 worship at Maranatha's annual convention By Julie Z. Lee

There was rain, thunder, and lightening—but no storm could overshadow the powerful stories at the 2013 Maranatha Volunteers International Convention in Roseville, California. More than 1,700 people gathered to hear stories of how service has changed the lives of volunteers, congregations, and students around the world. The Friday evening program opened with Steve Green, singing “Sacrifice of Praise.” His performance was intercut with fast-moving video of volunteers in the mission field. Then volunteer after volunteer gave moving testimonies about heartbreak, courage, and triumph found in God. Longtime volunteer Terry Schwartz told the story of being diagnosed with cancer and how his mortality motivated him to dive

10 | T H E V O L U NTEER FA LL 2013

into mission work. Bryce and Kathy Wilkie, featured in the Summer 2013 issue of The Volunteer, shared how the death of their daughter led to the construction of a church in her name. Volunteer testimonies continued on Sabbath morning and afternoon, along with stories from international church leaders, who described the impact Maranatha has made in their countries. For the first time,

Maranatha’s convention featured a representative from the Middle East. Homer Trecartin, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East, shared the need for more classrooms and schools in Egypt and the impact education has on a student’s life. Ella Simmons, general vice president of the Adventist World Church, also came to the Maranatha convention. Simmons was fresh off her visit to

www.m ar anat ha.org


Those who could not make it to Roseville were invited to watch from home. Maranatha offered three options for live viewing: streaming

online at www.maranatha.org and on 3ABN or the Hope Church Channel. Online, nearly 300 viewers watched each of the three programs, from as far away as Ghana and India. Highlights from the program are posted online at www.maranatha.org, and

DVDs of the entire weekend program* are available for order. Call (916) 774-7700 to order your free DVD. *Steve Green performances are not included on the website or in the DVD.

Photos by Tom Lloyd

Panama, where she toured schools that Maranatha has constructed in the country. She spoke on the importance of Adventist education.


A Plea for Simple Churches: Zambia's Need for Places of Worship By Carrie Purkeypile Pastor Harrington Akombwa is one of the very, very few outsiders who have ever set foot in the village of Mata, in Zambia. “It is so remote, the pastor only visits once every five years,” he says. The tiny settlement is hundreds of miles from the nearest town and it takes at least four hours to drive a four-wheel-drive through the sand to reach Mata. But many pastors don’t have any kind of car. “By ox cart it takes four days. One pastor who walked that distance … when he got back the skin was peeling off his feet,” says Akombwa, president of the Zambia Union of Seventh-day Adventists. Akombwa visited Mata recently, on a constituency visit. He tries to get out and visit as many Zambian churches as possible, to let them know they are not forgotten. But it isn’t easy. Zambia has almost 6,000 congregations meeting every Sabbath. More than half of those are just “companies” rather than churches. “It is because they don’t have the financial muscle,” says Akombwa.

The companies need their own building to be considered a church. Many do not have the finances to provide a suitable building for a large group of 75, or more people. Maranatha is already involved in providing church and school buildings in Zambia and praying for the funds to do even more. Akombwa arrived at Mata with four other church representatives and found a group of believers waiting.

Some of them had been waiting for two years to be baptized. During the pastoral visit, even more decided for baptism. One man walked a kilometer on crutches to see the baptism. “I want to see!” he said. “All my life I have lived here. There is only one church here – the first Apostolic Church. … We are with them because it is the only church we know.” After the visit, Akombwa’s small group had planned to return to

12 | T H E V O L U NTEER FA LL 2013

www.m ar anat ha.org


Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Maranatha Field Staff

the city that same night, but it wasn’t possible. They slept there in Mata, though the people were too poor even to offer them water to bathe. Many congregations like this one exist in the north, east, and west of Zambia. There are even places where no Adventist has ever gone–villages that are only reachable by driving a high‑powered vehicle eight or more hours through sinking sand. It is for remote villages like these that Akombwa pleads for simple churches. He describes many village church buildings as “smearing mud onto trees to make a wall.” These congregations average more than 75 members each. “We would like to see a new Zambia, where they have a roof over their heads and finished walls. That will come as an answer to prayer,” says Akombwa.

take your volunteer team to zambia

Officials at the Zambia Union have requested that Maranatha build 1,900 churches and 200 school campuses in Zambia. Maranatha has not yet determined how many we will build in the country, but we have already started work on the first 120 church buildings. The scope of what we can do depends on donors like you. How many of these people can we help? Watch President Akombwa talk about the church in Zambia at  www.maranatha.org/akombwa

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Some of Akwomba’s prayers have already been answered. Maranatha’s

crews live and work in the harsh, sandy bush. On another long journey across northern Zambia, Akwombwa spotted three different One-Day Church structures. He is praying for many, many more.

ww w. m a r a n a t h a . o rg

Contact Maranatha for more information on available projects in Zambia. Zambia has more than a dozen breathtaking waterfalls, (including world-famous Victoria Falls) and some of the world’s best wild game parks. Visitors will experience the best of Africa while helping to build infrastructure that will touch hundreds or thousands of lives for good.


PR OJE C T C AL E ND A R

Ultimate Workout Reunion dominican republic

Leaders: Steve Case & Dan Skau

Brazil Open Team

Ghana Open Team

SALVADOR, BRAZIL

Valley view university, Ghana

Leader: Karen Godfrey January 15 - 26, 2014

Dec. 27, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014

Leader: George Alder Jan. 22 - Feb. 4, 2014

Volunteer Opportunities Are you ready to get out there and Serve?

Jowai India Open Team

Multiple Group Project

jowai, INDIA

dominican republic

Leaders: Vickie & Bernie Wiedmann

Leaders: Steve Case & Dick Larsen March 20 - 30, 2014

Mar. 19 - Apr. 1, 2014

14 | T H E V O L U NTEER FA LL 2013

Family Project Dominican Republic dominican republic

Leader: Steve Case June 19 - 29, 2014

www.m ar anat ha.org


Brooksville Open Team

Esperanza Open Team

Panama Open Team

Brooksville, Florida

Tucson, arizona

DAVID, PANAMA

Leaders: Ken Carr & Leroy Kelm

Leaders: George Carpenter & Jon Harvey

Leaders: Roger Hatch, Dave Schwinn, & Ed Burgan Jan. 22 - Feb. 5, 2014

Feb. 10 - Mar. 2, 2014

February 5 - 17, 2014

Maranatha has opportunities for volunteers of all kinds to get involved in service around the world. What project looks most inviting to you? Whether you are heading off on your own to join a group of fellow volunteers or taking your family along for the ride, we are happy to help you find the right project. Visit our online Project Calendar at www.maranatha.org for the most up-to-date listing of projects. Then contact us by emailing volunteer@maranatha.org or call (916) 774-7700 to receive more information.

Ultimate Workout 24

Young Adult Project

Leader: Karen Godfrey

BARAHONA, dominican republic

dominican republic

July 2 - 13, 2014

Leader: David Lopez

Family Project Brazil BELEm, BRAZIL

High School aged teenagers

July 3 - 13, 2014

ww w. m a r a n a t h a . o rg

Ages 18 - 35

Leader: Michael Paradise Early August 2014

T HE VOLU NT EER FAL L 2013 | 15


From Zimbabwe to Ecuador:

How Capital Memorial Church Found Maranatha By Julie Z. Lee After months of planning, Benjie Slack had 35 church members signed up for a mission trip and thousands of dollars raised for plane tickets. There was just one problem. Slack didn’t have a place to go. “We were planning a mission trip to help a local church in Zimbabwe,” says Slack, who is part of the Capital Memorial Adventist Church in Washington, D.C. “But two days before our deadline of having to purchase tickets, Zimbabwe announced that elections were going to happen on July 31. We were arriving on August 1.” Elections in certain parts of Africa can be volatile, and out of safety concerns, the group decided to cancel the project. But a core group of members kept pushing for a replacement mission trip.

16 | T H E V O L U NTEER FA LL 2013

Slack was at a loss. His church had organized numerous mission trips but never so quickly. And then, a light bulb went on. “In the back of my head, I remembered seeing Maranatha Mission Stories on 3ABN,” says Slack. “So I just called Maranatha and said, ‘What are the chances you might have a trip for us?’” Maranatha didn’t have a trip in the same time period as when Capital Memorial had planned to go to Zimbabwe. But the projects department came up with a solution. The large school campus in Ambato, Ecuador, could always use more volunteers, and

Maranatha offered Slack’s group the opportunity to work there. Ecuador didn’t draw the same allure for those who had had their hearts set on African safaris and Zimbabwe culture. So a few lost interest. But others were excited to revive the mission trip and signed on. In August, 20 people from Capital Memorial arrived in Ambato. But the destination wasn’t the end of the story—it was just the beginning. At the worksite, the group had a rough beginning.

www.m ar anat ha.org


“We had 16 chiefs and 4 Indians. And we struggled,” remembers Slack. “I thought, ‘We are in trouble. Because we are not going to build anything.’” Then Sabbath happened. The team joined a small group that had been meeting in the new classrooms, recently built by previous volunteers. The international diversity of Capital Memorial’s team—which was made up of members from Ethiopia, Ireland, Peru, Africa, Papua New Guinea, and the U.S.—was fascinating to the Ecuadorian congregation. “It was such a unique thing for them. I think it also uplifted us to know that even though we are all different, we are together as a church,” says Slack. That afternoon, Capital Memorial joined the local church members in exploring a river. They played soccer and then sat down for supper, prepared by the local church. “We ate at a big long table, and it felt like a family. It started a process, and we came together right there.”

By Sunday morning, Slack says it was a new team working on the school. And a week later, Capital Memorial had ensconced themselves in the community. With the money saved from traveling to Ecuador versus Zimbabwe, the group purchased chairs for the congregation. They gave away the shoes on their feet. They even paid for windows to be placed on the classroom they built. On the last night of the project, the group had a worship that lasted more than three hours.

Group Projects July - September 2013 Dominican Republic

West Houston Youth (Texas) Tri State Church (Georgia) Spartanburg Adventist Church (South Carolina)

Ecuador

Capital Memorial Adventist Church (Washington D.C.)

India

Delhi Adventist Youth (India)

“People were dead tired, and we had to get up at 3 a.m. the next morning. But it was an unbelievable experience of people sharing and talking about their experience and how they’ve changed,” says Slack. Back home in Washington D.C., people are already talking about another mission trip. Zimbabwe is back on the table—with one difference.

Panama

Tempe Adventist Church (Arizona) Corona Adventist Church (California) California State University (California) The Place Adventist Fellowship (California)

Thank you for serving!

Says Slack, “The people who went on this trip said, ‘Can we go with Maranatha?’”

how do I take my Group on a project?

Listen to Benjie Slack tell his Maranatha story at  www.maranatha.org/benjieslack

1. Pray. 2. Determine if you have enough interest to bring at least 15-20 volunteers. 3. Call Maranatha at (916) 774-7700 and speak to our Coordinator for Group Projects about getting started.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

4. Begin recruiting participants and leadership.

ww w. m a r a n a t h a . o rg

5. Work with Maranatha to set a budget.

For more information call (916) 774-7700 or email groups@maranatha.org.


NEWS

First One-Day Church Goes Up in Angola In early August, Maranatha built the first One-Day Church in Angola. The project came about unexpectedly while Maranatha staff was researching sites on which to build. During the process, they met a man who claimed that there was a small Seventh-day Adventist congregation in a rural town that needed a church building. On faith, the crew drove to the town of Barro de Kwanza, a small ocean-side town on the outskirts of Angola’s capital, Luanda. There, they met a group that had property for a church, but no funds to build the actual structure. They had been saving money, but they were still a long ways from their goal.

The site was a perfect fit, and in one day’s time, Maranatha built the framework and roof for their new sanctuary— officially kicking off construction in Angola. Maranatha has initially committed to build at least 75 One-Day Churches and one Education and Evangelism Center in Angola, with plans to increase the scope in the future. The congregations are large, and Maranatha is in process of designing a larger version of the One-Day Church for Angola. In the meantime, several One-Day Churches have been doubled up, lengthwise, to accommodate the large groups. Entrance into

Angola is a difficult and lengthy process, so most of the churches will be constructed by local crews. However, Maranatha is hoping to coordinate a few volunteer projects in Angola in the next year. Look for more information about opportunities on our website or in future issues of The Volunteer.

Ghana Chief Thanks Maranatha, Adventists for School At a dedication ceremony for a new school in Doryumu, Ghana, Chief Nene Lanimo Okle Borsev VII, expressed gratitude to Maranatha Volunteers International and the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the new campus. According to the Ghana News Agency, the chief said “his dream of getting a secondary school for the community had come true” and that “the facility would be put to good use.” The secondary school is made of 13 One-Day School classrooms. It is the only high school in the area, and families are grateful that their

18 | T H E V O L U NTEER FA LL 2013

students no longer have to walk 12 miles to attend the nearest school. The chief donated the property on the condition that it would be open to the entire community. He is pleased with the results and said he would give more land if the Adventists want to build. This year, Maranatha hopes to build 40 churches and 79 classrooms in Ghana. Funding for projects in Ghana is low, and we need your help. Please make a

gift for projects in Ghana. Call the Maranatha office or give online at www.maranatha.org.

www.m ar anat ha.org


Volunteers Help Samoan Church The Samoan Adventist Church desperately needed Maranatha’s help. They were worshipping in an industrial warehouse that they had purchased nine years ago. They harbored big dreams of converting the space into a sanctuary, and they turned to Maranatha for help. But while Maranatha was willing to recruit a team of volunteers for labor*—the Samoan group didn’t have the funds for the needed materials. Rather than giving up on the project altogether, Maranatha connected the church with two local Maranatha volunteers, Luther Findley and Bob Holmes. When they heard the story of the Samoan congregation, they agreed to help and turned the

renovation into a labor of love. Whenever Findley and Holmes could, they headed over to the job site and worked on the church with the members. One year later in July 2013, approximately 350 people gathered for a joyous dedication ceremony of the “new” Sacramento Samoan Adventist Church. Calling it the “Faith Project,” the Samoan church says “a special thank you to our church family and Maranatha for their dedication and hard work. God bless you all!” *For projects in North America, Maranatha organizes a team of volunteers to assist with labor

Introducing the Maranatha Foundation The newest addition to Maranatha’s ministry is the Maranatha Foundation, Inc. Now, supporters have the opportunity to include Maranatha in their planned giving and leave a legacy for missions. From wills and trusts to gifts and annuities, consultants are available to speak with supporters over the phone or to visit a family in person. All consultations are free of charge. If you are interested in receiving our free Maranatha Foundation

ww w. m a r a n a t h a . o rg

brochure, please contact Maranatha at (916) 774-7700 or email your name and mailing address to info@maranatha.org

for renovation and construction projects. The host organization must have all materials in place for the project before Maranatha begins recruitment.

About Maranatha Maranatha spreads the Gospel throughout the world as it builds people through the construction of urgently needed buildings. All notices of change of address should be sent to the Maranatha Volunteers International United States address. Julie Z. Lee, Editor jlee@maranatha.org Carrie Purkeypile, Managing Editor cpurkeypile@maranatha.org Heather Bergren, Designer hbergren@maranatha.org

United States Headquarters:

Maranatha Volunteers International 990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678 Phone: (916) 774-7700 Fax: (916) 774-7701 Website: www.maranatha.org

In Canada:

Maranatha Volunteers International Association c/o V06494C PO Box 6494, Station Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 6R3 CANADA


Non-Profit U.S. Postage

PAID

Roseville, CA Permit No. 111

990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678

THE WALL

Buy Maranatha merchandise

Thousands of concrete blocks are required to complete a new Educational Evangelism Center in Zimbabwe. Each of those blocks must meet Maranatha’s quality requirements, so our employees visit the local block-makers and test the blocks before ordering. In Bulawayo, one company stacked their blocks, 300 of them, beside the primary school, across a wide road from the site of the new school. But these blocks were below Maranatha’s requirements, and so we cancelled our contract. The new block-maker followed our requirements carefully and stacked his blocks in large piles around the new building. Every day when the primary school students arrived for classes, they wondered about the old stack of blocks on their side of the road. One day students asked the principal if they could help build the new school. “How could you do that?” he replied. “Most of you are very small children, and the work across the street is very hard!” “Some of us are planning to go to school in the new secondary school

Photo by Dick Duerksen

By Dick Duerksen

Share the spirit of service with Maranatha-themed apparel and accessories.

Nike Classic Polo $45

next year. We want to help build it. Maybe we could move the blocks across the street,” they proposed. “That’s a good idea,” the principal said, and during lunch the next day the students, along with many of their prents, began moving the blocks, one at a time.

Hard Hat $11

A few weeks later a group of volunteers came to help build the new school in Bulawayo. As they worked with the blocks they found a few that were not “the best.” The poorer blocks were discarded, but a few were strong enough to be used and were fit into the walls. When one of the teenage volunteers finished a wall, she looked up at it and said, “I like our wall. It has blocks of all kinds. Some are stronger than others, some have funny colorings, and some are just a bit fatter or skinnier than the rest. It takes all kinds to make God’s walls!”

On the cover: The Kims at the 2013 Summer Family Project. From L-R: Lisa, Joelle, Ian, James, Riley (front center)

Cap $12

Water Bottle $15

To order, call (916) 774-7700. All prices are excluding sales tax and shipping.


The Volunteer Fall 2013