Page 1


J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 1 4

A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International

Carrying the Church to India: How YOU are building churches in the farthest corners of the earth. INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

T H E G O S P E L G O E S N O R T H P4

B L E S S I N G S F LO W I N Z I M B A B W E P 8

P R O J E C T S C A L E N DA R P 1 4

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Champlai, India Kamunlu weaves fabric for a langzin pheisuei, a traditional skirt worn in the northeast region of India. This is a common sight in Champlai, where many women weave all day to earn a living. Behind her, an Adventist congregation carries parts for a One窶船ay Church to their new building site.


No Small Plans I really like about working with the Maranatha Board of Directors is their commitment to action. If you were to attend a meeting of the Board, you might hear statements like “Let’s stop talking about it and go do it.” Or a Board member might share their conviction that we need to be more aggressive; “We must make no small plans” as we consider the times in which we live and the great open doors of opportunity that God has provided. ne thing

Photo by Tom Lloyd


Last year Maranatha had the privilege of providing more than 1,000 churches and school buildings to assist with the wonderful work of spreading the Good News around the world. The Maranatha Board was grateful that God gave us this opportunity, but they decided that God was trying to tell them to commit to even more projects. As a result, the Maranatha Board stepped out in faith by establishing plans to build more than 1,600 churches and school buildings in 16 countries during 2014. With a six-day workweek, that is more than five projects per day! The Maranatha Board works with the sincere conviction that God wants us to expand His Kingdom with memorials in more and more places. The result is always more souls for the Kingdom of God, many changed lives—and that is great news! In this issue of The Volunteer, you will find a focus on the country of India. Maranatha is pleased to have joined the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and many other laymen to see tremendous growth in India over recent years. In the year 2000, we were told that India had 200,000 members. Today the number is more than 1,600,000, which gives India more members than any other country in the world. That is a miracle! But there are still untold millions in India that have never had the joy of hearing the Gospel story. So we, along with many others, continue to work in that populous sub‑continent. How about you? As you consider your involvement in expanding God’s Kingdom around the world, we encourage you to “make no small plans.”

Don Noble, president

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 | 3

The Gospel Goes North Maranatha’s latest effort in India

Photo by Tom Lloyd

By Dick Duerksen

4 | T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

After years of focusing in southern India, Maranatha’s work is moving to the northeast, where the Bible is yet to be discovered in many villages. And we’re building churches for the courageous missionaries who are daring to take on the Gospel Commission.


Northeast section of India is made up of seven sister states and the Himalayan state of Sikkim, connected to East India by a narrow strip of land, the Siliguri Corridor, between Nepal and Bangladesh. The 40 million residents of northeast India represent only 3.1% of the population of India. They are divided into 220 ethnic groups with an equal number of dialects, many of which are vastly different from the others. Some areas are strongly Hindu, others Muslim, Christian, or Animist. Maranatha, in response to urgent requests from Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders in India, has agreed to build churches and schools in several of the Northeast states. We have begun that work and have already completed 26 churches. Additionally, we have completed a large Education and Evangelism Center (EEC) on the campus of Manipur Boarding School, and another at Northeast Adventist College in Jowai, in the state of Meghalaya. In February, my wife and I visited the Northeast states of Tripura, Nagaland, and Manipur as part of our work with Maranatha. We heard many stories of dedication to mission outreach, but there is one that stands out in particular: the story of Pastor Tharte. he

MODERN DAY SAMUEL When we arrived in Falgunjay, Tripura, we met Tharte, who eagerly told us his story. “My family comes from Mizoram. One Sabbath in 1998, we invited the visiting mission director, Pastor Sanga, to visit our house after the worship service, and we enjoyed a Sabbath meal together,” Tharte remembered as he described his journey to the mission field. “After the meal, the pastor told us how the mission had chosen to adopt our neighbor state of Tripura as our

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 | 5

Pastor Tharte

special mission field. I remember smiling and thinking that was a very good idea, but it would be a dangerous challenge for the missionaries. Then the pastor said he would like me to go as a missionary to Tripura. That frightened me, and yet I felt honored.” (The state of Mizoram is 90% Christian, and Tripura is 80% Hindu.) Tharte asked Sanga if he could have a week to think about his call. He agreed, and Tharte began to pray

for God’s specific guidance. On the next Sabbath morning, Tharte asked his mother what she thought he ought to do. “Everything is so different there,” Tharte told her. “They speak a language we do not know. They eat different foods than we do. Their houses are different, and they do not even eat their cattle! How will we live?” “My son,” she said, “this is not really your choice or mine. You see, when you were born, I dedicated you fully to God and to the church, just like the Biblical Hannah did with her son Samuel. If God is now calling you to go as a missionary to Tripura, you must go!” That’s how Pastor Tharte’s missionary adventure began in 1998. He gathered everything he thought he

might need and began the 150-mile trip from his home to the town of Falgunjay in Tripura. “I came with fear, and with great hope!” Tharte said.

HOME IN THE MISSION FIELD He found a small place to stay and immediately set out to learn the local language. The villagers resented his coming and did not welcome him, making the first months very lonely and difficult. He prayed to his heavenly Father often. Tharte was skilled at sports and chose to see if he could make friends and learn the language by playing soccer with local young men. Before long he was teaching soccer to the local youth, many of whom had become his friends. “It took six months for me to learn the language,” he said, “and six more to establish the first house church.” Gradually, the village of Falgunjay welcomed Tharte and the Seventh-day Adventist message. In 1999 Tharte went back to school and studied at Northeast

The new Falgunjay One-Day Church. The walls will be finished with metal panels. 6 | T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g


Bhakda Molsom and his wife.

Adventist College for two years. The Tripura Mission has affirmed his work, and he is now a fully ordained Adventist pastor, coordinating the growth of 32 congregations and shepherding more than 2,000 baptized church members in this part of Tripura. In 2013 through 2014, nine of Tharte’s congregations received new Maranatha churches.

CARRYING THE CHURCH On the afternoon of February 27, 2014, local Falgunjay members, Maranatha staff members, and community friends carried the steel for a One-Day Church down the hill and across the pond to the building site for their brand new church building. As the church “rose from the ground,” my wife Brenda and I talked with some of the members and visited a growing Adventist school on a neighboring hillside. Everyone met us as if we were long‑lost siblings and as if our coming was finally bringing the family together. In one home, we met Bhakda Molsom, a former guerrilla terrorist, who is now an elder in the Falgunjay church. He told us of his life in the jungle, and of how he finally decided he had to leave the guerrilla group and become a regular citizen. When he surrendered to the army police, they allowed him to be forgiven if he and his wife would move to Tripura state and become good citizens. Bhakda and his wife Tarini moved next door to her Hindu sister in Falgunjay. Before long, they met Tharte

Since Maranatha’s first project in India 25 years ago, you have responded to India in a BIG way and helped us to complete more than 1,700 churches and schools. Yet the incredible need in India is still present. People are only beginning to discover the Gospel, and they need our help! In this latest effort, we are not only raising money for churches, but we are also putting a big emphasis on schools. We need to raise money to build classrooms where children can learn about God’s love. In 2014, Maranatha has committed to building 100 churches, 36 classrooms, and 1 Education and Evangelism Center in India. We cannot do this without you! Please make a donation for India projects! Your gift will not only build a church or school, it will awaken hearts to a new hope found in Jesus Christ.

and were baptized. Together they now give Bible studies and lead the church music with Bhakda’s small drum. “It’s not a very good drum,” he told me, “because it has goat hide instead of cow hide. Since the people here do not kill cows, I have to make do with a not-so-good drum.” We bought the Falgunjay church drum, paying enough for Bhakda to return to his home in Mizoram and buy a new drum with the right hide for the right sound. •

Photos by Tom Lloyd

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 | 7

Blessings Flow in Zimbabwe Maranatha launches latest water well project

In too many parts of the world, people are without access to safe water, resulting in millions of water-related deaths each year. The solution? More deep water wells.

Photo by Dick Duerksen

By Julie Z. Lee

A boy drinks from a new well in Mozambique, where Maranatha helped to fund and drill more than 700 wells over a period of three years.

8 | T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g


he official dedication

ceremony wouldn’t be for months, but the people of Kambuzuma West in Zimbabwe could not wait a second longer to celebrate. So on May 5, 2014 the community gathered to pray in thanksgiving and then began pumping clean water from their new Maranatha well. The informal gathering kicked off Maranatha’s latest well project. Starting this year, Maranatha will be constructing wells in Zimbabwe communities where Maranatha has already constructed or plans to construct churches and schools. “Whenever we are involved in a country, Maranatha tries to ask what we could do to enhance the building of a church or school? And in some of these areas, a well can make a big impact on a couple of levels. One is that people really need clean drinking water. Second, a well on a church or school property is available to the entire community—so

it becomes outreach, a service from the church,” says Kyle Fiess, vice president of marketing and projects. Maranatha built a One-Day Church for the Kambuzuma West congregation in September 2012 during an earlier construction effort. Currently, there are plans to build 300 One-Day Churches, 36 One‑Day School classrooms, and an Education and Evangelism Center in Zimbabwe. Maranatha is working with Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders to determine sites for wells. Wells in Zimbabwe need to be funded! If you would like to make a donation to the well program or sponsor an entire well, please give today! • Call us if you would like to sponsor a well in full. Donations of all sizes are accepted for wells and all of our programs.

Clean water is critical to survival. According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Program, a 2011 study showed that there are an estimated 768 million people using water that has been potentially contaminated. As a result, millions of people die each year from a water-related disease. In Africa—mostly sub-Saharan Africa—there are approximately 345 million without access to safe drinking water. By giving to the water well project, you will be helping to give thousands of people access to clean water.

Photo provided by ADRA

The drilling of this well is the most important and exciting event to happen in Kambuzuma West since Maranatha crews built their church in September 2012.


w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 | 9

Congregation Transformation A church family from Washington experiences the impact only a mission trip can bring By Carrie Purkeypile


Hiner had only been an Adventist a few months when she joined her church, the Enumclaw congregation in Washington, on a Maranatha mission trip to Nicaragua. Already, Judy’s decision to be an Adventist had created some resistance at home; her husband Nelson was not pleased with her new faith. “We had a really, really rough time,” she says of her first few months in the church. Still she remained firm in her decision to participate and returned from the mission trip completely enthused for missions and rejuvenated. Over the udy

next year Nelson started being more “agreeable” about the religion issue and even attended services with his wife. She talked so much about the trip that when she suggested that they both attend the next church mission trip to Panama, as a birthday gift to themselves, he agreed. “It was my first mission trip, so I was a little curious about what we were going to do,” says Nelson. Nelson and Judy were about to be part of a team that would build the frame and block walls of a new church, hold children’s ministries meetings, distribute food and Bibles to the needy, and more. The group also designated a small team to personally invite people to the children’s programs and the church dedication on Sabbath.

UNSUSPECTING EVANGELIST One person integral to the door-to-door effort was Ricardo Tejada, known affectionately as Papi. “I didn’t want to go [on the mission trip],” says Tejada. “But one Sabbath the group leader showed me my name on the list of participants who had their flights paid for and everything. He said, ‘You just have to go to the airport and show them your photo I.D.” It turned out that Tejada, a former colporteur and one of the few bilingual team participants, was integral to the outreach effort. He worked daily with Enumclaw church elder, Larry Gaser, to knock on doors in the sprawling shantytown, a large area occupied by poor families with nowhere else to build their shacks.

Photo by Dean Mundy

THE HAVE-NOTS “This is the poorest of poor areas. You’ve seen a thousand pictures of places like this,” says Lori Noel, volunteer and member of Enumclaw church. “Their houses were just sheet metal put together. They have nothing.” The shantytown border is just across the street from the new church property. As the mission team moved through the dirt paths, meeting men, women, and children, Tejada explained that the volunteers were there to build a church for them. It was quite a surprise. Living on borrowed space, these people don’t even have electricity, roads, or plumbing provided. Judy and Nelson Hiner

1 0 | T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g


The Enumclaw group set up 120 chairs for the first service in the new church they had built, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough! The freshly built structure was completely full, with onlookers peering in and listening through the open-air windows. “We didn’t fit into the Ricardo Tejada (left) and Lori Noel (in hat). church,” says Tejada of the full-to-the-brim Sabbath service. “Our church elder told me, ‘We gringos will sit outside. You preach to your people!’” Tejada was honored to give the first Noel gets emotional talking about a sermon in the new building, a message young man, Juan, whom she met while on Jesus as, “the Way, the Truth and the visiting homes in the shantytown. “His Life.” eyes were empty and hopeless,” she says. Tejada’s priority at that point Juan told her, “I’ve walked away from was that someone would continue to the church and I’m not going back.” spiritually care for the people who were Something about Juan struck a so willing to learn more. “Some were chord in Noel’s heart. “I personally will crying, telling me, ‘Don’t go! Don’t not stop praying until I hear that you leave us alone.’” The group implored the have come back,” she told him. “I will district pastor and leaders of the local not stop. I don’t care why you walked congregation to continue to guide the away. But I will not stop praying for people in their spiritual journey and you.” left Bible study materials in On Sabbath, the church was packed the local language. full and literally overflowing with


people. Although the church only had 15 members at the time, hundreds of visitors accepted the personal invitation to consider the church their own. “Among all those people, God turned me around just in time to see Juan walk into the church,” recalls Noel. “It was so beautiful!” The new church building, coupled with volunteer outreach immediately generated unexpected levels of interest in the community. Though the church only had 15 members, the building was overflowing with eager visitors. Many are now studying the Bible with local leaders.

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

After many hard days of work in the heat and humidity, Nelson was cleaning the job site one evening when a young woman, who was nursing her baby, tapped him on the shoulder. “Gracias,” she said, pointing at the church. “It just touched me,” says Nelson of his most memorable moment. “The people in that immediate area are hungry for the Word of God, and now they have a place to go and be taught.” Judy was just as enthusiastic about this mission trip as she was the last. Maybe even more! “I have never been happier. We feel we are representing God, and we are family doing it. We eat together, go to work together, and have fun together, too! I really miss that when we get home. The closeness of the [church] family doing the mission together is great.” As many before have witnessed, serving others does a whole lot of good for the servants, too. For Judy and Nelson, the experience even had an impact on their marriage. “We were really on the same page while we were there,” says Judy. “It really opened up communication, and our relationship was much improved. It was the best thing that we could have done.” •

Photo provided by Dean Mundy

Photo by Larry Gasser


T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 | 1 1

Photo by Christina Lloyd

Bairro Luquembo, Angola A little girl in the remote village of Bairro Luquembo patiently ignores the flies while her mother buys produce at an outdoor market. Maranatha built a church in this village in May 2014.

NEWS Multiple Groups Build Multiple Churches Yellowknife Church

Maranatha Celebrates Yellowknife Project Anniversary On June 15, 1973, John and Ida Mae Freeman led a group of volunteers in building a church for the Yellowknife Seventh-day Adventist congregation in the Northwest Territories. More than four decades later, the Freemans returned to Canada for the Yellowknife Adventist Church’s Homecoming Weekend, June 1315, 2015, to be part of the weekend celebration. Maranatha was honored on Sabbath morning, during which John was asked about his memories of Yellowknife. Don Kirkman and Leon and Dolores Slikkers, all who participated on the Yellowknife project, also shared their memories of the two‑week project. The two-week Yellowknife project captured the attention of leadership at the Adventist World Church, and the event was turned into a Mission Spotlight segment, a slideshow program focused on mission stories. The Mission Spotlight feature catapulted Maranatha’s ministry into the public eye and played a significant role in the organization’s growth.

In late March, more than 80 members of the Multiple Group team wrapped up a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This team built two churches from the ground up, painted two churches, and ran a medical clinic where volunteers learned how to extract teeth! One of the more unique outreach activities from this group was the donation of baseball equipment. Baseball is a popular sport in the Dominican Republic, and it is a common sight to see children playing a game in the street. The equipment will be given to a local coach, who teaches sports to community children. “We gave away 12 bats, 25 gloves, and 4 dozen balls,” says David Lopez, director of volunteer projects at Maranatha and co‑leader of the Multiple Group trip. “The pastor had tears in his eyes as he was thanking us for the gift.” The Multiple Group Project gathers small teams of volunteers who don’t quite have the numbers for an entire mission trip of their own. This year’s group mostly came from California. The majority were teenagers from various academies or church groups.

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

“Exitus Acta Probat.” George Washington said these words, which mean, “the result is the test of the actions” in Latin. Washington liked the words to such a degree that he turned them into his personal motto. Subsequently, he had them memorialized into his personal coat-of-arms and embossed into many of his books. Washington felt it was important to leave his mark on the world and particularly set the course for the new country. He felt strongly that the results would be the determinant of whether decisions were made correctly—which turned out to be the case in the early years of the United States. The action of building a new church and a new school engraves Christianity into the minds of many people, especially children. Christian values become the motto. What is your motto? What will be the test of your life and your actions in the world?

Today, the Yellowknife Adventist congregation continues to meet in the church that Maranatha volunteers helped to build. Watch the 1973 Yellowknife Mission Spotlight feature on our website at www.maranatha.org

Planned Giving

Create a legacy to change the world. Work with Maranatha in planning your estate. Multiple Group Project

For more information contact the Maranatha Foundation at (916) 774-7700.


Young Adult Project 2014

Christmas Open Team

Ages 18 - 35

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Jose Bourget December 19 - 29, 2014

Black Hills Open Team SOUTH DAKOTA, USA Leadership: Dave Schwinn August 4 - 21, 2014

Federal Way Open Team WASHINGTON, USA Leadership: Leroy Kelm August 18 - September 4, 2014

Amity Adventist Church Open Team ARKANSAS, USA Leadership: Dave Schwinn & Roger Hatch September 21 - October 5, 2014

Panama Painting Open Team CHIRIQUI, PANAMA Leadership: Sadie & Ted Torrez October 15 - 27, 2014

Love is the Answer Mission Ministries LA CHORRERA, PANAMA Leadership: Carol Herbert October 16 - 27, 2014

Perry Adventist Church Open Team FLORIDA, USA Leadership: Roger Hatch & Dave Schwinn October 22 - November 10, 2014

Kerala India Open Team KERALA, INDIA Leadership: Bruce Fjarli December 4 - 16, 2014

Christmas Family Project 2014 SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Vickie & Bernie Wiedmann December 18 - 29, 2014

Chwang India Open Team CHWANG, INDIA Leadership: Dick & Brenda Duerksen Dec. 23, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

Namibia Open Team KATIMA MULILO, NAMIBIA Leadership: Karen Godfrey Dec. 23, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

Ultimate Workout Reunion BONGA ABAJO, PANAMA Leadership: Dan Skau & Daniel Medrano Dec. 26, 2014 - Jan. 3, 2015

Panama Open Team

Create a Project! If you are interested in taking a team on a mission trip, let Maranatha guide you through the process! We’ll help you to set a budget, find a site and accommodations, organize your team*, and even provide in-country support from our staff. For more information, call (916) 774-7700 or email groups@maranatha.org. *Group Project teams must have a minimum of 20 participants; leaders recruit their own teams.

CHANGUINOLA, PANAMA Leadership: Merrill & Diane Zachary & George Alder January 28 - February 9, 2015

Manipur India Open Team MANIPUR, INDIA Leadership: David Lopez & Terry Schwartz February 4 - 16, 2015

Dominican Republic Open Team SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: George Carpenter February 12 - 23, 2015

São Tomé Open Team SÃO TOMÉ Leadership: Karen Godfrey February 18 - March 4, 2015

Multiple Group Project DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Steve Case March 19 - 29, 2015

1 4 | T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4

Thanks for Serving! The following Group Project teams are serving during the months of July-August, 2014: BRAZIL The Place Adventist Fellowship California

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC West Houston Adventist Youth Team Texas

PANAMA Maranatha Las Vegas Nevada

ZIMBABWE Corona Adventist Church California

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

Photo by Lisa Emmanuel

BARAHONA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Michael Paradise & Dan Klein, Sr. August 1 - 11, 2014

Photo by Dick Duerksen

You can serve on a mission trip with Maranatha! From construction to cooking to outreach, there are many ways to help, and no experience is necessary. Simply look through the opportunities listed below or visit the online Project Calendar at www.maranatha.org. For more information, email us at volunteer@maranatha.org or call (916) 774-7700.


a closer look at

Maranatha first began work in India there were 200,000 Adventists in the whole country.






1.6 million Adventist Christians in India.




827,578,868 HINDUS





24,080,016 CHRISTIANS


76 39

138,188,240 MUSLIMS





In 2014 there are now

Maranatha has built a total of UTTARAKHAND churches 1 in India









19,215,730 SIKHS 7,955,207 BUDDHISTS


4,225,053 JAINS







The majority of churches built by Maranatha in India are in the state of Andra Pradesh.

In 1998 there were 50,000 Adventists in Andra Pradesh. By 2013 that number had grown to 950,000 people–a direct correlation to the mission work done in that state.





50,000 Adventists



950,000 Adventists

Tithe has increased by


Despite this exponential growth, the huge majority of Indian people have never heard the Gospel message. = 10,000 people

w w w. m a r a n a t h a .o r g

In the years that Maranatha has been building in India, giving has exploded. Offering in India has jumped from $118,280.73 to



T H E V O L U N T E E R J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 | 1 5

Non-Profit U.S. Postage


Roseville, CA Permit No. 111

990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678



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.

SEPTEMBER 19-20, 2014





FRIDAY, 7 P.M. SABBATH 9:30 A.M. & 1:30 P.M. (FREE LUNCH)



featuring musical guest

Wintley Phipps 916.774.7700


ON THE COVER: Members of the Falgunjay church in India carry the steel for their new One-Day Church. Photo by Dick Duerksen.

Julie Z. Lee, Editor Carrie Purkeypile, Managing Editor Heather Bergren, Designer 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 Email: info@maranatha.org In Canada: Maranatha Volunteers International Association c/o V06494C PO Box 6494, Station Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 6R3 CANADA

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer July August 2014  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.

The Volunteer July August 2014  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.