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A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International





Photo by Tom Lloyd Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Terry Schwartz

Ted Wilson, president of the worldwide Adventist Church, presented the dedication sermon.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

The Seventh-day Adventist Seminary in Cuba trains most of the new pastors in the country and currently has students from 10 other countries as well.

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Caridad Diego, Minister of Religion in Cuba, recognized the positive impact that the new building will have on the community.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

On March 26, 2011 Maranatha dedicated the new church on the campus of the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary in Havana, Cuba.

Cuba Church Dedication


Vivian lives on the fourth floor of a boxy, concrete apartment block in Havana, Cuba. She shares the two‑bedroom home with a son who has cancer, daughter, son‑in‑law and granddaughter. Not long ago Vivian answered a knock at her door and found a young student from the Seventh‑day Adventist Seminary. The Seminary, about a 20-minute walk from Vivian’s house, trains young people to be effective Adventist pastors. The student asked Vivian if she would like to study the Bible. She did, and liked what she learned. Soon she was inviting her neighbors to join the Bible study. Every Wednesday, her friends would bring chairs to her apartment and join in singing, prayer and Bible lessons–all led by a team of Seminary students. The group grew too large for Vivian’s house. But that didn’t stop her from inviting friends to join them. On a recent afternoon, the living room was packed. Music reverberated across the apartment complex as enthusiastic students shared the love of Jesus. The knock that came on Vivian’s door was not a random accident. Students at the Seminary participate in an active program to be a positive influence in their community. Rather than retreating behind campus walls to study their lessons, these students

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Photo by Tom Lloyd

practice in a real-world laboratory. But it’s more than a school assignment–the students’ real motive is to share the Gospel message. Yenisely Castillo, the seminary outreach director, points to a map of the neighborhood that shows eight sections. “There are 15,000 people who live in this area. Teams are assigned to each section and are responsible for establishing and nurturing small groups. Right now there are many small groups meeting throughout the neighborhood.” Pastor Castillo and his students had one big problem as they reached out to their friends and neighbors. There was no church at the Adventist Seminary. They met in the cafeteria, and there was no room to invite friends and neighbors. When Maranatha built a new Adventist Seminary in Havana 10 years ago, there was not adequate space for a church. Over the years, church leadership acquired land and received permission to build.

Nearly three years after the groundbreaking ceremony, a new church stands at the Seminary, accommodating students and community members and serving as a location for pastoral training. But very soon, their friends from the community will outnumber the students. Vivian will walk 20 minutes to attend church on Sabbath and many of her friends will come with her. The students are putting into practice a challenge given them by Caridad Diego, the Minister of Religion in Cuba. “If these buildings are empty, it does not matter how beautiful they are. Use this church to show others how they can be better people.” Back in Vivian’s apartment, the mood is joyous. The afternoon Bible study has just finished and she is passing out Guava juice. Vivian, her son and several friends are getting baptized in a month. Her life has a new purpose and meaning. She’s going to go knock on a few more doors.


120 Helpers, 48 Buildings,


Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Christina Lloyd

Photo by Tom Lloyd


Renita Turner has volunteered with Maranatha for years. But this January she stepped out on a whole new adventure to Zimbabwe. “It was surreal! I constantly had to remind myself, ‘you’re in Africa!’” she says. “I absolutely loved it! You have preconceived notions of Africa, but you get there and it’s really not so.” Veteran volunteer Herb Dennison has a real passion for young people, and he puts his time and heart into building schools for Adventist families and other members of the community. “I really, truly believe in the youth of our church. They are our future.” The community in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe was very excited about the school project at Mkhosana. The large-scale project required more than 120 volunteers, and local people thanked them in the streets for their gift of service. The manager of the largest, most beautiful hotel in town proudly

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spread the news that her child was the first to be registered at the new school. Like her, many of the students registering were not Adventists. The large Mkhosana campus includes preschool, elementary and secondary classrooms, each in their own areas. The volunteers built 34 total buildings on the campus, including bathrooms, classrooms, offices and a large church. A highlight for volunteers was being part of the project from start to finish. This was the first project utilizing volunteers to build an

entire campus of One-Day School structures. On the first day of the project, little more than concrete slabs awaited at the Mkohsana campus. But by the last day, they were ready for school to start. “These were decorated when we left!” says Marilyn Dennison, who was lucky enough to be on the decorating committee. As a final touch, “We hung banners that said, ‘Jesus Loves You’, as well as the Zimbabwe flag at the front of each classroom over the chalkboard.” While many were busy helping on the construction sites, others were meeting different needs farther

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Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Besides the large campus, volunteers partially built another school campus in Baobab, as well as eight additional One-Day Churches within traveling distance. Each Sabbath the group split up to visit area congregations. “Oh, the music!” exclaims Renita. “It may be a small church, but there is always a choir, and I could listen to them all day! Just beautiful music.” One Sabbath Renita and the group visited the “Airport Church,” which

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Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Heather Bergren Photo by Tom Lloyd

out in the bush. A contingent of dedicated leaders trekked through a muddy slog to and from one village to hold Vacation Bible School for the children. Their truck refused to navigate the bog and they were covered in mud, but the smiles of eager children were worth the effort.

is close to the local airport. Right in front of them sat the congregation’s three stages of development. First they met under the tree, then under a thatch roof shanty, with no walls, and finally in a completed One‑Day Church. The group of Africans and foreigners crowded into the low‑roofed hut to begin the service, planning to ceremoniously march to the new structure for the ribbon cutting later in the program.

Finley conducted meetings for more than 3,000 attendees. They filled every seat, and still people were standing. “I sat there watching the teenagers and the kids,” says Renita. “They were so engrossed in the message. I couldn’t get over that, how they were just glued to all the presentations including the special music, health presentations and sermons. They were just hungry for anything.”

Suddenly the sky broke open and rain poured down on the shanty, instantly drenching everyone in and around it. “It was a deluge!” laughs Renita. “We said, ‘Forget the ribbon cutting!’ And everyone ran over to the new church!”

While the school was still under construction, more than 700 children preregistered for classes beginning in April. Marilyn is convinced. “These One-Day Schools are going to be a real blessing for Africa.” Thanks to our outstanding donors and volunteers, they already are.

Back at the Mkhosana school, the group prepared for a special event the final week. Evangelist Mark


One BIG Project –


Photo by Terry Schwartz

A very determined group of people in Honduras had a dream that is now being fulfilled through the hard work of Maranatha volunteers. Photo by Phillip Thompson

When the Adventist community started their ministry of education to local children, they experienced great success. The program transferred from one facility to another to accommodate more students and more grades. The school is now K-12, and has been bursting at the seams for years. They are holding two shifts a day, (double hours for the teachers) but still every corner is occupied. When children meet for physical education, or band practice in the center courtyard, the classrooms are barraged with noise. Desks fill each room and spill out into both sides of the hallway. They are still glad to be here, but things could be so much better.

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Of the 770 children at the school, only about 120 come from Adventist families. The school is highly regarded around the city, and parents send their kids from every neighborhood in the area. School principal Norma Garcia de Corrales is excited about the possibilities that will come with a new facility. “Adventist education is a symbol of prestige,” she says of the reputation for excellence. Some children join because they want to be part of the band that performs at public events, others because of the English classes. “Everyone would like to have their children in this school. Many don’t

have the money for a private school. Others who do have money don’t like it because the school is small, uncomfortable. With this new building we will be able to reach them. It is a huge blessing that God has brought us through Maranatha,” says Norma. The first team of blessings were volunteers on the Christmas Family Project. People of all ages pitched in and built fast. Art and Carol Moffit have been on many family projects and love them. “The people who go with us are very congenial,” he says of the volunteers who have become lifelong friends. “It’s like family!” Art kept busy supervising

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construction at the school, which is one of the biggest projects he’s ever worked on with Maranatha, and Carol took a team of volunteers to connect with local children and their parents. “I had a busload of volunteers!” exclaims Carol. “This school is so important. At the old school they have been losing students. They want those original 900 students back, not just 700. They’ve been given a grant and will have computers soon. They are going to fill that school–no question!” Principal Norma is overjoyed at the reality of God’s blessing. “I have been there watching every block they lay! I have been there all the time ever since Maranatha arrived, every day!” The huge campus will house 1,200 students. Nine volunteer groups will work on the campus before its completion later this year. Carl Crawford came on the Honduras Open Team project in February, and his group started the process of building the One‑Day School structures. “They are amazing buildings!” he says. “It is very simple–just a cordless drill, two sizes of self-tapping screws, and an anchoring device that goes into the concrete.” Three more teams joined forces over the spring break push in March to make a big difference on the campus. They built numerous One‑Day classrooms, and churches, did block work and held community outreach. More opportunities are available to help at the Choluteca campus. Join the Summer Family Project June 16‑26, or the Young Adult Project July 28-Aug. 8, 2011. Principal Norma can hardly contain her excitement. “We are praying that this project will end just like it began because this is a miracle from God.” Come be part of the miracle! Photos by Terry Schwartz

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ONE-DAY SCHOOL Children and young people who have the luxury of attending school spend a huge chunk of time in the classroom, soaking in the information presented. Christian schooling is a powerful tool for raising children to seek Christ. Parents around the world appreciate the support of God-fearing teachers to help shape the lives and character of their precious offspring.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Large windows and strategic vents promote airflow and thermal efficiency.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Because of the rapid growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the need for Christian Education, along with proper facilities to accomplish that, has become an almost overwhelming challenge. The need demands a system that is quick and cost-effective. The One-Day School was born from this great challenge. The versatile One-Day School building can be used as a single classroom, or in quantity to create a complete campus for larger schools. Many One-Day Schools will be used in warm or hot climates, so engineers and architects paid close attention to ventilation when designing the structure. The galvanized steel walls are coated with earth-tone paint, and the roof is white to reflect the sun.

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Each classroom comes complete with desks for 40 children, decorations and even a chalkboard. Starting with a completed concrete pad, workers can build the classroom in a single day, and the building will be ready for classes to start the next. The cost of sponsoring a One-Day School is $7,500. For a limited time, a challenge grant of $2,500 is available, making it possible to build a One-Day School classroom for just $5,000. If you believe in Christian education, the One窶船ay School project needs you. Anyone can get involved in sponsoring a One窶船ay School.

Individuals, families, churches, youth groups and schools are reaching out to make miracles happen where children need support. Christian education really makes an eternal difference. Visit and donate to support the One-Day School project today. Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Tom Lloyd

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ONE-DAY CHURCH A Look at how the One-Day Church has Revolutionized Ecuador

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Volunteers from Maranatha and Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries built the first functioning One-Day Church in Ecuador in August 2009. Since that joy-filled day, nearly 90 more congregations in Ecuador have received the gift of a One-Day Church. According to Pastor Leonel Lozano, President of the Adventist Church in Ecuador, the One-Day Church has totally transformed congregations in their country. He describes Ecuador in terms of “before” and “after” Maranatha’s entry. Church growth is high, but several other factors are affected too, and for the better. Giving has significantly increased in Ecuador since receiving the One‑Day Church structures. Pastors typically oversaw 15 churches, and the church didn’t have the resources to pay them well. Pastor’s salaries have increased by more than three times–to what is

Photo provided by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ecuador

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considered a livable wage–over the past couple of years. Additionally, pastors now shepherd a more manageable average of eight churches. Eliminating monthly rent for dozens of facilities both at the congregation and union level has freed funds for other areas of ministry. More visitors are joining the church now that there are official places for them to come. While some visited the small home churches before, many feel more comfortable visiting a community church building.

As Maranatha has learned, membership typically doubles or triples within months of the construction of a new church. Many of the One‑Day Churches have seen dramatic increases in both membership and involvement. Many have also taken on the task of completing the structure. One congregation in Guacalgoto, Ecuador is so isolated that materials must be carried in on horseback. Nevertheless, they acquired the materials and had their building finished in a month. Pastor Lozano’s grateful report is encouraging. “Only in heaven will we know the results of these new buildings towards the growth of the Church.” The fire is alive and well in Ecuador, and the One-Day Church has helped fan that flame!



Grand Rapids Spanish Church Open Team

Eden Valley Institute Open Team

Summer Family Project

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Loveland, Colorado

Choluteca, Honduras

LEADERS: David Shull & Art Moffit

LEADERS: Ken Casper & David Schwinn

LEADER: Steve Case

May 15 - 27, 2011

June 8 - 29, 2011

June 16 - 26, 2011

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Are you ready to get out there and volunteer?

India Fall Open Team

Christmas Family Project 2011

Malawi Open Team Blantyre, Malawi

Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India LEADER: To be determined

Location to be determined

LEADER: David Lopez

November 1 - 14, 2011

LEADER: Vickie Wiedmann

August 10 - 24, 2011

Dec. 22, 2011 - Jan. 2, 2012

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Ultimate Workout 21

Collegiate Project

Young Adult Project

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico

Choluteca, Honduras

For high school teens

LEADER: Rebekah Widmer

LEADER: Audrey Whiting

LEADER: Steve Case

July 12 - 26, 2011

July 28 - August 9, 2011

July 12 - 25, 2011

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 up with a group of soon-to-be-friends, or taking your family along for the ride, we are happy to help you find just the right project to join. Visit our online Project Calendar at for the most up-to-date listing of projects. Then contact us by emailing or call (916) 774-7700 to receive more information.

Open Team Project

Open Team Project

India Open Team

Location to be determined (Africa)

Location to be determined


LEADER: Karen Godfrey

LEADER: Merrill and Diane Zachary

LEADER: Bruce Fjarli

January/February 2012

February 2012

February 2012

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Malawi: International Caring Hands Builds 26 One-Day Churches

Group Projects January - March 2011


Yuma Central Adventist Church (Arizona) Detroit Maranatha Team (Michigan) Fletcher Adventist Academy (North Carolina) Chehalis Reunion Team (Washington)


Caring Hands to Mouth (Oregon)


Berkshire Mission (Massachusetts) Kansas/Nebraska Conference West Houston Adventist Church (Texas)

Think it’s impossible to build 26 One‑Day churches in 12 days without any prior construction experience? Not for a group of 24 volunteers who did just that in Malawi in March. Photos provided by International Caring Hands

Randy says the group learned to work together, even under difficult situations that included traveling challenges, to heavy rains, to mud, which hindered building the churches. “We shared in each other’s frustrations and difficulties and overcame through the strength given us from God.” The group talked with local church members about a common hope they shared–that the new buildings would last until Jesus comes. “The women of the village sang with a power and

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spirit that brought tears to my eyes,” Randy says. “They showed the love and strength of Jesus even under the most difficult situations. Building our first One-Day churches is an experience we will never forget.” Randy adds, “If you would have told me two years ago that I would be helping to organize a group of students to build 26 churches in 12 days in the mountains of Africa, I would have said it was not possible. Thank God, He proved me wrong.” International Caring Hands plans to return to Malamulo Hospital and establish a mobile dental clinic. They are actively seeking volunteer dentists for that trip in the next year. “I would recommend Malawi to any volunteers looking for a safe place to take a group. There is a huge need, and you will be changed in the process.”

Battle Creek Tabernacle Church (Michigan)

Thank you for serving!

How do I Prepare to Take my Group on a Project? 1. First determine if you have enough interest to bring at least 15-20 volunteers. 2. Call Maranatha at (916) 774-7700 and speak to our Coordinator for Group Projects about getting started. 3. Begin recruiting participants and leadership. 4. Work with Maranatha to set a budget.

For more information call us at (916) 774-7700 or email ma r a n a t h a . o rg

Photo page by Tom Lloyd Photo opposite on opposite page by Dick Duerksen

“None of us had ever built or seen a One-Day Church constructed before. Yet we had dropped into the heart of Africa to build as many of them as we could over two and a half weeks,” says Randy Meyer, team leader for the project. His group of high school students and teachers represented International Caring Hands, a humanitarian organization that helps people worldwide.

Redwood Adventist Academy (California)

This little girl and many other children will have bigger opportunities their entire lives because of the classrooms built by volunteers at the Baobab School in Zimbabwe. Christian education is a powerful facet of mission. Providing infrastructure for a growing Adventist population worldwide is a big undertaking. The durable One-Day School building is a good answer to that challenge for many parts of the world. Quick construction allows children to begin school in their new classrooms the very next day.


Maranatha Hosts First-ever Hispanic Convention Maranatha Volunteers International hosted its first-ever Spanish language convention at the Calvary Assembly Orlando Church in Winter Park, Fla. Feb 26. The event, which drew nearly 5,000 people from across the state, was an effort to involve more of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Spanish‑speaking population in outreach.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Maranatha has sent some 70,000 volunteers around the world to build churches, schools and hold outreach programs since 1969. It has operated in 17 Hispanic countries over the years, including Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. “With such a large Hispanic population within the United States, we’re realizing an opportunity that will help grow the Adventist Church and provide more houses of worship,” said Kyle Fiess, vice president of marketing and projects. Alejandro Bullón, a well-known Adventist evangelist, challenged the crowd to get involved. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have. All of you have time. You need to give Maranatha your time, your money, your talents,” he said. “As a result of Maranatha’s churches and schools, our baptisms have gone up, our tithe has gone up, and the life of the church has improved,” Leonel Lozano, president of the Adventist Church in Ecuador, told the congregation.

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The event was a collaborative effort with Adventist church leadership in Florida. Abel Paulin, vice president for the church’s Spanish-language ministries in Florida, made it possible for members of nearly 90 local congregations to attend. “The weekend wasn’t only about Maranatha, but the mission of the church in many countries,” he said. “Many people were telling me, ‘Man, we’ve got to do this, we’ve got to go with Maranatha and do this work with them.’ It was a real mission enthusiasm that came out of the convention.”

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Other speakers included Israel Leito, president of the Adventist Church in Inter-America, Melchor Ferreyra, field secretary for the church in Inter-America, Gilberto Araujo, vice president for the church in the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean region, Ron Watts, assistant to the church president in Southern Asia, and church evangelist Mark Finley. Popular Christian singer Steve Green provided the music. “People walked away from this convention with a wider vision of mission work around the world and an awareness of how they can get involved in helping others,” Fiess said.

Visit the App Store to download the free Maranatha App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

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Serving Canada and the World Since 1989 They went on their first trip in 1989, and after 37 projects and 12 years of traveling the globe, they again “retired,” this time from traveling. But Anna still remains involved with Maranatha. For the past 15 years, she’s managed donations that come to Maranatha from all over Canada.

Photo by Wendi Rogers

When Anna and Clarence Singbeil retired in the 1980s, they weren’t sure what to do with their spare time. A friend suggested they go on a Maranatha mission trip, and the couple discovered a passion they never had before.

An upstairs room of her modest Chilliwack home in British Columbia is her office where she processes donations, makes receipts, deposits the funds and answers questions from volunteers and donors across Canada. She then sends everything to Maranatha’s headquarters office in Roseville, Calif.

2011 Maranatha Convention music by Christian Edition, a men’s singing group from Glendale, Calif.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Maranatha will host its annual convention near Portland, Ore. Sept. 23 and 24. Join volunteers and guests from around the globe for an inspiring weekend that looks into the heart of how people’s lives are being changed. Attendees will enjoy stories, videos, testimonies, guest speakers and

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“The annual convention is a time to celebrate how God has blessed this organization by opening up opportunity after opportunity to build churches and schools all over the world,” says Kyle Fiess, vice president of marketing and projects. “People leave from this special weekend each year inspired and blessed.” The convention will be held at the Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin. Stay tuned to maranatha. org for more information as the event draws closer.

“I love the work. It helps me stay in touch with volunteers, and I get to meet new people,” says Anna. “It gives me something to do, something to be busy with.” At 85 years old, she says she has no plans to stop. “Not until I’m absolutely unable to do it.” Anna, who has lived in British Columbia for 40 years and was in Alberta prior to that, has done office work since she graduated college. The job, which requires a couple hours of time each day, gives her fulfillment. “It’s doing God’s work,” she says.

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. Kyle Fiess, 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: In Canada: Maranatha Volunteers International Association 45175 Wells Road, Unit 20 Chilliwack, B.C. V2R 3K7 CANADA

Non-Profit U.S. Postage


Roseville, CA Permit No. 111 990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678

Where the Children Hope to Go BY DICK DUERKSEN

In rural India, as in many places, life is all about the children. Especially for the women, every daily activity has a child attached to it. Washing, cooking, cleaning, sleeping, sewing, even working in the fields– everything Mom does takes the children into account. While participating in dedications of new church buildings near Ongole, I met hundreds of children–and their proud parents. This young fellow with the family bicycle lives about 45 minutes from the new Fjarli Adventist Academy. His parents are members of the local Seventh-day Adventist church, so he is eligible to become a student next term. He’s excited about the possibilities, but his mother is already feeling lonely … and excited. There are scores of other children in his village, most of whom have little hope of ever completing more than 3rd grade.

Photos by Dick Duerksen

But the staff at Fjarli Adventist Academy is changing that and adding a whole new dimension of hope in village homes. Many of these fear-filled faces will attend the academy, learn of God’s love, complete high school, and go on to become leaders for God in their home country. And you are helping make that possible!

Cover Photo taken by Dick Duerksen: Tucker Coston is a student missionary at Riverside Farms in Zambia. He helped construct One-Day Schools at the Victoria Falls Project in Zimbabwe.

Maranatha Mission Stories is a weekly half-hour show featuring mission stories from around the world. The program highlights inspiring stories from communities that have been changed and personal testimonies from volunteers who have been touched by Maranatha.

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The Volunteer Spring 2011  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International. The newsletter is published four times a year and features...