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A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International

Into the Jungle Building a Church in Costa Rica





Jowai, India Hundreds of students, teachers, and families crowd into the auditorium of the new school building at Northeast Adventist College in Jowai. They are there for a ceremony to dedicate the Education and Evangelism Center (EEC). This is the fourth EEC that Maranatha has constructed in India. Each building has done exceptionally well, quickly filling with new students who are now studying on a Christcentered campus.

Photo by Maranatha Field Staff


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No Need to Fear


s Wintley Phipps was performing the beautiful

song “No Need to Fear,” at the recent Maranatha convention, my thoughts went to a key philosophy about the Maranatha ministry: We are a faith ministry, and we seek to trust God completely. However, as Wintley was singing, I had to admit that there are times when it is very difficult not to be anxious about how we can meet the huge requests for projects that change and save souls for eternity. When we observe the amazingly positive impact on the lives of project recipients and volunteers, we are greatly motivated to accomplish more. From a human standpoint, the lack of sufficient funding seems to be the limiting factor in being able to meet the requests. On the other hand, we know that God is in control, and we want to learn more about trusting Him. So far in 2014, Maranatha has written more receipts for donations than any year in our 45-year history. That is a huge blessing, and we are grateful for each and every donor. Even though there are more donors this year, the total amount of donations is smaller at a time when we are trying to say “yes” to more requests. Even while we always try to be very careful with funds, construction around the world is expensive. Add the complexity of working in multiple countries, cultures, and currencies, and the operational and financial challenges become quite complex. It is a great time in the world’s history, and we can rest in the knowledge that God knows what needs to be accomplished for His work. He has always touched hearts at the right time to make life-changing projects possible. As we approach the end of 2014, we are praying that God will again make it possible for us to provide mission experiences for volunteers and also answer the prayers of many groups that are seeking a simple church or school. I would encourage you to consider investing in Maranatha projects that help to evangelize remote areas of the world. It was a nice reminder from Wintley’s song. No need to fear. God definitely wants us to trust and to “fear not.” Ultimately, it is God’s work, and it is our privilege to be part of it.

Don Noble, president

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JUNGLE The One-Day Church goes to Costa Rica BY CAR E RIE PURKEYPIL

Photo by Leonel Macias


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aranatha volunteers venture all over the world serving others, but one project this year was even more of an adventure

than most! A small group of volunteers and Maranatha staff members hiked deep into the dense mountain forest of southern Costa Rica. With support from local people, they carried all their own gear and the materials for two One-Day Churches for many muddy miles.


The small group of volunteers hiked into the Chirripó region of the Talamanca mountain range, a protected rainforest. The area is inhabited only by indigenous people groups, and lots of wild animals like the giant anteater, dozens of snake species, and the largest population of jaguars in Central America. The remote trek was steep and muddy. After first traveling for miles on the back of a truck and tractor, the group dropped the construction materials at the literal end of the road and took off on foot. They crossed a metal footbridge that led to a single file trail that had turned to mud from the rains. “I’ve never been challenged like that before. Then with the mud and … when there was no lights, when the sun went down and we were still walking in the jungle, that became a little bit scary!” says volunteer Jon Harvey, of the strenuous hike. “I have been on three Ultimate Workouts with the young people. But this is the ultimate workout of mission trips!” WALKING THE EXTRA MILES

After eight hours of mostly foot-travel, the group finally reached the village of Chiquiari, where they would spend the Sabbath, before beginning construction. “Everyone

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said that was the toughest day of hiking they had ever had,” says Dr. Gayle Wilson, one of the volunteers on the project. But that wasn’t the end for local contact Reiner Moreno. That night he and Wilson continued another two hours up into the jungle to meet with villagers who had been requesting a visit. They began praying with them and quickly gathered a group of 42 people, eager to hear the news of the Seventh-day Sabbath and God’s plan for them. It was the first Adventist meeting ever in that remote village. HOW IT ALL STARTED

The story of “why” is an uplifting testimony of what can happen when someone desires, hears, and follows the call of God, unquestioningly. Moreno was at a church function in Costa Rica when an indigenous man arrived to ask for money. The man’s name was Ricardo Payan, and his wife was in the hospital about to deliver their baby. The church took up a collection for the family. As Payan waited there, Moreno chatted with him about his home in the region of Chirripó, an eight-mile walk from the town. He also began to present the Adventist message, beginning with Genesis 1:1 and the story of creation. Moreno showed him God’s plan for man to rest


JUNGLE CAMP: Volunteers begin assembling parts of the One-Day Church that will serve the Chiquiari group. Behind them is the old church, a temporary kitchen set-up, and tents for the volunteers to live in during the project.

Photo by Leonel Macias

“There is such a need to have a church. Just as there is a need to have workers who are also working in these communities, teaching the love of God, step by step.”

on the Sabbath, and Payan exclaimed, “I want an Adventist Church in my community!” “In the space of three and a half hours we talked about what the Adventist Church was and God’s plan for all human beings. And how we are waiting as directed by the Word and the second coming of Jesus,” tells Moreno. The two made an agreement that Payan would walk to a phone and call him in about a month. On January 8, 2012, Payan kept his promise and called Moreno, still excited about the Adventist message and still eager to share it with his people. So in March, Moreno and two Bible workers hiked eight hours into the jungle to share the Adventist message with the Cabecar people for the first time ever. He was shocked to find a large group waiting in a round hut with crude benches, ready for the meeting. A TRUE FAITH BUILDER

In faith Moreno moved his family to the nearest town outside the reserve, with no funds and no plan. He immediately started evangelizing the town of Grano de Oro and began


Bible studies with 49 people in his first week there. More and more indigenous communities began to request a visit from Moreno, the Sabbath man. Just a few months ago, 11 villages requested Bible studies. By the time the Marantha volunteers arrived in August, that number had grown to 17 villages. Moreno now spends many hours hiking to remote settlements every weekend. “We are joyful to do this work that God has given to us,” he says of the long grueling hikes. “But also, there is so much work to be done.” Moreno is the principal contact for thousands of people who have never heard the Adventist message but who so dearly want to know it! “It’s not just putting up churches. It’s not just a different day of worship. It is a whole way of life,” says Wilson. “There is such a need to have a church,” says Moreno, who is thrilled with the two churches Maranatha helped provide in the region. “Just as there is a need to have workers who are also working in these communities, teaching the love of God, step by step.”

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RUGGED WORK: 1 Volunteer Gayle Wilson gathers wood to build the walls of the Blori単ak church. 2 The new Blori単ak church will be a prominent part of the village. 3 On Sabbath, volunteer Jon Harvey preaches in Chiquiari. 4 The bridge marking the end of the road; the rest of the journey was on paths through the jungle. 5 The enthusiastic Chiquiari congregation in front of their old church.

Photo by Leonel Macias 1 2

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Tom Lloyd


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Photo by Tom Lloyd



The second village of Bloriñak just received a church as well, all because of a horse! Moreno was hauling a load of donated materials up to the school in Bloriñak, and he inquired for someone with a horse that would be willing to help him. That is how he met Silverio Aguilar, horse owner and spiritual leader for the Bloriñak village. Aguilar had distanced himself from other ministers in the Chirripó area, turned off by their drunken and immoral behavior. He had been leading his own people independently. As they wound up the mountainous trails, Moreno began to explain Adventist beliefs, starting with the creation of the world. Aguilar was immediately drawn in. He begged Moreno to come share with his village. Just weeks later, most of the village is meeting in the One-Day Church just built there, drinking in God’s truth. SUPPORT FOR TRUE-HEARTED MISSIONARIES

The world needs more people like Moreno. He himself begs for more

people to help spread God’s Word. He believes that these remote regions may be among the last places we must reach before Christ can return to take us Home. “Brothers and sisters, we really, really need your support!” he says. “Only God has moved this project. We cannot say that we had the money. We can’t say that we have means or that we have things easy to be able to do what we have done up until now,” continues Moreno. “We just see the hand of God every day, working for us.” The Holy Spirit is working fast in the Chirripó region. The two new churches are already full, and they are ready for more! Your support of Maranatha powers solutions like this one. Thank you for supporting Maranatha’s mission around the world. •

DISCOVER MORE Find these stories at www.maranatha.org Watch a Maranatha Mission Stories segment on this project. (Available after December 5)

ONE-DAY CHURCHES CREATE POSSIBILITIES Remote populations like those in Chirripó, Costa Rica, villages far out in the African bush, and other hard to reach communities are the inspiration for the One-Day Church. Maranatha responds to urgent needs – usually areas where church growth is exploding and there are not sufficient resources locally to provide worship space for all the new believers. The One-Day Church frame often provides a great solution for growing Adventist groups. In the last five years we have been able to triple the average number of churches built annually.* With more than 100,000 requests at any given time, the One-Day Church provides Maranatha with a solution to meet more needs with less money than a traditional brick and mortar model. Each area is unique, and Maranatha continues to offer a variety of solutions for different needs. Particularly in remote areas, where traditional construction would be impossible, the One-Day Church has been a huge blessing. *Maranatha built an average of 207 churches in the years 20042008. In 2009-2012 that yearly average rose to 670 churches per year.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

TEAMWORK: The volunteers in front of the new Chiquiari One-Day Church frame. The volunteers were from Costa Rica, with the exception of four Americans—including two Maranatha staff members.


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Maranatha Completes Valley View School Project in Ghana By Julie Z. Lee

Photos by Ron Kedas


September, M aranatha finished up a large school construction project at Valley View University in Ghana. For the past two years, a Maranatha crew and volunteers built an eight-classroom Education and Evangelism Center and 42 accompanying One-Day School classrooms. Together, the buildings provide educational space for students in preschool through high school. With each finished classroom, students moved in and by the end of last year, there were 800 students enrolled. This fall, school leaders anticipate that at least 900 students will begin classes. Eventually, more than 2,000 students could study at the school in the future. The campus is located at Valley View University, which is about 45 minutes from Accra. Valley View is a large university with about 3,500 students enrolled. But in recent years, administration had a difficult time recruiting faculty and staff, as there was n early

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no Seventh-day Adventist primary or secondary schools in the area. Families seeking Adventist education had to send their children to boarding school until now. The school at Valley View University was Maranatha’s first project in Ghana. The effort kicked off in March 2013, with volunteers building the first batch of One-Day School classrooms. Maranatha has also constructed OneDay School campuses in Doryumu, Tamale, and Techiman. Additionally, Maranatha is building a total of 110 churches in Ghana. •

GIVE TO GHANA! Projects in Ghana are still in need of funding. If you would like to make a donation for a school or church in Ghana, please make a gift using the attached envelope, calling (916) 774-7700, or going to www.maranatha.org.

DISCOVER MORE Find these stories at www.maranatha.org • Read “Going to Ghana: Maranatha is Building Big in a New Country” in our Spring 2013 issue of The Volunteer. • Search for “Ghana” to watch videos on Valley View University and more.


Photo by Leonel Macias

Let It Shine! Building the Light in the Dominican Republic By Julie Z. Lee


ll around the world,

it’s common for churches to be named after the city or neighborhood in which they are located. The same is true in the Dominican Republic, but it’s also common to add another word to the name: Luz. Out of the 48 churches that Maranatha has built or is building in the Dominican Republic right now, 11 begin with “Luz.” Luz de Brisa. Luz Resplandeciente II. Luz de Salvacion. Luz de Villa Carmen. In Spanish, “luz” means “light.” And each of these congregations is lighting up their communities by shining the love of Jesus. Yet even the brightest lights can fade without the proper support. Congregations in the Dominican Republic are enthusiastic about the Adventist message, but they need our help. They need places to worship. Too many are meeting in dismal, uncomfortable spaces with no hope of building a proper church. The Adventist

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Church in the Dominican Republic has asked Maranatha to help by providing churches, and we have committed to do whatever is possible. But that possibility is determined by you. We need your help. Churches in the Dominican Republic need funding, and we are asking you to make a gift. Over the next few pages, consider the stories of just a handful of congregations in need, and pray about how you can help. You can sponsor an entire church or you can make a general contribution to projects in the Dominican Republic by using the envelope included or going to www.maranatha.org to make an online gift. Any gesture of support will help us to brighten the light of our God in the Dominican Republic.


PROJECTS IN NEED OF FUNDING LUZ DE JAVILLA The Luz de Javilla congregation already has land on which to build a new church; they acquired the property a while ago. But instead of a temple, the lot holds a patio, assembled from sheets of plastic and found lumber. There has been no money to build a proper church, so for now this small congregation continues to meet in this humble space. Yet even as they are saving and praying for a church, the membership takes turns bringing bags of beans, rice, or fruit to share with the hungry. They may worship under a rusting roof, but they are still reaching out to their community. Maranatha has committed to build a church for Luz de Javilla in December, when the Christmas Family Project volunteers arrive.

This church needs to be sponsored.

FE Y AMOR In the neighborhood where the Fe y Amor (Faith and Love) Church is located, the stench of a nearby garbage dump permeates the air. It isn’t pleasant to live in, but the close proximity of the dump and the smell makes it an affordable place to live. It’s where the poorest people reside—people who make a living by selling sticks of gum or giving taxi rides on their motorcycles. Yet the poverty and smell wasn’t the primary concern of the Adventists who live in this neighborhood. For Fe y Amor, their priority was rebuilding their church. Their old building collapsed in a storm, and the congregation had to meet in a church members’ garage. It was small with no chairs, and it became unbearably hot during the day, making worship an uncomfortable experience. They wanted to grow their membership, but it was near impossible to do without a proper church. This past summer, volunteers with the Summer Family Project answered their prayers by building a church.

Maranatha stepped out in faith to meet the urgent needs of this congregation, but this church still needs to be sponsored.


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LUZ DEL ENCANTADOR It’s been ten years since the Luz del Encantador group began meeting for worship each Sabbath. Back then, there were only 18 people attending—the result of an evangelistic campaign organized by an existing Adventist group. Today, Luz del Encantador has 65 baptized members, 25 children, and 10 visitors coming on average each week—quite a leap from where they began. They are overjoyed to finally be meeting in a beautiful new church, and Maranatha’s help has been an answer to prayer. The work of the volunteers with the Arlington Adventist Church/Burton Adventist Academy team has inspired the congregation and given new motivation to reach out to their community.

Maranatha stepped out in faith to meet the urgent needs of this congregation, but this church still needs to be sponsored.


Maranatha stepped out in faith to meet the urgent needs of this congregation, but this church still needs to be sponsored.

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The Nuevos Horizontes Church was born in 1990, when a handful of members from an existing congregation decided to start another group. They gathered in someone’s home, then moved from house to house over the years. They finally became an organized group in 2001, but they still did not have a permanent place of worship. Thirteen years later, the team with Maranatha’s Multiple Group Project arrived to build them a church. As neighbors watched the volunteers work diligently on the church, they became inspired to begin attending the Nuevos Horizontes Church. Today, there are 45 members, and they are using the building not only for worships, but also for health seminars and concerts.



All photos by Leonel Macias

LUZ DE LOS PALMARES By appearances, the Luz de los Palmares Adventist Church didn’t look too bad. For one, it was an actual building with four walls, a concrete floor, and a roof. The problem was the room had no windows. The only ventilation were the two front doors and the gaps in the roof—which relieved the stuffiness but also invited the harsh weather. When it was hot, the rays burned through the holes. When it rained, everything and everyone was soaked. The congregation needed a new church. But what little money they saved was eaten up by the monthly rent


for the shoddy space. They tried meeting in homes—it’s how the group started years ago. But no one’s home was big enough to accommodate the growing congregation. Despite these challenges, the Luz de los Palmares congregation continued their mission to share the Gospel with the community. Earlier this year they held Bible meetings in a tent on a nearby field. The event drew hundreds of people and introduced them to the Adventist message. In 2014, volunteers with the Multiple Group Project finally built a new church for Luz de los Palmares.

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Where Maranatha is Building


LET’S FUND THE LUZ DE LOS PALMARES CHURCH! The Luz de los Palmares Church needs to be funded. This month, we are specifically focusing on this church, and we are asking you to make a donation! Whether it’s $5 or $500, any amount will help! Our goal is to raise the full $40,000 for the Luz de los Palmares Church by December 31, 2014. w w w.maranatha.org

If you are interested in giving to Luz de los Palmares, please mark the appropriate box on the magazine envelope insert or make a gift online at www.maranatha.org/donate.


Maranatha Convention Wintley Phipps gives a rousing performance at the 2014 Maranatha Convention in Roseville, California. Phipps was the special musical guest for the event, and he sang throughout the weekend. On Sabbath afternoon, a packed auditorium was blessed by Phipps’ awe-inspiring concert. Phipps will be returning for Maranatha’s 2015 convention in Tualatin, Oregon. Photo by Tom Lloyd


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NEWS “Anywhere With Jesus” at the Convention Attendance was at a record high at this year’s Maranatha Volunteers International convention. An estimated 2,000 people gathered in Roseville, California, for a celebration of Maranatha’s mission. The weekend was full of testimonies, worship, and uplifting music from Wintley Phipps. If you missed the program, you can watch the convention in its entirety on our website at www.maranatha.org/convention. If you have a Roku, you can also watch the program on your TV. Free DVDs of the weekend can be ordered online at www.maranatha.org/convention. Next year, the convention will be in Tualatin, Oregon, just outside of Portland, October 2 - 3.

Maranatha Builds Church in Amity, Arkansas

In early October, volunteers wrapped up a mission project in Arkansas. Nearly 50 volunteers helped on the beginning stages of a new church for the Amity Seventh-day Adventist Church. During the two-week project, the hard-working crew framed the outer walls of the church and put

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up the trusses for the front section of the building. The current Amity Church sanctuary is much too small for the existing congregation, and with only one Sabbath School classroom, the majority of the children’s divisions meet in nearby residences. The lack of space is also hampering the church’s outreach program; there is no room for meetings or for potential growth. The new facility is located on property about five miles from Ouachita Hills Academy and College. The Amity Adventist Church is the 14th project we have done in the United States in 2014 with two more to go before the year ends. The United States is one of Maranatha’s most popular mission trip locations. Volunteers have helped with renovation and new construction jobs for churches, camps, and schools.

Church Buildings Make Big Impact in Brazil During a recent Maranatha board meeting, representatives from the Adventist Church in northeast Brazil gave a report on the impact of churches constructed in the region. Over the past two years, of the 106 churches constructed in this territory, 85 have already been completed with brick walls. More than 2,280 people have been baptized and twelve more churches have been planted as a result. It is an incredible response in northeastern Brazil, and evidence of how a church can go a long way

in bringing people to Christ. We still need more financial support in Brazil. We’re inviting you to help by sponsoring a church or making a donation to the program. Learn more at www.maranatha.org

Techiman, Ghana School Opens

The Techiman Seventh-day Adventist elementary school in Ghana is now open with 179 students enrolled. Currently, the school campus is serving students from preschool through third grade. Response to the school has been positive. The mayor and other government officials are impressed with the campus and have enrolled their children at the school. Enrollment is expected to increase next year to 350 students, when the school begins offering grades four and five. Techiman is a city in Central Ghana with a population of 104,000 people. Maranatha has also constructed schools in Doryumu and Tamale, along with a large campus at Valley View University near Accra. The Valley View project involved an Education and Evangelism Center and dozens of One-Day School classrooms.


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 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 our Volunteer Opportunities at www.maranatha.org. For more information, email us at volunteer@maranatha.org or call (916) 774-7700.

Ultimate Workout Reunion

Photo by Richard Duerksen

Blue Mountain Academy Open Team

Create a Project!

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

Camp Yavapines Open Team

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.

ARIZONA Leadership: Judy Leeper May 4 - 13, 2015

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

Dominican Republic Open Team

Summer Family Project

BONGO ABAJO, PANAMA Leadership: Dan Skau, Daniel Medrano, Jose Diaz Dec. 26, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA Leadership: Roger Hatch, Ed Burgan, Betty Beattie March 29 - April 12, 2015

Panama Open Team

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: George Carpenter, Jon Harvey February 12 - 23, 2015

Manipur Open Team IMPHAL, INDIA Leadership: David Lopez, Terry Schwartz February 18 - March 4, 2015

Namibia Open Team

LOCATION TO BE DETERMINED Leadership: Steve Case June 18 - 28, 2015

Ultimate Workout PANAMA Leadership: David Lopez July 22 - August 2, 2015

Young Adult Project PANAMA Leadership: To be determined August 5 - 16, 2015

KATIMA MULILO, NAMIBIA Leadership: Karen Godfrey March 17 - 29, 2015

Thanks for Serving! The following Group Project teams are serving during the months of November-December, 2014: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Edmonton South Adventist Youth Team – Alberta Andrews Academy Team – Michigan PANAMA Markham Woods Adventist Church Team – Florida

Multiple Group Project SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Steve Case, Luther Findley March 19 - 29, 2015


*Group Project teams must have a minimum of 20 participants; leaders recruit their own teams.

Kingsway College Team – Ontario California State University Team – California

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Roseville, CA Permit No. 111

990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678

About Maranatha

A time to


On behalf of all those you’ve helped who can’t say it personally, we want to say Thank You! You are an important part of this ministry to provide churches, schools, and wells to communities that need it most! And in doing so, you are sharing the Gospel message with the world.

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. United States Headquarters:

Thank you and happy holidays!

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

Julie Z. Lee, Editor Carrie Purkeypile, Managing Editor Heather Bergren, Designer ON THE COVER: A member of the Chiquiari congregation carries parts of the One-Day Church on a six-mile journey through the jungles of Costa Rica. Photo by Tom Lloyd

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer November December 2014  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.

The Volunteer November December 2014  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.