Page 1


S P R I N G 2 0 13

A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International





Livingstone, Zambia In January, 110 volunteers not only began construction on the very first Adventist high school in Livingstone, they also ran a medical and dental clinic. In addition to the clinics, volunteers organized a health expo that invited hundreds of students from the surrounding area to learn about basic principles for healthy living.

How Legos Are Building Churches By K aren Poole

Colter and Grayson Slikkers, 13 and 10 years old, have been supporting The $10 Church since they were very young. But even today, they are still finding new and creative ways to raise funds to build churches for God. Their family began supporting The $10 Church because it was an achievable goal for the children and a way for the family to do a mission project together. Each month, the family was excited to receive a picture with the story of the church they helped to sponsor. Each new story goes up on the fridge to remind them of what they have accomplished.

Photos on opposite page provided by the Weiss family and Maranatha field staff

The family has done many different projects to raise money for the program. They began by selling the eggs from their chickens to neighbors, always using the proceeds for Maranatha. They also collected bottles and cans. Says Grayson, “Some of our extended family would give us cans to return for deposits and tell us to buy ourselves a treat. But we made a family goal that all deposit returns would go for this project. It was fun to go return bottles and come back with enough money to build a church. It puts things into perspective when we could buy a church or buy a treat.” This last fall, the family had a garage sale. The boys decided that if an item had been given to them, and

mar an a t h a . o rg

they enjoyed using it, they would sell it and use the proceeds to bless someone else. They put up a sign by the items where the proceeds would go to missions and quickly realized that customers were less likely to haggle about the price when the money was going to a good cause. “At our last garage sale we helped build three $10 Churches,” says Colter. Recently, Colter and Grayson have started a new project to raise money. The boys love Legos and decided to sell them on eBay to use the profits to build $10 Churches. Colter and Grayson take leftover pieces and parts from their Legos and create lots, scenes, or groups. They take a picture and their dad lists the items on eBay. The proceeds for the month are sent to The $10 Church program. Their goal is to send at least $10 a month. They named the project “Legos4God.” “It is a weird feeling to pray over Legos before posting, but we ask

Photos provided by the Slikkers family

God to sell them by acknowledging that everything is His, and He can help us help others,” says the boys’ mother, Ingrid. Colter and Grayson have started a blog to encourage other kids to sell their Legos and send the proceeds to The $10 Church. “Then please post about it on the blog!” adds Colter. Read about how Colter and Grayson are supporting the Maranatha mission by going on their blog at www.legos4god.blogspot.com. To join The $10 Church program, go to www.tendollarchurch.org



Volunteers Build Extension at Hospital in Chad B Y J U L I E Z . L EE

Tucked into the heart of Central Africa, Chad is a desolate landlocked country that is home to nine million people—all of whom live under the shadow of being ranked as the world’s most corrupt country. The level of poverty, lack of infrastructure, and danger from political instability make Chad an undesirable place to pass through, let alone visit. Yet 14 Maranatha volunteers braved their way to Chad and into the town of Bere to build a hospital. Bere is located in the southeastern corner of Chad, about a 10-hour bus ride from the capital city of N’Djamena. The district, in which Bere is located, has about 200,000 people. As it is throughout the rest of the country, the people of Bere are plagued with poor sanitation, malnutrition, and diseases like malaria. They need proper healthcare, and there is only one hospital in the entire district: Bere Adventist Hospital.

The hospital, established in the 1960s, is a walled campus with a few buildings. There is a crude operating room, a patient ward, an administrative building, a roofed patio where patient families cook, and a small church that has been converted into a pediatric ward. Any open space—including porches and the shade of a mango tree—is occupied by convalescing patients and their families.

Olen Netteburg is an emergency medicine doctor serving as a missionary at Bere. He and his wife Danae, an obstetrician‑gynecologist, moved here in 2010 from the United States. They, along with other missionaries at Bere, have been searching for a way to fix the hospital. “Our facilities here are pretty subpar even by Chadian standards… as our patient population grows, we just simply run out of space. As soon as patients are good enough, we kick them out into the veranda… We often have a waiting list of seven, eight, nine people who are

waiting for surgery that we can’t operate on simply because we don’t have a place to put them,” says Netteburg. “And yeah, that’s patients that we can’t treat. But it’s also human beings that we can’t minister to as a church and as children of God.” In 2012, Netteburg met Garwin McNeilus, an independent businessman from Minnesota. McNeilus was visiting Bere and heard about the many needs at the hospital. McNeilus, who has worked extensively with Maranatha and ASI (Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries), facilitated a mission project with Maranatha to build One-Day structures on the hospital campus. So in early 2013, a small team of volunteers built a spacious operating room, a maternity wing, and two private patient wards. They also constructed several residences within the campus walls to provide safe housing for volunteers and

Photos by Tom Lloyd

missionaries. In addition to the One-Day structures, volunteers also assembled more than 100 patient beds. “We have been flooded with Maranatha volunteers who are coming out, they’re sweating in the sun, and they’re not uttering an ounce of complaint. They’re setting such a pace that people here just couldn’t possibly have imagined things going up this quickly before they saw it with their own eyes,” says Netteburg. Two weeks later, Bere hospital looks dramatically different. In what was an empty field beyond the cluster of original buildings is now a neat formation of eight

One-Day structures. On the other end of campus, five simple houses stand in a semi-circle, awaiting missionaries. There is still more to be done at Bere—the new buildings need plumbing, electrical, and other finishing touches. But Netteburg is looking at the big picture and already the future looks brighter. Says Netteburg, “This really opens up a lot of doors for us. It will really help increase the reputation of the hospital—which already has a very good reputation around the country—but just makes it that much more of a shining example of a church that’s out serving God from the medical standpoint as well as the evangelistic standpoint.”

Painting Christmas Families serve in Nicaragua over the holidays

Photo by Kyle Fiess

B Y J U L I E Z . L EE

Christmas was approaching, and Annette Gill had to make a decision about how to spend the holidays. She and her six daughters had been living in Costa Rica for five years after relocating from New York City. Photo by Yuma Molina

“I hoped that we could go back home [New York] for the Christmas holiday, but it was not affordable, so we couldn’t do it,” says Gill. While exploring other options, her mother offered Gill an idea. “My mother had always told me about Maranatha. She watches the stories on 3ABN, and she said ‘It would be wonderful if you could take the children on one of the mission trips.’” Gill’s mother was referring to the Christmas Family Project, which was scheduled to take place in Nicaragua—right above Costa Rica. The mission trip welcomes volunteers of all ages to participate in a program that is designed to give families an alternative to the traditional Christmas. The idea clicked with Gill. She says, “Christmas to me was beginning to get a little stressful—


very commercial. I felt that my children would be able to gain a greater appreciation for the things that they have and to see how other people live. And to be grateful to God for what they have. And I would also like for them to have a desire to help and serve.” But when she researched the project, she found that it, too, was over her budget. It was beginning to look as if the Gill family was going to have to stay in Costa Rica for Christmas. Then, Maranatha came up with a solution. “At the same time that we were talking to Annette about the Christmas Family Project we also were talking to a church in Canada. They had saved money for a mission trip but had decided not to go. Instead, they asked if there was a special need associated

with Nicaragua that the money go towards. We thought immediately of the Gill family,” says Kyle Fiess, vice president of marketing and projects. The church members generously agreed, and within weeks, the Gill family found themselves on a 10‑hour bus ride to Nicaragua. Once there, the Gills joined 73 other people in painting the Nueva Guinea Adventist School, which was built by four previous volunteer teams. Participants sanded, painted, and ran medical outreach and Vacation Bible School programs. By the end of the week, the team had completed a beautiful new school to serve 320 students in the future. On December 30, with the last Maranatha volunteer group in attendance, Nueva Guinea had a dedication for the new school.

mar anat ha.org

Photo by Boris Saavedra

Claribel Castillo, town mayor, spoke at the ceremony to convey her gratitude to the hundreds of Maranatha volunteers who helped to build the facility. “This new school will have a big impact. Education is key to developing this area, and this school will be an important part of that. In addition, the Adventist message will be presented in this school and that is also very important,” said Castillo. The experience of helping to provide a new school for Nueva Guinea was a blessing for all the volunteers; like Gill, all 80 of the volunteers had come to Nicaragua in search of an alternative to the materialism of Christmas. But for Jim Bucci, a volunteer from Canada, the experience was about more than providing a meaningful holiday for his kids. He had been searching for a family-oriented mission trip for a while. When he came across Maranatha’s Family Projects, he and his wife started praying for all the pieces to fall into place—from finances to reassurances about safety. “God provided for all our needs on this trip, and we realized we had nothing to fear at all when God is with us,” says Bucci, who has two daughters, ages 2 and 7. “We are not saying that on this trip that we did not have some challenges— and that we did not have to be careful with our children—but we are saying that God provided all we needed, and that we should not be afraid of doing whatever He has called us to do.”

mar an a t h a . o rg

For Bucci, he’s felt called to share his family’s experience in Nicaragua, and he’s become a missionary back home in Canada. Since returning, Bucci has been busy visiting local churches to motivate people to get involved with service. Says Bucci, “Every chance we get, we’re sharing with people at church, people at work, and friends and relatives, and we’re encouraging them to go do whatever God leads them to do.” “This experience was a very practical, real life reminder of the importance of helping others and how much Jesus has done for us. It was also a great reminder of what God can do by working through us as human beings and through organizations like Maranatha.” As for Gill, mission adventures are a tradition that she hopes to repeat with her daughters, who were reluctant to give up Christmas at first but now have gained an appreciation for service. “I look forward to the next opportunity to be able to have my children share in this, says Gill. “The Christmas Family Project is great because it takes into account the ages of the children and the special needs that young people and families have. It’s a great experience for them, but at the same time it’s not as intense as other mission trips may be. I hope we grow into being a mission family, and as they grow older we can participate in more challenging projects.”

Photo by Yuma Molina

A Surprise Blessing Years ago, Maranatha built a church in Nueva Guinea. Today, that church has created several Photo by Kyle Fiess daughter congregations, and they needed places of worship. So Maranatha began building One-Day Churches for those groups. In fact, the groups that worked on the school in Nueva Guinea also constructed One-Day Churches in the surrounding area as part of their outreach activities. But the Christmas Family team stumbled on an additional project that wasn’t part of the original plan. On Sabbath, a few volunteers worshipped at the Los Angeles Church—a structure that had been built by previous Nueva Guinea teams. The Christmas Family Project volunteers were impressed to see how the members had quickly built the walls, using money donated by previous groups. All that remained for the church to be completed was paint. But the group was out of funds, and their walls remained dull and gray. Touched by Los Angeles’ story—which included a lot of personal sacrifice to afford the church—volunteers took up a collection to purchase paint for the Los Angeles Church. Then a small group headed over to paint the building. The Los Angeles members were overwhelmed with gratitude at this surprise Christmas blessing. It was another miracle that stemmed from absolute faith in Christ and the generous spirit of Maranatha volunteers.

Going to Ghana Maranatha is Building Big in a New Country B Y C A RR I E P U R K EY P I L E

For the first time in its history, Maranatha has opportunities for groups to work in Ghana, West Africa. This beautiful country is considered an ideal place for volunteers. Some even call Ghana “Africa for beginners,” given that the country is more developed than many on the subcontinent, safe, and has great infrastructure. Plus many Ghanaians speak fluent English— perfect for volunteers! Ghana has so much to offer, including beautiful coastlines in the south and safari adventures in the north. But, by far, the best thing about Ghana is the people. Ghanaians are a vibrant, peace-loving, and happy group, and it has a reputation as the friendliest country in Africa. Ghanaians find music in everything, from the pounding of fu-fu (a staple food), or the bleating of a goat, to calling out prices in the market. Ghana will offer you a big smile and a warm welcome. Ghana received the Seventh-day Adventist message in the late 1800’s with the same enthusiasm they exude now. One of the first people in Ghana to accept the Adventist message was Francis Dolphijn. He reportedly took up Adventism after reading a tract left to him by a visiting ship captain in 1888. He soon began writing to request more literature, and by 1890, he was leading a company of 15 fledgling Adventist Christians. Today the Adventist Church in 8 | THE V O L U NT EER SPRIN G 2013

Ghana is growing faster than any other country in West Central Africa, in part, because of the highly respected Adventist education system. Both Adventist and non-Adventist families in Ghana send children to Adventist schools to get an education that goes beyond just math and reading. The 916 Adventist schools spread throughout the country vary in physical condition. Pastor Samuel

Larmie, president of the Seventh‑day Adventist Church in Ghana, describes many schools built with bamboo reeds, which can easily be damaged. On the coast, rain and high winds frequently peel off the roofs or cause other wear and tear. Yet, across the country, thousands of people hold dear the common thread of their Adventist education. Non-Adventist adults who once studied in the schools are proud of their participation in the school choirs and grateful for the invested instruction of their youth. Josephine Wari is the secretary of education for the West Central Africa Division. She is passionate about the difference Adventist schools provide in Ghana. “The government is providing for the intellectual education, but Adventist education will give the full education­— providing for the social, the physical, and the spiritual. The spiritual education is preparing our students to become citizens for the upcoming kingdom of Jesus Christ. And that is our target.” Knowing Jesus makes an eternal impact on lives every day, Larmie mar anat ha.org

says that providing a place for worship and Christian education spreads that impact. “We have all kinds of people having their hopes on [career] positions, having their hopes on means and funds, you know, popularity, etc. And those hopes just rise and fall. The hope for any person in Ghana, as much as any part of the world, is to look up to God, who alone can give you a solution that is not temporal, but a solution that is eternal.” The first Maranatha project in Ghana is to build a preschool, elementary, and high school on the Valley View University campus, located outside the capital city of Accra. With 3,500 students, Valley View is the only Adventist university in the country and one of the few in West Africa. Yet there is no Adventist elementary or high school in the area. Those seeking a Christian education for their children have to travel far or attend boarding schools outside of Ghana. Staffing the university is a challenge because there are no facilities for the professors’ children to attend Adventist school.

mar an a t h a . o rg

To meet the need, volunteers will build 42 One-Day School classrooms on the Valley View campus, as well as a large Education and Evangelism Center. The facility will serve approximately 2,000 students: both family members of university staff and students, as well as children from the local community. Valley View will be the largest campus Maranatha has ever built to date. Maranatha will also be building One-Day School campuses and One-Day Churches in other parts of Ghana—all of which need volunteer participation. Look for more opportunities to serve in Ghana in upcoming issues of The Volunteer or visit www.maranatha.org.

How to Get Involved in Ghana Project Opportunities •

Open Teams (look for future projects on our website or pages 14-15 of this magazine)

Private groups can schedule a mission trip to Ghana. Contact the office at (916) 774-7700 or volunteer@maranatha.org

Sponsoring Opportunities •

Gifts of all amounts are urgently needed. Mark your donation to go toward Ghana and help fund the important work there.

T HE VOLU NT EER S P RIN G Photos 2013by Dick | 9Duerksen


Pentecostal/ Charismatic 24.1% Protestant 18.6% Catholic 15.1% Other 11%

Christian 68.8%



other 0.7%

None 6.1%

Traditional 8.5%

Muslim 15.9%


A Closer Look at the Republic of

English (official) and other Asante Ewe




Akuapem 2.9%







Dagomba Dagarte (Dagaba)



Boron (Brong)





LANGUAGES 2000 census

Adventist mission is promoted on 48 radio stations and four television stations within Ghana each week.

Valley View University is the first accredited and chartered private tertiary university in Ghana.

Currently, Maranatha is planning to build 78 One-Day School classrooms, 40 One-Day Churches, and 1 Education and Evangelism Center in Ghana.






about the Adventist message reaches Francis Dolphijn on the Gold Coast (now Ghana).

1888 A pamphlet



1939 The first Adventist teacher training college is established in Bekwae.


1938 An Adventist press is founded in Ghana.

1921 J. K. Garbrah is the first Ghanaian to be ordained as a Seventh‑day Adventist minister.

1907 Adventist education is founded in Ghana with the opening of a school in Cape Coast. A second “official” Adventist School opens the following year in Kikam.

service in Ghana includes Francis Dolphijn and three others.

1897 The first baptismal

1894 First missionaries arrive to Ghana.

1957 School of nursing and midwifery opens at the Kwahu Hospital.



1974 The Adventist Girls’ Vocation Institute opens in Techiman.




— from www.Adventistgh.org

Maranatha Volunteers International responds to Ghana Union’s request for churches and schools.


2013 In March, Maranatha volunteers begin construction on large pre‑school through high school campus at Valley View University.

1997 Valley View University becomes the first nationally accredited private university in the country.

1979 Valley View University (originally named Adventist Missionary College) is established in Accra.

*CIA World Factbook






TIMELINE of the adventist church in ghana






AN UNEXPECTED GIFT: The Mponda One-Day Church B Y S U S A N W OO D S

Drip, drip, drip. You turn and spot rain falling on the bench in front of you, splattering your neighbor and your well‑worn Bible. You quickly move the treasured Bible to a safer Photos by Maranatha Field Team location. Drip, drip, drop. The rain starts falling faster and faster, and soon steady streams are cascading all around you. Umbrellas are opened; folks scoot closer together to get away from the worst leaks. The racket of the rainfall drowns out the elder’s voice as he preaches the message of the day. The rainy season has started in earnest; it’s good for the crops but not for partaking in a meaningful worship service. While your church walls are lined with bricks crafted by church members, the thatch roof is several years old. Termites are devouring it. Wind and rain have wreaked havoc on its ability to shed water or filter out sunlight. You wonder when your church family will be able to scrape together the funds to replace it again. If only you could have a long-term solution— like a metal roof. It’s a wonderful, expensive dream.

12 | T H E V O L U NTEER SPRIN G 2013

Getting back to reality, you feel your child nudging you. The service is closing as the din and the disruption of the rainstorm is forcing folks to cram together or scatter to homes nearby. Maybe you can’t quite picture a worship service like this one. But the 70 people who weekly attend the Mponda Church, near Monkey Bay in Malawi, are quite familiar with it. Or they were until last December. The news spread quickly in December 2012. Maranatha had

come to nearby towns and villages. They were looking at church sites. They were building structures with a metal roof—the kind everyone dreamed about but couldn’t begin to afford. The church folks in Mponda were thrilled beyond belief when Maranatha’s field supervisor, Andre Boruck, arrived in Mponda. They excitedly hurried him up the steep, narrow path to the small piece of land where their precious church stood on the hillside. The little plot of land surrounding the building was littered with rocks. Boruck asked where another church could be built.

mar anat ha.org

Since 2008

“Right here. This is all the land there is,” the leaders replied. Boruck determined that the existing church would have to come down before a One-Day Church could be built on the property. There were other challenges. Boruck worried that the foundation stakes for the structure might not be able to break through the rocky ground or large stones. It would be difficult to haul all the building supplies up the steep hillside as no road or wide path came near the site. But Boruck said he would try to help them find a solution. Hope sprang new in the hearts of Mponda members. The following day, the Mponda church pastor and two of the elders found Boruck. With downcast faces, they explained that there was another problem. The man who owned the land next to the church declared he would not permit construction crews to walk through his land to access the church property. He had been difficult to deal with in the past, and there was little chance that he would soften. Not willing to give up, the pastor and elders said they could look for another piece of property. But given that the Maranatha construction crews were almost finished working in the area, Boruck suggested it would be best to cancel Mponda from the list of new churches. Again the delegation’s faces fell. The hope and excitement had been very short‑lived. Several days later, Boruck was surprised to receive another visit from the Mponda elders. They reported they had spoken with the village chief, and he had promised them a new piece of land. They pleaded with Boruck to come and take a look at the new property. They assured him it was very close to where he was right at that moment. But the other church projects in Monkey Bay were almost complete, and the crews were beginning to pack up to move on to a new area.

mar an a t h a . o rg

Yet the elders’ persistence won out, and Andre headed with them to visit the chief. The chief proudly showed Boruck and the church leaders the property he had in mind. It was flat and grassy—a beautiful piece of land right on the main road, close to the hub of the village trading center. Looking around, everyone realized it was the nicest site in the whole area, almost a half-acre and about three times the size of their previous property. What an awesome, unexpected gift! Boruck told the elders that if Maranatha was going to build their church it had to be the very next day. The crews were leaving the area, and this would be the last opportunity for Mponda. But first they needed the documents proving that this land now belonged to the church. Could they get these papers in time? That very afternoon, these persistent, faithful elders returned to Boruck, presenting the appropriate documents. And the following day, a Maranatha One-Day Church crew showed up to construct their new place of worship. When Boruck arrived that afternoon to check on the crew, he discovered a wonderful sight. Women were singing while cooking a meal for the hungry workers, men were eagerly helping the crew with construction, and children were playing happily in the grass. As the work finished, the Mponda members gathered in celebration. They sang God’s praises with all their hearts and souls. God’s happiness radiated from their faces. In the last few weeks they had felt both hope and rejection. They had kept praying through it all, and God had honored their faith. He gave them something better than they had even dreamed possible—a new church on a beautiful piece of land in a fantastic location.

, Maranatha has built more than 3,000 One-Day Churches and 400 One-Day School classrooms. In Malawi alone, we have built 935 One-Day Churches—just like this one in Mponda. The requests for One-Day Churches and Schools continue to pour in, and we need your help. Please consider making a donation to this special program. Every dollar makes a difference for these congregations and children in need. In 2013, we’ll be building One‑Day structures in countries all over the world, including Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. Help us to build hope. Give to the One-Day Church!

One-Day Program Progress Report



Belize 44 Botswana 74 Brazil 124 Chad 7 17 Congo 36 Curaçao 12 Ecuador 135 Haiti 144 110 Honduras 126 75 India 154 100 Kenya 111 Lesotho 8 Malawi 935 39 Mexico 65 Mozambique 704 12 Nicaragua 47 12 Swaziland 19 Tanzania 154 Vanuatu 19 Zambia 94 21 Zimbabwe 20 36 TOTAL

3,020 434

ODC: One-Day Church ODS: One-Day School


Camp MiVoden Open Team

Summer Family Project

Hayden Lake, Idaho

Santiago, Panama

LEADER: Don Bais

LEADER: Steve Case

May 12 - 23, 2013

June 20 - 30, 2013

Collegiate Project Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic LEADER: Ethan Weber

July 3 - 16, 2013

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

Port Angeles Open Team

Ecuador Painting Open Team

LEADER: Gerry Anderson

Port Angeles, Washington, USA

Ambato, Ecuador

August 4 - 18, 2013

LEADER: Leroy Kelm

LEADERS: Sadie and Ted Torrez

Sept. 24 - Oct. 11, 2013

October 10 - 21, 2013

Plummer Open Team Plummer, Idaho, USA

14 | T H E V O L U NTEER SPRIN G 2013

mar anat ha.org

Malamulo Open Team

Ultimate Workout 23

Young Adult Project

Malamulo, Malawi

Updated: Ambato, Ecuador

LEADER: Jason Blanchard

LEADER: Steve Case

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

July 10 - 24, 2013

July 16 - 29, 2013

LEADER: To be determined

August 1 - 12, 2013

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.

Christmas Family Project

Ghana Open Team

Panama Open Team

Accra, Ghana


Dominican Republic

LEADER: Merrill Zachary

LEADER: George Carpenter

LEADER: To be determined

Jan. 29 - Feb. 10, 2014

February 2014

December 19 - 30, 2013

mar an a t h a . o rg

T HE VOLU NT EER S P RIN G 2013 | 15

Group Projects


January – March 2013

Triadelphia Church Goes to Nicaragua


Daystar Adventist Academy (Utah)

B y C a r r i e P u r k e y pil e

“We’re just a mission-minded church. And when it comes to doing something mission [oriented], I think we go all out,” says volunteer Paul Possinger. “We didn’t want them to have just a church; we wanted them to have something that really represented Christ for this area.” Triadelphia teamed up with Maranatha Volunteers International to build a One-Day Church for the Tola congregation during the Christmas and New Year season. They also raised all the funds needed to finish the church walls and floor, as well as purchase medical supplies for daily clinics. In addition, the group conducted children’s ministry programs and evangelistic campaigns at three different sites, simultaneously. Assistant project leader Jim Ayer visited the building site months before the project and was impressed by one young woman who seemed to be the driving force behind the small Tola congregation. At the time, they had been meeting under a mango tree every Sabbath. “You know when I met Arlen, she was the head elder of the local church,” says Ayer. Arlen Tatiana Gallo is a passionate 26-year-old leader who had a dramatic life change after accepting Christ as a teenager. She and the congregation raised the money to buy property for the church by collecting hundreds of small

16 | T H E V O L U NTEER SPRIN G 2013

Fletcher Academy (North Carolina) Placerville Church (California)


Photo by David Brillhart

donations and contributing to the fund each week. “She showed us the property and told how they’d come together, and it was such a miracle to buy the property,” recalls Ayer. “Then we shared with them that we were not only going to put up a frame of the church and a roof, we were going to build the entire church and pay for it all. And she began crying, and we almost cried … And at that moment, Janeen [my wife] and I knew that God was in charge of this.” The 47-member Triadelphia team also had participants from other locations, including the Second Hope medical team from Walla Walla, Washington. Local people were fitted with more than 4,000 pairs of vision-correcting glasses as part of the outreach activities. The available experts also presented health information, created to address specific issues in the region, at each nightly meeting. The local pastor, Omar Perez, shared his thoughts. “This has been unbelievable. Beyond my dreams! The radio and TV stations are talking about what is going on there, and the people know now that we care about them.” Ayer is content. “For me that is what it’s all about. Absolutely impacting the culture for Jesus Christ.” Triadelphia Adventist Church went to Tola, Nicaragua, from December 23, 2012 - January 6, 2013.

West Houston Church (Texas) Detroit Maranatha Team (Michigan) Hendersonville Church (North Carolina) Chehalis Church and friends (Washington) Niles Westside Church (Indiana) Milo Adventist Academy (Oregon)


Taipei Adventist Preparatory Academy (Taiwan)


Oklahoma Conference (Oklahoma) SAGE (Washington) Finland Mission Team (Finland) Chinook Winds (Calgary, Canada)


San Gabriel Academy (California) Northern California Conference (California) HMS Richards Adventist School (Colorado)


Thunderbird Adventist Academy (Arizona)


Redwood Adventist Academy (California)

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

Photo on opposite page by Dick Duerksen

A group of volunteers based at the Triadelphia Adventist Church in Clarksville, Maryland, visited the small town of Tola, Nicaragua, and not only built a church, but put all their effort and resources into going above and beyond what is expected on a typical mission trip.

Dominican Republic

Falakata, India Claudio Japas, longtime Maranatha volunteer and Falakata Open Team project leader, ceremoniously cuts the ribbon at the dedication of the new classrooms at Raymond Memorial Higher Secondary School in India.


A Return to the Dominican Republic

Share Mission Stories at Your Church From children’s story to Sabbath School to mission emphasis Sabbath, there are a number of times you could use a good mission story to share with your church. Why not share a segment from Maranatha Mission Stories, a television program airing on 3ABN and the Hope Channel?

Nearly ten years since working in the country, Maranatha is returning to the Dominican Republic. Starting this year, volunteer projects began work in multiple locations in the Dominican Republic. The projects are for churches—many of which have grown from Maranatha churches built years ago. While Maranatha has worked in the Dominican Republic since the 1970s, the first big push took place in 1992. The event, named Santo Domingo ’92, recruited 1,200 volunteers to the Dominican

Republic to build 25 churches in a period of three months. It was the first time the organization had embarked on a large-scale project in one country, and it changed the way Maranatha has worked ever since. After Santo Domingo ’92, Adventist membership multiplied at a considerable rate in the Dominican Republic. In 2002, Maranatha went back for another major construction effort— which helped to spark another membership growth spurt in the nation.

Each episode is based on a project or volunteer experience in the mission field. Segments run anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes long. Maranatha Mission Stories also features an interview segment (10 minutes) and a short sermonette by master storyteller, Dick Duerksen (approximately 3 minutes) All episodes are available online at www.maranatha.org or you can order specific episodes on DVD. To order your free copy of a Maranatha Mission Stories episode, visit our website or call (916) 774-7700.

Building Classrooms in Falakata, India Nearly sixty years ago, Adventists established a school in the small town of Falakata. The institution became a thriving part of the community and a respected educational institution, drawing families from all over the area and from various faiths. Today, Raymond Memorial Higher Secondary School has more than 1,200 primary and secondary

18 | T H E V O L U NTEER SPRIN G 2013

students. Enrollment surpassed the facility’s capacity, and students had to be turned away. The Adventist Church requested Maranatha’s assistance in expanding the campus. In January, volunteers built eight One-Day School classrooms on

the Raymond Memorial campus. In March, a second team headed over to build eight more classrooms. During the projects, volunteers also ran medical clinics and treated hundreds of patients.

mar anat ha.org

First Adventist High School in Livingstone, Zambia A successful volunteer project in Livingstone, Zambia, closed with a jubilant Sabbath celebration that welcomed more than 3,000 people. Adventists from all over the Livingstone region and local community members gathered under the partially completed Education and Evangelism Center (EEC) that volunteers had been building, January 22 to February 3.

and a health expo. The health expo was designed to teach children basic health principles through stations. Volunteers then gave a quick lesson on a specific health message.

In addition to block work, volunteers kept busy with a number of tasks, including the construction of several One‑Day School classrooms that circle the main EEC. People also helped with landscaping the campus and entrance of the school. Volunteers also coordinated a medical clinic

In March, Thunderbird Adventist Academy students from Arizona continued work on the Livingstone EEC. Once completed, the EEC will serve as a secondary school— the first Adventist high school in Livingstone. The school is named

School in Nueva Guinea Dedicated Nine months and more than 300 volunteers later, the Nueva Guinea Adventist School, in Nicaragua, opened its doors on February 25. The day started with a special ceremony that welcomed the town mayor, a representative from the Department of Education, and the regional Adventist Church president. Then, 50 students started classes at their new facility with many more expected to enroll in the coming weeks. The Nueva Guinea school project began construction last spring, when the Carmichael

mar an a t h a . o rg

Adventist Church, from California, headed over to start work on the Education and Evangelism Center. Three more groups continued construction, and in December, participants with the Christmas Family Project painted the school.

after longtime Maranatha volunteers Terry and Dina Schwartz, who have volunteered in Livingstone numerous times on their own and with Maranatha.

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


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

Mina, One of “The First Batch” B Y D I C K D U ER K S EN

“I remember the first day of school. You know, they paid us to attend school that year. It was nothing but jungle all over, but Elder Champion had pitched tents for us and we lived right over there near the river. Well, on the very first day we had school for one hour and then spent the rest of the day helping pull up the jungle.” Mina was in “the first batch” of students at the Raymond Memorial Higher Secondary School in Falakata, India. The Adventist church had started a school in Karmatar, near Calcutta, but the need was great, and the Karmatar property was too small. Elder Champion was the church education director, and after considerable searching, he located 600 acres in Falakata and set the stakes for a secondary school. “That was 1949. I had been attending the Adventist school in Karmatar, but since I was 18 years old and ready for secondary school, my parents sent me here with Elder Champion. There was jungle everywhere!” The jungle got “pulled up,” and soon the education extended far beyond

2013 M A R A N AT H A C ON V E N T ION

Photo by Dick Duerksen

the “one-hour per day.” Standard high school courses were augmented by classes in agriculture, family life, evangelism, and leadership. “See these big tall trees? We planted all of those. And we kept the school gardens, too!” Great-grandma Mina is the last surviving member of Raymond Memorial’s “first batch,” but lives nearby and at 82 is still an active part of the Falakata school family. “Principal Fendall tells me there are more than 1,200 students here now and that the new Maranatha classrooms will make room for even more. I am proud that you have come to help grow my school. This is God’s school, you know.”

On the cover: A child in Chad. Photo by Tom Lloyd




6401 Stanford Ranch Road | Roseville, CA

Special Musical Guest




Free Sabbath Lunch

with your advance registration


Visit www.maranatha.org or call 916.774.7700

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer Spring 2013  

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

The Volunteer Spring 2013  

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