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A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International

Building the Last Church

How the One-Day Church is Impacting ZAMBIA INSIDE THIS ISSUE:



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Villa Linda, Dominican Republic More than 50 members of various Northern California churches joined together to build the Villa Linda Adventist Church in the Dominican Republic. Volunteers also organized dental clinics and outreach programs. The Northern California Conference hosts a mission project almost every year and invites anyone from Northern California to join the team.

Photo by Boris Saavedra


“Short! Short! Short!”


an antonio, texas, has become a focus

location for the Seventh-day Adventist Church this year because of the General Conference Session. San Antonio was my home in 1973 and early 1974. Lackland Air Force Base was the location for the United States Air Force officer training and commissioning program called the School of Military Science. I was part of that program. After months of hard work, military discipline, physical conditioning, flight training, and military education, our squadron was approaching the time for our commissioning. There was great eagerness, anticipation, and preparation as we neared the appointed time. Our squadron, called Big Red, would get together and shout the term describing the nearness of our goal; “Short! Short! Short!” echoed across the base. When I look back at that time in my life, I realize that we as Christians are living a similar experience now. The Bible clearly shows that we are living in the time of the end. We are going through an experience that will prepare us for a completely new reality. We are nearing our new home! Maranatha—Jesus is coming! At Maranatha Volunteers International, we are eager to help people all over the world have a better chance of choosing to be part of the preparation for His soon coming. Through the construction of schools and churches, and through volunteer service, it is our sincere prayer that many more people will be part of God’s glorious kingdom. And just like those of us who were preparing to be commissioned as United States Air Force officers, we as Christians are preparing for an event that is much more important: the second coming of Christ. As we await that nearing event, we can join the joyful shout, knowing that we, too, are “Short! Short! Short!”

Don Noble, president

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LAST CHURCH Building the

By Julie Z. Lee

Photo by Tom Lloyd

O How the One‑Day Church has long‑term impact in Zambia

n the property of the Luambuwa Seventh‑day Adventist Church in Zambia, there are two structures.

One is a thatch building with a thatch roof. Inside, crude wooden benches are organized in neat rows. For a pulpit, there is a small table with a cloth covering the top. This is where the congregation meets several times a week, including on Sabbath. About 30 feet from that building, a second structure waits. It is the skeleton for a larger building, made from logs. The wood has been stuck in the ground to create poles, and smaller logs weave across the top. The frame was meant to become a new church building. Despite the existence of a church just a few feet away, the Luambuwa congregation knew—from experience—that the day for reconstruction would soon come. Thatchroof buildings never last. Once a rainy season tears through the bush, the roofing is compromised and leaks. Water pours through and onto the congregation. The short eaves drip water onto the walls and rot the reeds. Eventually, the congregation will have to build a new church. So months ago they started this second structure, knowing that construction could take a while. The buildings aren’t complex. Rather, they are simple—a quintessential African hut pulled from the pages of a missionary storybook. The complexity comes from the lack of materials. Luambuwa is located in western Zambia, deep in the bush. The nearest paved road is hours away by car, and access to nails and concrete is nearly impossible. Few vehicles pass through—few can actually make it past the sand and thick brush—and even fewer would be able to deliver supplies. Additionally, this part of the country is all sand. Mud isn’t easy to come by. So the construction of a church is a long process. But on a warm Sabbath afternoon in March, things are changing for Luambuwa. After seasons of patching and rebuilding,

crews will power up their generators, turn on some lights, and begin construction. There is no waiting until the morning. Luwambua is ready for a church now. So in the meantime, while the village waits for the light to vanish from the sky, it is time for celebration. The Dorcas ladies sing and sway, their blue dresses an undulating backdrop to their song. There is worship, prayer, and Bible study—just as they would do on any other Sabbath day. Then it is time to eat, so the ladies gather their pots and start a fire. Rather than gathering wood, a woman walks up to the structure that was to be their next temporary church. She gently tugs a log from the top, where the grass roof would have laid across, then pulls it toward the fire. They won’t need that framework anymore. Their next church will be made of steel. It will be their last church. •

tonight, they will be building a church. Maranatha Volunteers International has arrived. The crew and their trucks have finally rolled into the village, carrying the answer to prayer. It is a One-Day Church, a relatively lightweight church kit that provides a galvanized steel frame and roof. While the kit does not include block or mortar for the walls—such a load would make the trucks too heavy to travel through sand—the steel roof will provide protection against rain and prevent damage to the walls. The women cheer, the children crowd around, and the men are smiling from ear to ear as they welcome Maranatha. One of the members, Matembo Kamanisha, has been part of the congregation since 1990. He remembers the many places they have had to gather for worship, from a rented classroom to various grass huts. Now, he says he is happy. Everyone is happy. “It is just like a dream,” he says. As soon as the sun sets, Maranatha

Zambia still needs support. Please make a gift for churches in Zambia! You can sponsor an entire One-Day Church in Zambia for $4,500 or sponsor a share of a One-Day Church for $1,500. You can also make a general donation of any amount for projects in the country. Whatever you can give will be a huge blessing! Please use the envelope insert to make a gift or give online at www. maranatha.org

DISCOVER MORE Go beyond the story at www.maranatha.org • Watch a Maranatha Mission Stories episode about OneDay Churches in Zambia at www.maranatha.org/zambia


THE LUAMBUWA CHURCH: 1 Members have an enthusiastic worship in their thatch church. 2 Matembo Kamanisha, who has been part of the Luambuwa congregation for 25 years, says that the One-Day Church “is the structure we have been waiting for.” 3 Church members greet each other after worship.


Photos by Tom Lloyd 3


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GRASS ROOF Photo by Tom Lloyd 1 2

BIG WELCOME: 1 The Dorcas ladies greet Maranatha’s arrival to Luambuwa with big cheers and smiles. 2 Maranatha crew attaches metal sheeting to the steel frame of the church. 3 The happy members of Luambuwa pose for a photo in front of their new church building.


Most roofs are made from tall grass, which grows wild in the bush. Grass is susceptible to an infestation of wasp-like pests that burrow and hollow out the needles, making it disintegrate. Grass roofs will need patching after the first rainy season and then eventually need to be entirely replaced.

MUD AND ROCK WALLS Photo by Tom Lloyd

Walls are made from a netting of sticks woven together to create a cage. Small rocks are inserted for strength, and then the entire thing is plastered with mud. But without a strong roof, rainwater seeps in and dissolves the plaster and weakens the walls.


Photo by Leonel Macias

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As the roof breaks down, pieces of grass shower to the floor, creating a mess. There is little protection from the elements, whether it is sun or rain, making it difficult for people to worship inside.


Bringing Adventist Education Back to Namibia Maranatha Builds only Adventist School in Namibia By Julie Z. Lee


he children had taken over

the church. Babies sat wide-eyed on mats at the back of the room. Toddlers teetered down the side aisles, grabbing the pews for balance. Pre-kindergarten kids flooded the center of the sanctuary, eating lunch on the tile floor. They are the students of the Living Water Preschool, held at the Mavaluma Adventist Church in Katima Mulilo, Namibia. Five days a week, Monday through Friday, more than 100 children, ages zero through six years, arrive at this building. They sprawl throughout the facility—into the sanctuary, Sabbath School classrooms, office, and outdoors, finding space wherever they can. “A big challenge having a preschool in the church [is] you have benches where kids can hurt themselves when they are running, because kids learn through play. So inside the church there is no play. There is no place to play. Unless we take them outside,” said Peggy Masene, who helped start the school in 2009. “So for the people who are coming here, they argue with us, [saying], ‘Please do something. It’s better if you build something outside.’” The church started the preschool six years ago, as a ministry, with just 11 children. The goal has always been to


Photo by Tom Lloyd

CHURCH SCHOOL: Children eat in the aisles of the Mavaluma Seventh‑day Adventist Church, where church members have been running a daycare and preschool for six years.

grow the program into a primary school; but despite numerous fundraisers, finances were a challenge. Yet a Seventh-day Adventist primary school was a top priority for Namibia. Decades ago, the Adventist Church in Namibia operated 13 schools, the first being established in 1920. But by 1943, the schools were taken over by the government, due to mismanagement and insufficient funds. Adventist leaders in Namibia approached Maranatha in 2013 to ask for assistance and in March 2015, a group of volunteers arrived in Katima Mulilo to build a One-Day School. The ecstatic congregation turned out to

welcome them, lining the streets to sing and cheer as the busses pulled into the church. “At the church there [were] ladies and gentlemen lined up at the side of the road, just singing and clapping, and it was just amazing.” said Kathy Mathiesen, a volunteer from Tennessee. “I’ve never had such a welcome before.” For the next ten days, volunteers erected 12 One-Day School classrooms on the land adjacent to the church. Additionally, the team coordinated a health program at various locations around town, teaching children lessons on exercise, nutrition, and hygiene. The volunteers completed the project

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in seven days, and on March 25, 2015, the school celebrated the official ribboncutting ceremony of the Mavuluma Seventh-day Adventist Primary School. Hundreds of people, including regional leadership from the Adventist Church and the city, participated in the festivities and expressed gratitude for the new campus. During the program, Jost Kawana, deputy director in the regional directorate of education, addressed the need for more schools. “We have 20 schools in the Katima circuit and over 12,000 learners. We are forced to have the platoon system whereby some learners are compelled to come to class in the afternoon. This donation is very important as it will address the higher learning enrollment challenge we face.” Tankiso Letseli is the president of the Adventist Church in southern Africa. He hopes the opening of the Mavuluma school will inspire and ignite change for Adventist education in Namibia—a revival for those schools that were lost.

“It’s sad. We need to start this one and resuscitate all those schools and plant several schools. Not just in this northern region but also in the south,” said Letseli. “We believe that when there is a school, there is a center of influence. So if you remove schools, how do you expect to do evangelism?” “You might look at it as just a school, but it is about lives. It’s about changing the lives, helping young people to be learned, to be skilled, and take charge of their lives. And also… pushing the wave of poverty so that people can take charge of their lives and contribute meaningfully to the community and also in the welfare of their lives. And also advancing the kingdom of God,” said Letseli. For Masene, the school is an answer to prayer. “Today’s handing over of the structures was so wonderful. It was so exciting,” said Peggy. “We thank God for what He

TOWN ATTRACTION: Hundreds gathered for the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, and guests were invited to explore the new classrooms.

has done for us … we appreciate it.” Namibia has an estimated 18,000 Adventists. The majority—about 80 percent—reside in the Caprivi Strip or Zambezi Region, where Katima Mulilo is located. • DISCOVER MORE Go beyond the story at www.maranatha.org • Watch the Maranatha Mission Stories segment on the Mavaluma School at www.maranatha.org/namibia • Meet the Thomas Family, volunteers on the Namibia Project and missionaries to the same region more than 40 years ago! Watch at www.maranatha.org/thomas

Photo by Tom Lloyd

Photo by Leonel Macias

NEW CAMPUS: An aerial view of the new Mavaluma Adventist School on dedication day. The tent in the middle of campus was rented for the dedication ceremony. w w w.maranatha.org


A Tale of Two Churches

How God answered the same prayers in two different ways By Julie Z. Lee and Jay Prall


105-years old, there was no question. The Decherd Seventhday Adventist Church, in Tennessee, was in need of renovations. The quaint, historical building, which originally dates back to 1865, had already been rebuilt numerous times. The first time was during the Civil War, when a fire burned the church down. The second reconstruction was after a tornado ripped through the building in 1909. Since then, termites have ravaged the church, plumbing and electrical have become obsolete, and the aesthetics have fallen victim to unfortunate design decisions (plastic window panes, vinyl siding, fuzzy carpet). So in May 2014, the congregation launched a campaign to renovate their church. But they added a twist to their fundraising efforts: they decided to simultaneously raise money for a Maranatha One-Day Church. “It’s easy for a congregation— especially in a renovation project—to get so focused on funding for just that project, that it becomes all about us. We lose track of the fact that the building is only a vehicle for what we do for the community,” says Jay Prall, business administrator and member of the Decherd Church. “The church had outreach activities going on in our community, and we didn’t want our building project to be the dominant driving force for finances.” So Prall proposed a plan to present a $4,500 check for a full sponsorship of a One-Day Church, on the same day t

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Photos provided by Jay Prall

TWO CHURCH DREAMS: The Decherd Adventist Church (top) in Tennessee, has been working hard to raise funds for their renovation while also raising money for a One-Day Church in Panama (bottom). Please note a One-Day Church kit includes a steel frame and roof; blocks and concrete is a separate cost.

the Decherd church completed its own fundraising and renovation. “Our intent was to give an international congregation the blessing of a new church on the same weekend that the Decherd Church family moved

back into our own renovated sanctuary,” says Prall. “But God had different plans.” God’s plans involved an Adventist school, located 114 miles from Decherd. About the same time the Decherd w w w.maranatha.org

Church was starting their fundraising, Georgia-Cumberland Academy was planning a mission trip with Maranatha. The school was scheduled to go to Panama in March 2015 with hopes to build two One-Day Churches. At the start, there was no connection between the Decherd and Georgia-Cumberland projects. But in a matter of months, God would draw a direct line between the church and school. At Decherd, funds for renovations trickled in at a steady pace, and members began the first phase of work. But the One-Day Church project was making slower progress. In an effort to motivate giving, the members set a challenge to raise at least 50% of the One-Day Church goal by the year’s end. To the congregation’s surprise, by November, they had hit 50%. In December, they reached 85%. And by February, the One-Day Church was fully funded. Why had God provided such a quick closure to the One-Day Church goal, while their church reconstruction continued to challenge the budget? Soon the Decherd Church family would understand why. By 2015, sixty students at GeorgiaCumberland Academy had signed up for the Maranatha mission trip. But Maranatha reported that funding issues caused one of the sites to fall through. The academy was left with only one church to construct in Panama; it wasn’t enough work for the large team. Georgia-Cumberland would have to reconsider their plans. News of the academy’s situation reached Decherd. Gilberto Mercado, a church member, had been planning to go on the Georgia-Cumberland project with his daughter Jocelyn, who was a student at the school. He told the congregation about the needs. Immediately, Decherd contacted Maranatha to ask that their OneDay Church donation go toward the academy’s second project in Panama. So w w w.maranatha.org

“God had a plan all along. It blows me away. You can see how God’s hand was in this all along, since it’s inception.” in March 2015, Georgia-Cumberland built two churches—one of which was the Cerro Campana Church which the Decherd Church helped to fund. Today, the Cerro Campana Church family worships in its brand new building, while the Decherd Church pushes ahead with its own construction and fundraising. But the Cerro Campana story is not an issue of envy for Decherd. In fact, Cerro Campana has become sort of a sister church. Through Gilberto’s connections while in Panama, Decherd went ahead and sponsored Bibles and hymnals for the congregation. These days, there is talk of the Decherd congregation going to Cerro Campana to celebrate the oneyear anniversary of the building and help with evangelism meetings. The experience has become a testimony of what God can do in His timing. “God had a plan all along,” says Prall. “It blows me away. You can see how God’s hand was in this all along, since it’s inception.” Additionally, Decherd’s struggle with a proper place of worship shines new light on the plight of the many congregations overseas. After all, Decherd’s congregation is small—with only nine members on the books and an average attendance of 15. Fundraising is not easy with such a small group. Currently, the group is meeting in a fellowship hall until renovations are complete. Yet this newfound empathy is why

Prall feels that an emphasis on missions is important to churches. “If you follow the Biblical injunction, it says, ‘Go ye into all the world.’ And all the world includes the people closest to us—in our communities. But it also includes people far away that we may never know this side of heaven,” says Prall. “It’s important to look at our neighborhood. But it’s important that we look beyond ourselves.” And just as God answered the prayers of Cerro Campana in Panama, Prall believes that God can do the same for Decherd in the United States. Every Monday, the small congregation holds a conference call to pray for God’s direction on the church renovation project. “God turned his hand in an incredible way for Cerro Campana, and this is what I want to see happen in Decherd,” says Prall. “Here’s the need. Here’s the funding. We want that same kind of guidance. It’s not about when we get back into the building. It’s about what God wants for our church.” • DISCOVER MORE • You or your church can sponsor a One-Day Church! Learn how at www.onedaychurch.org

The Decherd Adventist Church in Tennessee has nine members with about 15 attending each week. Yet this tiny congregation was able to raise $4,500 for a One-Day Church in Panama—and answer the prayers of a volunteer group needing a project. Thank you to the members of the Decherd Church and to everyone who gives to the One-Day Church program. Your support is the only way Maranatha can continue our mission to provide churches where needed most.


Manipur, India

Photo by David Lopez

Betty Seibly, volunteer from California, stacks bricks at the Manipur, India Open Team Project. She and her fellow volunteers built new dormitories at the Manipur Boarding School in Moirang. Maranatha designed the buildings using One-Day School frames that were modified to accommodate brick walls. The new structures will replace old dormitories that were crumbling from age and use.

NEWS Updates from Brazil and Angola There is a lot of progress taking place in the mission field around the world—whether it’s through volunteers or our Maranatha crews. In Brazil, crews are busy building churches in the northeastern and eastern parts of the country. So far, in 2015, Maranatha has built more than 40 One-Day Churches with a goal to build 300 this year. In total, Maranatha has constructed more than 500 churches in Brazil since 2011. In Angola, crews are approaching the 200 mark for completed One-Day Churches. While most are in and around the capital city of Luanda, recent construction has focused in the southern part of the country and in the province of Malanje. Malanje is located in the northern part of Angola. Maranatha has completed 66 churches so far, in 2015. Maranatha will continue to work in both Brazil and Angola through 2015. We do need financial support for these countries, and if you are willing to help, please

make a donation using the envelope provided or make an online gift at www.maranatha.org

Gratitude from Garo Hills, India Recently, Maranatha crews in India completed a 28-church construction project in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya, India. In gratitude for the work, Seventhday Adventist leaders organized a special ceremony to honor the construction team. Each crew member received a gift to be used while working with Maranatha, such as a travel stove and a pressure cooker. Then pastors and representatives from every new church came forward to pay tribute to Maranatha. They also shared how the buildings are already impacting the congregations and their local communities. This effort is the result of a request from Adventist leaders in the Garo Hills region. Two years ago, they asked for Maranatha’s help in providing places of worship. There are more than 12,000 Adventists in this area,

with dozens of established congregations. But many of the groups were meeting in homes or flimsy shelters that were vulnerable to wind and rain.

FREE PLANNED GIVING SEMINAR Learn the importance of creating a trust and how proper estate planning can benefit you and your family at our free planned giving seminar, offered during Maranatha’s convention weekend. Presented by Tim Murphrey, JD, CPA, CFP, and owner of Capital Wealth Management.

Building a Legacy Seminar October 2, 2015 Rolling Hills Community Church 3550 SW Borland Rd Tualatin, OR Seminar presented at 3 p.m. The seminar will be held in conjunction with the annual Maranatha convention (see backpage ad). Free registration at www.maranatha.org/convention or call (916) 774-7700 w w w.maranatha.org


Create a Project! If you are interested in taking a team on a mission trip, let Maranatha guide you through the process! We’ll help you to set a budget, find a site and accommodations, organize your team*, and even provide in-country support from our staff. For more information, call (916) 774-7700 or email groups@maranatha.org. *Group Project teams must have a minimum of 15 participants; leaders

Photo by Boris Saavedra

recruit their own teams.

You can serve on a mission trip with Maranatha! From construction to cooking to outreach, there are many ways to help, and no experience is necessary. Simply look through the opportunities listed below or visit our Volunteer Opportunities page at www.maranatha.org. For more information, email us at volunteer@maranatha.org or call (916) 774-7700.

Thanks for Serving! The following Group Project teams are serving during the months of July/August/September:

Young Adult Project

Christmas Family Project


CHANGUINOLA, PANAMA Leadership: Jessica Shine August 5 - 17, 2015

BONGO ARRIBA, PANAMA Leadership: Vickie and Bernie Wiedmann December 20 - 30, 2015

Vallejo Central Adventist Church Team CALIFORNIA

Dominican Republic Painting Team SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Ray and Elizabeth Rengifo September 10 - 20, 2015

Pottsville Adventist Church Team

Ultimate Workout Reunion COROZO, PANAMA Leadership: Dan Skau Dec. 27, 2015 - Jan. 6, 2016

India Open Team KALPANI, ASSAM, INDIA Leadership: Bruce Fjarli February 4 - 17, 2016

PENNSYLVANIA, USA Leadership: Bettie Beattie, Roger Hatch, Ed Burgan September 15 - 29, 2015

Oklahoma Conference Team OKLAHOMA

INDIA Corona Adventist Church Team CALIFORNIA

PANAMA West Houston Adventist Youth Team TEXAS

North America Projects: Contact us to be put on an email list to hear about several upcoming U.S. projects. 14 | THE VOLUNTE E R SU M M ER 2015

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Non-Profit U.S. Postage


Roseville, CA Permit No. 111

990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678



HOME October 2-3, 2015 Rolling Hills Community Church 3550 SW Borland Road Tualatin, Oregon Friday, 7 p.m. Sabbath, 10:00 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Free Admission & Lunch Featuring musical guest Wintley Phipps www.maranatha.org/convention Friday afternoon seminars Children’s Programming available Sabbath Registration Recommended

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. 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 Email: info@maranatha.org In Canada: Maranatha Volunteers International Association c/o V06494C PO Box 6494, Station Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 6R3 CANADA

Julie Z. Lee, Editor Carrie Purkeypile, Managing Editor Heather Bergren, Designer ON THE COVER: Village children in Luambuwa, Zambia, watch the Maranatha crew build their new church. Photo by Tom Lloyd.

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer Summer 2015  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.

The Volunteer Summer 2015  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.