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Though nothing’s really changed, something was vastly different when we visited Haiti in May.

Tap-Taps, broken concrete, and trash still clog Port-au‑Prince streets. Roving salesmen (more women than men) carry pharmacies, hardware stores, fruit markets, and shoe stores the length of every sidewalk. Rain in the mountains brings floods to the roadways, snarls traffic, and intensifies odors. Haiti is much the same as it was ten years ago. But some things are vastly different. The flame trees still wave green and gorgeous, the piles of fighting conchs continue to grow higher, and the mango trees hang heavy with green and yellow delicacies. Travel into the country and the pace of life slows to match the maturing of the mangos.

Photo on opposite page by Tom Lloyd

It’s easy to see the results of the 2010 earthquake. A 7.0 quake leaves destruction and scars so grandchildren will remember the pain of that day. In the city men still wield hammers and chisels against tottering buildings. Every flat place is a colorless collection of blue, white, and grey canvas and plastic shelters that house nearly a million people. In the country, thousands more live beside their cracked and crushed houses in blue plastic cubes that proclaim the house as a

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Photo by Pastor Amador

donation from “US AID,” “OXFAM,” “UNICEF,” or one of the other charities that have been active since the quake. It’s been more than 18 months since the shaking, more than 14 months since Maranatha was asked to build “a few temporary shelters” and to rebuild the broken cement wall around the Adventist compound south of the capital. “We shipped temporary housing structures to Haiti,” says Maranatha President Don Noble,“ and quickly found it necessary to transform them into schools and churches.” Those buildings are now serving as classrooms for more than 5,000 children, and as church worship centers for 15,000 adults.

more than 2,500 students in school on our university campus,” says Dr. J.J. Pierre, president of Haiti Adventist University. “Without these buildings … I do not know what we would have done! You have given us hope.” We met Pastor Jean Michel several miles south of the city, far off a country road and deep into sugar cane fields. There, beside a broken sign was the Mathieu Adventist church and school. “Our school had 350 students,” he said, “and nearly 600 church members. But when the earth broke our buildings Maranatha came, built the new church and filled us all with hope.” “What would you like for us to do now?” I asked him.

“Your classroom buildings have made it possible for us to keep


start reading in their new treasures. Several times during our visit we heard Haitians describe the earthquake as “God’s punishment for our sinful ways.” They would then describe how they had changed their ways since that fateful Tuesday. “The churches are much more full now,” one Elder said. “God got our attention.” Then one afternoon as I was interviewing the President of the Adventist Church in Haiti, I asked if the earthquake had been God’s punishment, or God’s blessing. His answer was quick and clear.

Photo by Pastor Amador

laughed and played around and under their new desks I asked him what he is hoping Maranatha can do for the youth in his mission.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

“Please build us a school,” he replied. “A church without a school is not a church.” On the morning when we opened and dedicated the first One‑Day School in the Menahem community, a church and school in Haiti’s Central Mission, all of the children and teachers were in a tumble‑down three-sided shed they had been using as classrooms. As the service began the students lined up and walked across the broken stones from the shed to the new schoolroom, a room that quickly filled with the sounds of happy children! Pastor Jean Michel, director of youth ministries for Haiti’s Southern Mission, was a guest at the school’s grand opening. As the children


“We need at least 350 new school buildings,” he said. “Our churches are growing rapidly, especially since the earthquake, and all the new members bring children, many children. We need schools so each of those children can learn about Jesus in an Adventist school.” Sabbath afternoon we joined a small church group for a baptism in an irrigation pond beside a sugar cane field. It was a gorgeous day, crystal-clear water, cloud ships sailing overhead, very happy members singing joyfully, and a dozen community children crowding close to see what was happening. When the baptism was over and the church members were out of the water our team gave each of the new members a French Bible, a gift that brought many happy tears. Holding the Bibles close they listened closely as their pastor guided them to know where to

“Many of the people in Haiti believe the earthquake was God’s punishment for our sins, and that is possibly true. However, for me and for our church it has been a great blessing. Before the quake we had many members, now we have many more. In fact it seems that our church attendance has nearly doubled. Also, I know the earthquake was a blessing because before the earthquake we had asked many times for Maranatha to come and help us build schools and churches – and you had not been able to come. Then the earthquake destroyed what we had – and now you are here. That’s a great earthquake blessing!” People who live near the wall we were asked to build around the Adventist hospital, university, press, bakery, and ADRA offices, would agree with the “blessing” assessment. Many have already turned a section of the new wall into their “home,” a plastic lean-to from which they sell their goods, where they laugh with neighbors, and where they feel safe. One evening over dinner we tallied up the requests we had received from the Church leaders in Haiti: 886 new schools. 360 new churches. All needed “today.”

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Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Pastor Amador

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T HE VOLU NT EER S UM M ER 2011 | 5 Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Dick Duerksen


Maranatha projects in India are unique. Maybe it is the open hearts of hundreds of thousands of people. Maybe it is the thriving boarding schools filled with smiling, singing children. Maybe it is stark contrast of luxury and poverty all around. Maybe it has something to do with the color, the compassion, the charisma of India. Of the more than one billion Indian people, only 2.3% are Christian.* The majority of people are Hindu, worshiping literally thousands of gods. Life is a constant effort to please this god or that, hoping for a bit of health or prosperity as a reward. The contrast of a single God, who gives rather than takes, who loves and sacrifices for us, rather than demanding sacrifices of us, is new to many. Pastor Measapogu Wilson (pictured left) was born and raised in India and continues to work there. He explains that for many of the lower caste Indians, the simple act of going out to pray with them is a huge part of successful ministry. To touch someone of low caste in India is avoided at all cost. These people have been shunned and rejected by their own people, and their own religion for many generations. They are of no value in the Hindu system. To find out that an all-powerful God loves them, and sends people to help, is more than valuable.

Photo by Tom Lloyd


Photo by Terry Schwartz

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“When you touch and pray, that means Jesus is touching them,” says Pastor Wilson. “They feel when you touch and pray, when you mention their name in prayer, and present him before the almighty God, they literally feel that God is with them, and there is some kind of transformation, the melting of the hard heart, opening of the feelings to God so God can bless you. So touch makes the difference. Jesus in His ministry touched the people. He mingled with them. And then he ministered.” Those who have been to India can attest, these people need hope. “Everywhere we go in these villages there are huge needs. There’s little orphan kids. There’s grandmas taking care of kids that don’t have any income. Maybe their sons and daughters have left or died or got sick or whatever, but, there’s so much need.” Bruce Fjarli has been volunteering in India with Maranatha for years. He and his family were impacted by the people of India many years ago, and have been prayerfully supporting ministry there ever since. After successful evangelistic efforts, introducing thousands of people to Christ for the first time, there is a huge need for support, in the form of pastors, Bible workers and churches. The temple is such a focal point of life in Hindu countries, that Christians gathering in homes, without a public meeting place are strongly ridiculed. A church building is a reinforcement of their faith. With entire villages full of brand new Christians, training the people is so important. Not even basic concepts of Christianity have been a part of their lives. It is truly a new experience. Bible workers are stretched between villages, trying to meet with as many people as possible, but the real training in Christian life takes place for a few lucky children who attend Adventist Christian schools. Maranatha has built many large boarding schools in different parts of India, and

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the teachers there are training the future leadership of India’s Christian community, as well as giving an incredible gift to each child. “If there wasn’t Christian education provided for these kids, they would be stuck in the village. They would be stuck doing the same menial tasks their ancestors have done their whole life,” says Bruce. “This gives them the opportunity to learn and grow out of that, or go back to it with an education to share in their villages and educate their families and other people in the village.” Maranatha volunteer, Robin Marsh (pictured right) feels the gravity of the situation too. “Fjarli academy, and every other school like it, is truly the only hope that these kids have. These kids come from the villages with no hope. They come to that school, and others like it and they have the opportunity not only to have food and clothes that are adequate, but to get a Christian education. They can be successful in this world, but they (also) have the opportunity to be successful eternally.” Bruce’s wife, Jacki Fjarli notes the difference after children arrive and adjust to their new reality. “They have a purpose in their lives and you can tell it in their eyes.” The most important detail might be the miracles that Maranatha volunteers see unfolding every day. “In this country, anything you do for Jesus, you can’t fail,” says Robin. The story of Jesus starts with a simple prayer, a story, sharing from the heart. In India hundreds of thousands are still waiting to hear. Others are moving to the next phase of Christian life. Is God calling you to be a part of this great work? Join us on a Maranatha project in India. Touch as Jesus touched. *As stated in the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book.


Photo by Eun Sook

Photo by Shannon Cramer


In merely six months since their introduction, 95 One-Day School buildings have already revolutionized the lives of students on several continents, with many more to come. The needs are great. With funding, we could put up thousands and thousands of One-Day Classrooms. Some unexpected philanthropists are already stepping up to the plate. Helping provide schools for those in need has inspired school children and adults in North America. The Minnesota Conference of Seventh‑day Adventists held a conference-wide fund drive for elementary school children. Each school entered into a contest to see what group would raise the most toward a One-Day School classroom.

Each Minnesota school filled a birdhouse “school” with coins and bills - some again and again! With a conference goal of $5,000, each classroom at each school instituted their own creative ideas. Some held carnivals with games and food, others created special offering envelopes to distribute at church, adorned with hand-drawn illustrations of the One-Day School. The Kindergarten-Fourth grade students at the Capital City Adventist Christian School held a jump rope fundraiser. The children studied about the One-Day School and perfected the spring in their step for weeks before the event. Armed with a folder of photos and stats about the One-Day School, they gathered pledges from friends and family.

Photo by Shannon Cramer

On the big day, 22 children rotated through four different jump-roping stations for up to 120 minutes. The event was a huge success, as laughing children raised nearly $2,000 for the One-Day School. “Students were very excited about


the success of the project, and about helping other kids have a nice place to go to school,” says teacher Sue Larson. The conference surpassed their goal and by campmeeting had raised more than $7,500 for the One-Day School program. Three participating schools were invited to tour the One-Day Church/School factory in Dodge Center, Minnesota. Garwin McNeilus, who oversees the design and manufacturing of the One-Day projects invited 66 kids from ages 5-13, and a few young at heart, to have a hands-on experience with the components of the important buildings. “From the littlest tiny kindergartner, to the older kids, they were given gloves and slid the steel down the rollers and stacked it into the crate,” says Connie McCormick, Superintendent of Schools for the Minnesota Conference of Seventh‑day Adventists. “It was wonderful!

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More Than 2,000 Now Complete Malawi


Maranatha has completed more than 600 One-Day Churches in Malawi. Most congregations are making preparations to build brick walls. The Adventist Church in Malawi has already seen congregations growing as a result of the One-Day Church initiative.

Maranatha crews are building 74 One-Day Churches in Botswana for congregations that previously had no permanent place to worship. Each congregation will complete the One-Day structure with block walls.

Kenya The One-Day Church has made a large impact in Kenya, coordinated by Living Waters International, an ASI partner. A new One-Day Church now serves a growing Adventist congregation in one of Kenya’s maximum security prisons. A total of 111 churches have been built in Kenya.

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Haiti Maranatha has completed 140 One‑Day structures in Haiti. The buildings are being used as churches, schools and temporary housing. Over 15,000 people meet in the buildings for worship services each Sabbath, and more than 5,000 students attend classes during the week.

How You Can Help! • One-Day Church Share - $1,500 • One-Day School Share - $5,000 To sponsor a One-Day Church or School, visit or send your donation to: Maranatha Volunteers International 990 Reserve Drive Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678 The One-Day Church inititative is a joint project of ASI and Maranatha Volunteers International.



Bugema University Open Team

Christmas Family Project 2011

LEADER: Bruce Fjarli

Kampala, Uganda

Latin America

November 1 - 14, 2011

LEADER: Merrill Zachary

LEADER: Vickie Wiedmann

November 3 - 16, 2011

Dec. 22, 2011 - Jan. 2, 2012

India Fall Open Team Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

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

Summer Family Project

Ultimate Workout 22

Young Adult Project

Latin America

Latin America

Latin America

LEADER: Steve Case

LEADER: To be determined

LEADER: Steve Case

July 15 - 30, 2012

August 2012

June 14 - 24, 2012

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Open Team Project

Fjarli Family and Friends Open Team


Open Team Project Latin America

LEADER: Karen Godfrey

Andhra Pradesh, India

LEADER: Merrill and Diane Zachary

January/February 2012

LEADER: Bruce Fjarli

February 2012

Jan. 31 - Feb. 12, 2012

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.

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T HE VOLU NT EER S UM M ER 2011 | 11

Group Projects April - June 2011

Honduras Battle Creek Tabernacle Youth (Michigan) San Marcos Pathfinder Club (Texas) Dallas Oregon Mission Group (Oregon)

United States Franklin Pathfinder Team (North Carolina)

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

Camelback Church Volunteers Listen and Give BY DICK DUERKSEN The need: Please help improve our 80-student school in the town of Olanchito. The solution: 86 Maranatha volunteers from the Camelback Seventh-day Adventist church in Phoenix, Arizona, who visited, listened, adapted, built, played, conducted clinics and VBS, baptized, and made eternal friends. No one expected the miracle that dropped into Olanchito, Honduras during July. Not the people of Olanchito. Not the church leaders. And not even the volunteers from Camelback. Pastor Peter Simpson, president of local Adventist conference was really clear about that. “I knew that we had asked Maranatha to help us with an improved school in Olanchito. I knew that Camelback had offered to help us buy better property and expand the school. But I had no idea it would be something as awesome as this!” Jose Alvarado, district pastor for the 10 congregations in and around Olanchito, glowed with excitement. “My wife and I have only been working here for six months, and it was very obvious that we needed to improve the school right away. But that was far too hard for us to accomplish ourselves. But now, with Maranatha and our new friends from Camelback, we are living a miracle we had never even dreamed.” The new 200-student school campus was dedicated on Monday, July 18. Representing the people of Olanchito was Eddie Acosta, the

city mayor. “Now I see this has really happened. Though I support all of our schools in this area, I plan to give special attention to this new Maranatha School. This is wonderful. I’ll make sure that the water, electricity, and sewer are all connected tomorrow so that this can be the best school in Olanchito.” “We partnered with Maranatha on this mission trip because we wanted our church to grow and to focus outside ourselves onto the needs of others,” says Charles White, Camelback Senior Pastor. “It’s already accomplished far more than our dream, and we haven’t even gotten home for our Arizona celebration!” Denora Alvarado, Director of the Maranatha school, added an insight. “When the Camelback team came to talk to us about this project they did not tell us what they were going to do. Instead they asked us what we wanted done. So we told them we needed a soccer field. If we are going to be the best school in town we need a new field where all the people will come to play futbol. They listened, changed their plans, helped us find this better place, and built a field for futbol. Then they built a new school around it! We could not ask for anything more!” “We’re not done here,” says Pastor White. “We’ve set up a special team who will be working with our Olanchito friends to help their new school grow and be successful in the coming years. And that’s going to help us grow too.”

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Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Dick Duerksen


Ultimate Workout Gives Birth to The Collegiate Project Maranatha’s project for high school age teens, The Ultimate Workout, has been strengthening the social and spiritual “muscles” in teens for 21 years now. The project has influenced many young leaders eager to give and serve in missions. When UW coordinators noticed that many alumni, already young adults in college (and beyond) wanted to keep coming back as staff, year after year, they launched a new project, just for volunteers age 18-24. The Collegiate Project further encourages volunteers to

branch out in leadership: in fact all the staff are collegiate aged as well. The first annual Collegiate Project just completed a church in the remote village of El Retiro, Chiapas, Mexico.

Read The Volunteer Online Visit

Smooth Sailing in Solusi Volunteers on the Solusi Open Team in Zimbabwe April 6-19 say that the project flowed exceptionally smoothly. “What seemed special to me was the way everybody pulled together and cooperated,” says Becky Alder. “I didn’t hear any bickering or whining. It was kind of like, ‘in one accord.’” Veteran volunteer Faye McColphin agreed. She has worked on Maranatha projects all around the world, from Belize, to Brazil, to Zimbabwe, often working on the roofs, as she isn’t scared of heights at all. “I like to work,” she says. “Just sitting around, fiddly doo‑dah is not for me. I like to

work! I ain’t gonna die in no rocking chair!” Faye was tasked to monitor the batteries for the electric drills used to assemble the One-Day School classrooms. But while she took care of that need, she found she had extra time and started helping others with their assigned tasks. “You can always see more things that need to be done,” says Faye.

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The willing attitude of every volunteer contributed to their great success, and the team completed 22 classrooms in just seven working days.

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Meet in September for Maranatha’s Annual Convention $10 Church fund, Or have you already been out doing the fun and physical work of God? All mission enthusiasts are invited to join us this year in the Portland area, September 23-24. You’ll hear lots of inspiring stories, see exclusive video updates and probably meet up with some new and old friends! How are you involved in Maranatha? Do you watch Maranatha Mission Stories at home and plan to “someday” go on a project? Do you contribute to the

Edgar Mertz Edgar Mertz, a long time volunteer and supporter of Maranatha passed away on July 3, 2011 at the age of 94. Edgar’s first adventure with Maranatha began in 1974 at the Yellowknife Project in Canada. That introduction led to a life of service as Edgar participated in many Maranatha projects. A mason by trade, Edgar could lay block as fast as anyone and was known for his high quality work. Most recently, Edgar attended the Galapagos Islands project in Ecuador where he helped lay block for a school.

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The program features speakers from around the world, as well as Maranatha’s own Dick Duerksen. Music is provided by Christian Edition.

Pre-register online today to receive a free lunch on Sabbath. Bring your friends and share the excitement of service. We look forward to having you, and your family! Join us September 23 at 7 p.m. and September 24 at 9:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Rolling Hills Community Church 3550 SW Borland Road Tualatin, Oregon Pre-register online at, or call (916) 774-7700.

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


We had come to the Honduran village of El Portillo, snaking into the mountain along several hours of dusty roads, across multiple rivers, and through scores of sugar cane fields. El Portillo, the prize at the end of the road, was little more than a few wooded houses, a symphony of raspy roosters, and a mud‑stained Photo by Dick Duerksen corner store where three teenagers were collected the names, gender, shoe selling soft drinks from behind an size, and favorite colors of each iron‑barred window. student in El Portillo. The names went to the Dress A Child team in And there was a school, a Florida and now our volunteers had three‑room warehouse of personalized backpacks for each information notable for its lack of child. furniture and collection of hopeful hounds. I sat inside the school, my camera focused on the doorway where a We were there, laden with bulky long line of children waited, each shoe boxes and a list of student boy and girl bursting with hope. names, prepared to “Dress A Child.” Several months earlier the local Adventist pastor had

Cover Photo taken by Dick Duerksen in India

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.

W AY S T O W AT C H : •

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The Volunteer Summer 2011  

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