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A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International


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Photo by Dick Duerksen

BUILDING FAITH “Are you telling us you have no money?” The church administrators were crestfallen. They had hoped Maranatha Volunteers International could build churches and schools in their country. They couldn’t believe that Don Noble, president of Maranatha, had flown halfway around the world to tell them that there simply weren’t the funds to build. There were so many congregations in desperate need of a church and so many children in need of Christian education. What would they do now? “What we’re going to do is start building,” said Noble. “And I’m going to ask you to pray for each project and ask God to be dependable. It’s His work. Let’s have Him build our faith.” So Maranatha took a great leap of faith—as we have been doing for 44 years—and began building. Since that pivotal conversation, Maranatha has not only built over 800 structures in Mozambique, but we have also constructed more than 2,400 churches and schools in 21 different countries around the world.

The work represents thousands of blocks carried, miles traveled, and hours worked by selfless volunteers like you. It also represents a tremendous amount of donations given by generous donors like you.

In this issue of The Volunteer, we’re taking you on a tour of the countries where Maranatha is working. Each of these countries still need much support with volunteers and donations.

It represents millions of lives permanently changed because they now have a church, a school, a hospital, or a fresh-water well in their village.

We’re asking that you read through these stories. Then we need you to take a giant leap of faith by making a gift. For this is all His work, and we’re all a part of His plan.

And most important, it represents a phenomenal amount of faith. Faith so strong that it gives us the courage to keep building.


Currently Maranatha is active in 12 c Maranatha has constructed urgently ne

GHANA 40 Churches 78 Schools 1 Education and Evangelism Center



1 Church

Various projects

dominican republic 14 Churches

Panama 8 Churches 1 Education and Evangelism Center

ECUADOR 40 Churches 15 Schools 1 Education and Evangelism Center

BRAZIL 313 Churches 1 Education and Evangelism Center

TS IN 2013

countries around the world. Since 1969, eeded buildings in more than 80 countries.

chad 18 Hospital buildings

ZAMBIA 160 Churches 10 Schools 2 Education and Evangelism Centers

ANGOLA 75 Churches 1 Education and Evangelism Center

india 78 Churches 20 Schools 3 Education and Evangelism Centers

ZIMBABWE 320 Churches 48 Schools 2 Education and Evangelism Centers

Represents projects planned for 2013


Adventist Membership: 1,175,935 in Brazil

2013 Project Scope: 313 Churches 1 Education and Evangelism Center

Funds needed THIS YEAR:

Photos by Tom Lloyd

Brazil is a large country with a fervent spirit for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. With more than one million members, Brazil has the most Adventists of any other nation in the world. And the growth isn’t stopping.


Adventist Church leadership in east Brazil announced a goal to plant 1,000 new congregations in the region. Established churches will send missionaries to areas with no Adventist presence to build a community of faith. Maranatha has agreed to support Brazil by building churches.

The Dias D’avila church will serve as a prototype for hundreds of new churches in the region. 6 | THE V O L U NT EER SU MMER 2013

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Earlier this year, Maranatha built a church in Jiribatuba, a village near the eastern coast of Brazil. The building supports the diligent work of two lay-missionaries: Nilda and Iraci. Nilda first arrived in Jiribatuba a couple years ago with the intent to start a rehabilitation ministry. She was the only Adventist in the area until a woman named Iraci moved into town. Iraci is a missionary who has been moving from un-churched village to village to establish new congregations. After joining forces, the two ladies were delighted to watch the new church frame go up. It’s likely that over the next few months, the village of Jiribatuba will be greatly impacted by these two women and their faith in God. Missionaries like Nilda and Iraci are working all over the huge territory of northeast Brazil, and churches are integral for growth. Sponsors are needed for the hundreds of churches that will be erected in Brazil this year.

The congregation at Nova Horizonte celebrates their new church building.

Iraci is one of many modern day missionaries ministering to communities with no Adventist presence.

Another finished church in RiachĂŁo do Bacamarte, Brazil.

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Adventist Membership: 2,494 in Chad

2013 Project Scope: 18 Hospital Buildings

Funds needed THIS YEAR:

$243,758 Dr. Olen Netteburg was about to begin surgery on a patient when a woman rushed into the crude, run-down Béré Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in Chad. She was pregnant, and her baby’s arm was protruding from her birth canal. Netteburg knew she needed immediate attention, but a patient was already situated in their only operating room.

“The first woman had already received anesthesia but had to be whisked back out of the operating room so we could perform an emergency Cesarean surgery to save the life of the baby,” remembers Netteburg. The procedure went well, but Netteburg says that if the [pregnant] woman had arrived just five minutes later— after the start of the first patient’s operation—they would have been unable to save the baby. There had been too many close calls like this one at the Béré hospital,


due to the problem of space. It is the only hospital in a district of about 200,000 people. Often, there are long lines of patients waiting outside the hospital walls. Patients are moved from surgery to the shade of a tree to make room for the next emergency patient. As part of a collaboration with Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries, Maranatha volunteers arrived in January 2013 to expand the space. Netteburg and his team were overjoyed. It was an answer to years of prayer.

The Béré Adventist Hospital now has a spacious operating room, a maternity ward, and two private patient wards. Volunteers also constructed several residences within the campus walls to provide safe housing for the medical staff and short-term missionaries. In addition to the buildings, volunteers assembled more than 100 patient beds. The urgently needed expansion is already starting to make a difference in Béré, but the project is not yet completely funded. A donation of any size would be a tremendous help!

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Photos by Tom Lloyd

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ZIMBABWE Earlier this year, Maranatha sent volunteers to Kariba, Zimbabwe, to build a school campus. One of the big pushes in Kariba is for more schools as Zimbabwe is known for producing excellent Seventh-day Adventist teachers. While there, Maranatha learned that of the four Adventist congregations, not a single group has a church of their own. One group meets under a tree. Another rents a Methodist church, where they are frequently pushed out as needed. Yet another group meets in an open‑air boat shed.

“They just know Adventists as lodgers,” says Shadrack Makuvatsini, an Adventist in Kariba. “They don’t even know our Adventist Church logo in Kariba because we don’t have a permanent building.” The members’ have been hungry for a place of their own in which to

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Adventist Membership: 715,090 in Zimbabwe

2013 Project Scope: 320 Churches 2 Education and Evangelism Centers 48 One-Day Schools

Funds needed THIS YEAR: $2,787,600

worship and grow their faith. One group, the Kariba Adventist Church, has been looking for a plot of land for 31 years. They finally found a place on the side of a hill. It wasn’t an easy site as it would require much excavation by hand to smooth out a level space. But once they heard that Maranatha was coming to Kariba, it

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ignited a spark of hope. Members began working tirelessly to prepare the land while praying for God to work through Maranatha.

Church members in Kariba have been working for months to level a space to build a church.

The Adventist school recently built in Kariba, Zimbabwe, is the first Adventist building of any kind in the whole city. mar an a t h a . o rg

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Photos by Tom Lloyd

The story of Kariba is a common one in Zimbabwe, and we need your help in funding these churches and schools.


Adventist Membership: 1,597,994 in India

2013 Project Scope: 78 Churches 3 Education and Evangelism Centers 20 One-Day Schools

Funds needed THIS YEAR:

It’s been 25 years since Maranatha began working in India to provide church structures and schools. Yet this country of more than one billion people still needs our help as many are still discovering Christianity for the first time in their lives. One such person was Bandha Ekka in Holapara. He was an alcoholic, burning through his meager earnings to buy rice wine. As he plunged deeper and deeper into the addiction and into poverty, he became physically ill. An animist, Bandha offered sacrifices in a plea to the spirits for help. But he only became sicker. Then one day, Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Sinil Tirkey met Banda while visiting with people in the area. When the pastor heard


his story, he encouraged Bandha to learn more about Jesus. As a last resort, Bandha asked the pastor to pray for him. For the next few days, the pastor returned to pray with Bandha, and each time Bandha felt a little better. Within a week, he was well. So Bandha gave his heart to Jesus and stopped drinking. This miracle drew others to also seek Christ, and within time, there were 25 members in the Holapara Adventist Church—including Bandha and his family.

They worshipped in a flimsy thatch hut but the structure didn’t last long. Without a building, membership began to wane. Then Maranatha arrived and built a church in Holapara, and the congregation began to grow once more, drawing old and new members into the church. There are countless stories like Holapara, and each one needs funds to build a church. The work is not yet finished in India, and we need your assistance. Consider sponsoring a church in India or giving a gift of any amount to this important mission field.

Photo by Nick Dean

Photo by Maranatha Field Staff

The Holapara church is one of many built by Maranatha in India this year.

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Photo by Nick Dean

Photo by Dick Duerksen

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Adventist Membership: 396,815 in Ghana

2013 Project Scope: 40 Churches 1 Education and Evangelism Center 78 One-Day Schools

Funds needed THIS YEAR: As in most countries around the world, education $1,743,200 has been a critical part of a nation’s success. Many times, Seventh-day Adventist schools have been a part of that success story. Families of all backgrounds understand that education is not only a proven answer to providing a better future for their children, but a Christian school can help their child develop stronger values, ethics, and a deeper walk with  Jesus Christ. In an ever-more secular world, presenting Christian principles at school is more important than ever. While the people of Ghana also understand the gift of learning, education is shrouded in something that looks more like a shack. School is taking place in huts, bamboo shacks, even under trees. Large schools have built their classrooms with reeds strung across a dry wood frame. When a wind blows through, the walls go right along with it.

In northern Ghana, education is the sole hope for a tiny community of Adventists reaching out to their Muslim neighbors. This region is the poorest in the country, and more than half of the people there practice Islam. Muslims typically appreciate Adventist education, because of the focus on good values and quality teaching. So this fall,

Maranatha will be building the first Adventist school in this region in the town of Tamale. Maranatha is currently in the process of building four schools in Ghana. One is the largest-capacity campus we have ever built and is located at Valley View University. The other two are smaller facilities. All three schools are in need of funding, and there are many other villages and towns waiting for their chance to send children to an Adventist school.

Photo by Leonel Macias

Ghana has a huge advantage on their side. They have trained, Adventist teachers waiting to work. But the facilities for schools are less

than desirable or even non-existent. With a building to provide shade from the sun and shelter from the rain, schools here can flourish.

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Photo by Maranatha Field Staff

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Forty-one new classrooms will allow Valley View University to provide education for elementary and high school students in the area.

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A Look at Additional Needs In addition to Brazil, Chad, Ghana, India, and Zimbabwe, Maranatha is working in multiple other regions. In the areas listed below, the work is constant but still under development due to challenges related to construction and permits. All of these country projects need funding. Constructing a school or church is very expensive. But the cost of not building a church or school is greater. For each project represents new hope found in the grace of Jesus Christ.


After years of civil war, Angola is trying to rebuild the country and its people. The Adventist Church has the opportunity to lead the way in restoring Angola’s education system, and they have asked Maranatha for help through the construction of schools. Maranatha has committed to providing 75 churches and one education and evangelism center.

Photo by Ron Kedas



Fifteen years ago, a woman named Marialena began praying for a new church in Cardenas, Cuba. The current building is narrow, and there is no room to expand with the growing membership.

Marialena prayed so fervently that her knees developed calluses. Permission to build a new church has been granted, and Maranatha is waiting for final permits to begin construction. Marialena, now 90 years old, was overjoyed at the news. Maranatha still needs funding for this project.

Photo by Maranatha Field Staff

Dominican Republic


Maranatha has a longtime relationship with the Dominican Republic that stretches back several decades. Each Maranatha effort has resulted in increased membership, and volunteers are heading back to this beautiful island nation to build

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Photo by Laura Noble



14 more churches in the next year. Dominicans are passionate about the gospel, and their continued growth is an inspiration.

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How You Can Help



In 2006, Maranatha entered the country of Ecuador and fell in love with the beauty of its landscape and the spirit of its people. Now, after building multiple churches, Maranatha is building a large school complex in Ambato, Ecuador. Located in the highlands just hours from Quito, the Ambato School replaces a narrow, cramped structure in the middle of the city’s busiest areas. The new campus will be expansive, providing plenty of space for elementary and high school students to receive a Christcentered education in the midst of God’s creation.

According to Adventist Church records, Zambia has approximately 900,000 members. But in a recent census, more than three million people identified themselves as Adventist! The need for more churches and schools is great, and in the coming months, Maranatha hopes to build 160 churches, 10 schools, and 2 education and evangelism centers. Maranatha is moving forward with these projects with faith that God will provide funding.

Photo by Stephen Bonney

Seventeen years ago, Maranatha built five education and evangelism centers during the effort in Panama. Today, the schools are thriving. But not only are the schools flourishing, Adventist Church membership is also increased in areas surrounding the campuses. In 2013, Panama Church leadership asked Maranatha to return and provide more churches and schools. Maranatha is committed to building at least eight more churches and one education and evangelism center.

Photo by David Brillhart


This issue of The Volunteer outlines areas that urgently need funding. Each project will help to spread God’s love with the world. We invite you to participate financially in these projects and pray that the Holy Spirit will impress upon you to respond in faith. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” –2 Corinthians 9:7

One-Day Church Make a general donation to the program or sponsor a One-Day Church. A share is $1,500; 3 shares make a complete sponsorship. A One-Day Church is a collaboration between you and the congregation; as you provide the steel framework and roof, they build the floor and walls. It’s a perfect partnership!

One-Day School PANAMA

These One-Day School classrooms come with a full structure, desks, chalkboard, map, and a sign that reads, “Jesus Loves You.” One share of the One-Day School is $5,000; 3 shares make a complete sponsorship.

The $10 Church ECUADOR

This easy program invites you to give just $10 a month to Maranatha. The combined donations of thousands of givers are enough to build at least one—and sometimes two—churches a month. Students, families, and individuals of all ages have come up with creative ways to give to this program.

Country-Specific Gifts

Photo by Maranatha Field Staff

Maranatha is active in a dozen countries, and each need funding. If you are drawn to the story of one specific region, make a gift to help. You can specify where you want your donation to go.


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Donations can be made online at Maranatha’s website, www.maranatha.org, or use the attached envelope. All donations to Maranatha are tax-deductible.

a school for stella One community's story of healing through service By Carrie Purkeypile The motivations behind each mission group that partners with Maranatha are diverse. For one recent group, the project was almost therapeutic: The gift of their labor served to honor the memory of a very special person. Somehow God tended their broken hearts with tools of block, sweat, mortar, and prayers.

For the last two years, the Wilkie family has been on a journey of recovery. Bryce and Kathy Wilkie are the loving parents of four children. In 2011 two of their children, Stella 8, and Ivan 6, became ill with what was later found to be a quick-moving mosquito-borne disease called La Crosse Encephalitis. The disease moved very quickly, putting both children in the hospital as their parents and church family prayed long and hard. Fatalities from the disease are very rare, yet the family of six had two beloved children in the hospital fighting for their lives. Tragically, little Stella died just one week after the onset. Younger brother Ivan went on to recover fully.

Photo by Molly Hover

After Stella passed away, the Wilkie family received hundreds of cards, and many contained money. The family paid their medical bills, held a funeral, and took a little time off of work to grieve. But they still had money leftover. “It felt like God saying that He is in control, even though we don’t understand why things happened the way they did,” says Bryce. The family thought and prayed about what to do with the extra funds. 18 | T H E V O L U NTEER SU MMER 2013

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Before they began building, Bryce visited the current school in Ambato, where students are crammed into an urban area with no grass or open space at all. He describes students standing in the small concrete space between two tall buildings and staring up at the sliver of sky. In contrast, the new campus in Ambato is being built on a gentle hill, with a view of the mountains “It is where their school needs to be. I just feel blessed to have been a part of it,” says Bryce. The group of volunteers assembled on the new campus in February, 2013, and worked hard, with the

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Photo by Molly Hover

The Hendersonville Adventist Church later sponsored a second classroom on the campus. Bryce and four other volunteers returned to Ambato in June to join another volunteer group and do more work on the campus that has become so special to them.

Photo by Stephen Bonney

Stella had a big impact on the people around her. So when David Wright, pastor at the Hendersonville Adventist Church, heard about the Wilkie’s plan, he pulled Bryce aside to ask if it would be okay for the church to take on a mission project at the location—to actually build Stella’s classroom. What developed is what Bryce describes as a “true mission trip.” Church members, family, friends, and coworkers came together in Stella’s honor to work on the school campus in Ambato, Ecuador.

Volunteers closed their special time in Ambato with a communion service in Stella’s classroom. The open windows glowed with the light of many candles as the group shared and prayed together. It wasn’t a sad experience, according to volunteer Julia Bonney. They felt “a peace and a togetherness that made it easier to believe that good had come from tragedy.”

Photo by Stephen Bonney

Sharing Jesus came naturally to Stella. When friends and family describe Stella they call her “sunshine.” She often drew pictures or wrote notes for people, and signed them, “God loves you and so do I.”

memory of Stella written on their hearts and on their team t-shirts. They played and worked alongside local children, sharing some of Stella’s famous love and sunshine with them.

Photo by Stephen Bonney

Maranatha’s One-Day School sponsorship program seemed like a good fit for a memorial gift, and they found they could sponsor a classroom with the funds. It felt like the right thing to do. “It will go toward bringing kids to Jesus,” says Bryce with a crack in his voice. “It couldn’t be more fitting for Stella.”

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Foothills Camp Open Team

Tamale Open Team

Ecuador Open Team

Alberta, canada

Tamale, Ghana

Ambato, Ecuador

Leader: Terry LaChance

Leaders: Robert Poblano, Terry Schwartz, & David Lopez

Leader: Sadie Torrez

Sept. 23 - Oct. 6, 2013

Oct. 2 - 15, 2013

Oct. 10 - 21, 2013

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

Chad Open Team

Ghana Open Team

Brazil Open Team

´ ´ hospital, chad BEre

Valley view university, Ghana


Leader: George Alder Jan. 7 - 19, 2014

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Leaders: Merrill Zachary & George Alder Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2014

Leader: Karen Godfrey January 2014

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Dominican Republic Open Team Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Leaders: Merrill Zachary & George Alder Nov. 7 - 19, 2013

Christmas Family Project DAVID, PANAMA

Leader: Vickie Wiedmann Dec. 19 - 30, 2013

Ultimate Workout Reunion dominican republic

Leaders: Steve Case & Dan Skau Dec. 27, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014

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.

Esperanza Open Team

Panama Open Team

Multiple Group Project

Tucson, arizona


Dominican Republic

Leader: To Be Determined

Leader: George Carpenter

January 2014

Feb. 5 - 17, 2014

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Leaders: Steve Case & Dick Larsen Mar. 20 - 30, 2014

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Work Begins in Panama Nearly 20 years since the first effort, Maranatha has returned to Panama to build churches and a large education and evangelism center (EEC). While Maranatha is still working with church leadership in Panama to finalize all the church sites, more than 200 volunteers, comprised of five teams, have already begun work on the EEC in Santiago. The Summer Family Project will be the last team to work on the actual construction before a painting group puts on the finishing touches. This summer, several church groups will begin work on the first batch of churches in Panama. In 2013, Maranatha has plans for eight churches, including block, stucco and paint.

Camp Yavapines Gets the Maranatha Makeover In yet another feat of overachievement, 43 Maranatha volunteers completed a long list of maintenance and construction tasks at Camp Yavapines in Arizona, April 21‑May 1, 2013. Led by veteran project coordinator Sadie Torres, volunteers bustled around the campus installing windows, electrical and plumbing, and drywall. They painted, upholstered, built furniture, and even did some landscaping.

Camp Yavapines, located in Prescott, is one of a dozen United States projects scheduled for this year. Other projects have included renovations at Thunderbird Adventist Academy in Arizona, Camp MiVoden in Idaho, and Blue Mountain Academy in Pennsylvania.

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Group Projects

Second Standard North America Church Dedicated It was standing room only for the dedication of the new Decatur‑Hartselle Adventist Spanish Church in Alabama. Approximately 250 people gathered on March 9 for this special ceremony where Maranatha volunteers were honored for their help in constructing the church. Volunteers built the bulk of the church in October 2012 using plans developed by Maranatha. The plans were created in response to a growing need for small church buildings in North America. Decatur-Hartselle is only the second congregation to use this template with the first being the New Albany Spanish Adventist Church in Mississippi.

April - June 2013 Dominican Republic Glendale Adventist Church (Indiana)

The Decatur-Hartselle project was featured in the February 2013 issue of Adventist World. Since then, Maranatha has been flooded with requests for more information about the church plan.


While this is the first standard church design for North America, Maranatha regularly coordinates construction and renovation projects for Adventist institutions in the United States and Canada. In 2013 alone, Maranatha is scheduled to mobilize hundreds of volunteers to more than a dozen “stateside” projects, including schools and camps.


Visalia Adventist Church (California) Cedar Creek and Friends (Washington) Gospel to the World Roseville Adventist Church (California)

Thank you for serving!

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:

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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

By Dick Duerksen There are quite a few men and women around the world who have stepped away from life as they knew it, and plunged into Maranatha’s building ministry for years, even decades at a time. Omar is certainly among them. Omar joined the Maranatha construction crew early in 1996, serving as logistics coordinator for the fabrication facility in Panama. Two years later, construction coordinator Darrell Hardy invited Omar to bring his wife Elka and his young son Gabriel to Honduras and help coordinate the work volunteers would be doing in that country. In the fall of 1998, Hurricane Mitch blew through Honduras, devastating the countryside and necessitating the construction of hundreds of new homes, schools, and churches. Omar was there, finding, purchasing, and delivering the materials necessary so Maranatha would be “ready” when the volunteers arrived on their construction project sites. Omar was one of “Maranatha’s Men on the Ground.” Between them they may have driven every drivable road in Honduras. Maranatha’s steel fabrication center re-opened in Panama during 2000, and Omar was asked to take over as administrator of the factory. Along with Asbel Gonzalez as shop manager, Omar has been key to

facilitating the fabrication of steel structures for at least 75 Educational Evangelism Centers – Maranatha’s large steel and block schools.

Photo by Dick Duerksen

Jose Omar Santa Maria

As administrator, Omar assures that each load of steel contains all the important parts that are needed to complete the school that so many have been hoping and praying for. He also coordinates the shipping, to countries near and far. These steel EECs, fabricated by Asbel and the Maranatha crew in Panama, have been shipped to almost every country in Central America and to many countries in South America and the Caribbean. Since 2007 Omar’s team has added Mozambique, Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Angola to their list of countries served. As of January 2013, more than 15,000 students are attending classes in these schools. Each of these schools around the world is playing a leading role in the day-to-day lives of hundreds of families. Omar and his crew are grateful to play a small part in building their future. “These are not our schools,” Omar says. “They are God’s schools, and we’re glad to be working with Him.”

On the cover: A student at the Kottarakkara Adventist School in India. Photo by Tom Lloyd

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




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 Summer 2013  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.

The Volunteer Summer 2013  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.