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A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International

Building Peace in Angola

The role of schools in healing a nation





Tamil Nadu, India Ponneieh studies the Bible at a meeting with fellow members of the Kudikadu Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ponneieh was raised a Hindu until he began attending the E.D. Thomas Memorial Higher Secondary School, an Adventist institution. He was drawn to Jesus, but his parents rejected his new belief, causing him to abandon Christianity. Then, personal struggles in his adult life drew him back to Christ. “When I came to Jesus, he changed my life, step-bystep… I left my old life by the grace of God.” Today, Ponneieh’s entire family is Adventist and his four children attend E.D. Thomas—the same place he first learned about God. In October 2017, Maranatha will send volunteers to the school to build additional space where more children can hear the Gospel.

Photo by David Brillhart


Difference Makers: A Church, Schools and a Man


uba has once again been getting a great

deal of attention in the press. This has been the case, off and on, for more than fifty years, and the pattern continues. Since Maranatha began working in Cuba in 1994, many changes have occurred in that small, island country, and great improvements have taken place in the the Seventh-day Adventist Church. On April 22 of this year, more than 1,200 people converged on the just-completed Cardenas Adventist Church. The beautiful new lighthouse to the glory of the Creator God had taken many years, knee-bruising prayers, and miracles to complete. The large district church center is a wonderful witness in that Cuban city, and it will be exciting to see how God uses it for His glory. You can learn more about the Cardenas church in this issue of The Volunteer (page 10) and soon on Maranatha Mission Stories.* Another part of the world that Maranatha is focusing on in this edition of The Volunteer is the war-torn country of Angola. Their forty years of war was a massive disruption to the educational system of both the government and the Adventist Church. Maranatha has responded to a plea for assistance, and we have now completed 132 classrooms at 9 locations across Angola. These learning centers will educate thousands of young people to be more productive and successful citizens in this life, and the ultimate goal is to see them in the Kingdom of God as a result of the Christian education they receive. These schools, along with the 324 churches that Maranatha has already completed in Angola, will be tools that God is certain to use to touch lives for His Kingdom. What a blessing to be involved in this challenging country. You can read more about it starting on page 4. Many of you have heard that the founder of Maranatha, John Freeman, recently passed away at the age of 95 (see page 15). God carefully chose the right man to establish this important ministry that has been in existence for nearly 50 years. The thousands of churches and schools, the tens of thousands of volunteers and the resultant souls for God’s Kingdom are a testament to a life that responded to Heaven’s call to do something extraordinary. John will certainly be missed, and Maranatha will continue to accomplish his dream of participating in a worldwide mission so Jesus can come quickly—Maranatha! John certainly lived a life of value and worth for God. What better way is there to live? N

Don Noble, president *Watch Maranatha Mission Stories, our weekly television program, on 3ABN, Hope Channel, Maranatha’s Roku channel, or on our website. w w w.maranatha.org


Building Peace in

ANGOLA By Julie Z. Lee

The critical role of schools in reconstructing a nation

Photo by Julie Z. Lee

Th e s to ry o f t h e current need in Angola is incomplete without considering the past. It is a past that is messy, turbulent, and tragic. Colonialism. Slavery. Revolution. Civil war. From 1975 to 2002, Angola was a perpetual battle zone. Now, Angola has lived in peace for more than 15 years. Fifteen years of the dust settling and life being scraped together from the ruins. But peace is only one part of the equation toward recovery. Rebuilding a nation is not work that can take place overnight. It is a process that will take generations of new expectations and opportunities—all born from the ashes of war. “People confuse the silencing of weapons with peace,” says Miguel Monteiro. “The silencing of weapons is not peace. Peace must come from the heart and the consciousness of man. Man must do something good for his fellows.” CLASS STRUGGLE

Monteiro is the director of the Alegria Seventh-day Adventist School. It is a primary school, located in one of the many neighborhoods of Angola’s capital, Luanda, a sprawling metropolis with 6.5 million residents. The school’s history begins in 2001. The Alegria church pastor offered the use of his yard, and classes started meeting under the shade of a tree. Eventually, the school moved into the church. Monteiro was a member of the Alegria congregation, an elder, and a school teacher. He took over the operations and grew the enrollment. Classes spread through every part of the church and spilled outdoors. Over time, Alegria built classrooms. When one room was completed, a batch of students moved into the class. And so on and so on, until there were five classrooms constructed and 400 students.

Juggling 400 students in five rooms is a logistical nightmare. Alegria desperately needs more space. But Monteiro is grateful to have a school at all. During Angola’s 40 years of conflict, one of the casualties was the country’s education system. From 1996-1999, an estimated 1,500 schools were destroyed. Now, in some parts of the country, children are carrying chairs to school so they can sit under trees for class. Others are meeting in collapsing buildings that are riddled with bullet holes. Overall, there is a shortage of school buildings. Aside from the physical structures, Angola suffered an intellectual hit during the war. Educators fled the country, males joined the fight, and females retreated to becoming caretakers

Photo by Julie Z. Lee

at home. Generations of Angolans failed to receive an education. In 2002, when the civil war finally came to an end, there were few trained teachers left to run the schools. Materials—such as chalk and books— were in short supply. The government launched several programs to bolster education and literacy in Angola. Then in the late 2000s, the economy experienced a significant and rapid boost when Angola became the second largest producer of oil and diamonds in sub-Saharan Africa. Infrastructure improvements followed, but the wealth was unevenly distributed, and the education system has remained underfunded. Angola is rich, but the people are poor; more than half the population exists on less than $2 a day. Private schools, like Alegria,

CROWDED CLASSROOMS: (Left) Students in an existing classroom at Alegria Adventist School. There are only five rooms that are shared among 400 students.

“For us to have a beneficial society, it is necessary that people be educated.” can provide a critical need to the marginalized segments of society by opening schools where none exist. But Alegria has significant financial struggles. Monteiro says that while government schools receive free or subsidized materials for teaching, Alegria has to pay exorbitant prices for desks, books, and paper. A box of chalk costs almost as much as one month’s tuition— tuition that some families cannot always afford. Payment is inconsistent, and the consequence is an erratic paycheck for the teachers. Monteiro is not wealthy. He receives a meager income for the difficult task of running the school; it is hardly enough to support his family of 11 children. But he will not be thwarted from the goal to provide his community an education. “To live is to give,” he says. Monteiro and his staff see Alegria as a mission field. He is in education “for the love of the institution.” He believes a values-based, Christ centered education is critical to society. “Students at our school learn moral obligations and good behavior. The school is a workshop of virtue because not only will students learn to read and write, we can also fight against smoking, alcoholism, and drugs,” says Monteiro. “For us to have a beneficial society, it is necessary that people be educated. In order for us to have good leaders, it is necessary that people be educated.”

Photo by Julie Z. Lee

ROOM FOR GROWTH: (Above) Maranatha crew members pour the foundation for what will eventually be 12 new classrooms at Alegria Adventist School. These buildings are not yet fully funded and need financial assistance.



Yet education has long eluded the Angolans. Even prior to the war, school was never readily available for everyone.

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“Angola is a country that has lived through 500 years of Portuguese colonialism. Many of those from the colonial era only had a fourth grade education, because Angolans were only allowed to study until the fourth grade. You couldn’t go beyond that,” says José Toyshimbi, a teacher at the Zango III Adventist school, located in another suburb of Luanda. “Those who went to colleges, universities—they were persecuted, because they were suspected of collaborating with other liberation movements. That’s why there were difficulties with studying.” Today, only 71% of the population is able to read. The number is an improvement from previous years, but the percentage still leaves Angola in the bottom half of the world’s literacy rates. The situation is worse for women; only about 60% of females are literate, compared to 80% of the male population.

Toyshimbi’s work deals with the ramifications of restricted education. Two years ago, the Zango III church decided to start a school. Zango III is one of the newer communities in the Luanda region. People are being pushed out from the city center and resettling on the outer edges. The infrastructure has not yet caught up to the growth. “We have a lot of problems with students—children—who travel about three to four kilometers [to go to school]. We thought it would be good if we met with the leadership of the Adventist church and the leadership of the department of education to start a school,” says Toyshimbi. In 2015, the church started an adult education class. The program drew 17 women who had never learned to read. During an interview with the group, the women talked about why they had enrolled.

Luzia Lemos, one of the women, talked about the embarrassment of having to rely on her children to read. Her kids help her follow the news, respond to texts on the phone, and assist with operating her business—a small refreshment stand in front of her house. She is determined to change her fate. “It’s important to know how to read and write,” says Lemos, who is 50 years old. “If we don’t know how to read or write, we don’t know anything.” Lemos is also eager to finally read the Bible on her own. Several women commented on the disappointment of not being able to study the Bible directly or sing from the hymnal. “Many of the men went to school, and women took care of the house, the children. So that made it difficult. They

CONSTANT PRAYER: Miguel Monteiro, director of Alegria Adventist School, prays daily for his campus. The new classrooms will be a huge help, and he says, “Maranatha is like a light at the end of a tunnel.”

Photo by Leonel Macias

Photo by Leonel Macias

NEW SCHOOL: This aerial shot shows the recently constructed Zango III One-Day School campus in its entirety. The classrooms are not yet fully funded and need financial assistance.

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were not able to go to school. Since the country is now free, now we all want to learn, to develop the country and the church,” says Toyshimbi. The adult classes go from 6-8 a.m., scheduled to accommodate work. They meet outdoors on the church patio and begin with prayer and a Bible text. Not all the students are Adventist, and classes have been a valuable opportunity to discuss faith and the Bible. “We ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten their minds and open their hearts,” says Toyshimbi. “So with effectiveness and wisdom from Heaven, and with the gift that God has given us to teach, the classes have been great for the students.” When the adult program was firmly established, local families asked for a

Photo by Julie Z. Lee

primary school. So Toyshimbi and his colleagues began teaching classes in the church. The classes take place inside and outside the church building. With 40 students and multiple grades meeting in a single space, the level of noise and chaos can be high. Even the adults have a hard time shutting out the distractions, especially since their sessions take place outside. “You’re dealing with a question, and a student can get distracted by a motorcycle, by a car, by a person who is passing on the side, and you have to say, ‘Sister, are you paying attention?’” Says Toyshimbi. There is great potential to grow Zango III because it is only one of the

GRATEFUL: José Toyshimbi, a teacher at Zango III school, is overjoyed at the new One-Day School campus. He says, “I am thankful to God—rejoicing!”

Photo by Julie Z. Lee

FUTURE HOPE: Students at Alegria Adventist School smile for the camera. These children represent a new generation and hope for Angola, one that is focused on strengthening the country through education.


few schools in the area. But they need more than a single church building. They need classrooms. They need a campus. MARANATHA IN ANGOLA

In 2013, in response to a request from the Adventist Church in southern Africa, Maranatha Volunteers International launched a large-scale project to build One-Day Churches and One-Day Schools in Angola. It has been a complicated project for a number of reasons. Construction materials are hard to obtain. Visas for travel is a long, multi-step process that requires a face-to-face visit to an Angolan embassy. Living expenses, such as food and lodging, can be exorbitant. As a result, there has only been one volunteer group able to serve in Angola. “In terms of logistics, Angola has been one of our most challenging places to work. It’s also been difficult to drum up support without a large contingent of volunteers serving in the country,” says Kyle Fiess, vice president of projects. “But the need is substantial. Angola definitely needs help.” There are more than 414,000 Adventists in Angola and many groups are without a place of worship. Over the years, Maranatha has seen massive congregations gathering in an empty city lot, huddling under the meager shade of umbrellas to guard against the heat. Some meet under trees, others have built simple structures from scraps of metal and wood. As for schools, Angola used to have several Adventist campuses. Many of Angola’s schools were established by missionaries. In the early 1900s, William Harrison Anderson, an Adventist missionary, moved into Angola to share the Gospel and establish mission stations. By 1950, there were numerous educational institutions. Tragically, the war reduced nearly all of them to rubble. Maranatha’s current effort aims to support the reconstruction of Angola’s churches and schools. Despite the w w w.maranatha.org

Photo by Leonel Macias

STAR PUPIL: Luzia Lemos stands proudly at the front of her class. After her education was curtailed as a teenager, she enrolled in adult classes at Zango III church to learn how to read and write. Photo by Julie Z. Lee

complexities of Angola, Maranatha’s supporters generously responded to the need. As of June 2017, Maranatha has built 324 churches and 132 classrooms. While the commitment for churches is complete, over the next year, Maranatha hopes to continue building more classrooms. Alegria and Zango III are among the current school projects. Crews are already building new classrooms at both campuses. Alegria will be receiving a dozen new classrooms to better accommodate the students and allow for an expansion. At Zango III, the new school will benefit hundreds of children and adults in the community. “I am thanking God—rejoicing— because we weren’t counting on it. I would like to thank God for having moved the hearts of many international brothers and sisters who are willing to help this school,” says Toyshimbi. “I am very happy. First, thanks to God for granting us this building, so magnificent,” says Monteiro. “I personally, and my colleagues, from today forward we will do our best to raise the name of God and Adventist education to worldwide standards.” Classrooms alone won’t solve all of Alegria and Zango III’s problems.

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BACK TO SCHOOL: A group of women meet for class at the Zango III church. Forty percent of Angola’s female population is illiterate, and adult classes, like this one, are helping to improve literacy rates in the country.

Angola’s recovery is far from done, particularly in the realm of education. And in recent years, the country’s economy has been plummeting, which will provide more hurdles for education. But for Toyshimi and Monteiro, the schools are a start to rebuilding their beloved country and their church. “Education is the vertical growth of every human being, isn’t it?” Says Toyshimbi. “First, we’re going to have a society in the country that knows how to read and write, and we will eradicate illiteracy. Within the church, there is the Biblical text that tells us, ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ The person who knows how to read and write will know the truth, and from there we will have good members in the church. We will have good people, trained for the development of the church and society.” •


Maranatha’s effort to provide One-Day School classrooms is continuing through this year. Angola urgently needs your support. Alegria and Zango III still need sponsors. Please help by making a donation of any size. Or you can sponsor a share or a full classroom. One-Day School classrooms, full sponsorship $15,000 One-Day School, share $5,000




Photo by Kyle Fiess

Cuba celebrates the opening of the Cardenas Church

It wa s standing room only at the dedication of the Cardenas Seventhday Adventist Church in Cuba, April 22, 2017. More than 1,200 people gathered to witness the opening of the long-awaited church, including representatives from the Cuban government, leaders from the Adventist World Church, and 18 busloads of fellow believers from all over the country. “This will be a place to meet God every week,” said Aldo Joel Perez, president of the Adventist Church in Cuba, during the ceremony. “Let’s make this a place of peace, of hope, of worship. Let’s come here every Sabbath to give God the glory.” The celebration marks the answer to a decades-long prayer by the Cardenas congregation. The Adventist faith first came to Cardenas in the 1930s, and the first group of believers met in homes. They eventually constructed a small church, about the size of a two-car garage. But the congregation outgrew the space. Unfortunately, that’s where the progress froze; with no money or land to expand, the group could only meet in the cramped space. In the meantime, the members endured many tribulations, from persecution for their faith to the shame of worshipping in a tiny, rundown building. “The church was very little for us. We couldn’t fit inside. We had Sabbath school classes out in the patio. We had to put a tarp up for the sun. The people didn’t fit inside or in the aisles,” remembers longtime member Jorge Lopez. “The crowding caused a lot of irreverence, and it interfered with the quality of the service. It was impossible to continue like that, especially with the church continuing to grow.” Jorge Castillo, a newer member of Cardenas, remembers the first time he visited the church. He had recently discovered the Sabbath while reading the Bible, and he was seeking a church that met on Saturdays. He had a hard time finding

Photo by Kyle Fiess

the Adventists, and when he finally did he was surprised by what he saw. “I arrived very early in the morning, and people started coming in—everything was so crowded,” says Castillo, who was accustomed to grand cathedrals and formal ceremonies. “In this church, people went in and out. They stood up and sat back again. There was music playing, but nobody listened. So I asked myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ That was my question.” Castillo was ready to leave the chaotic space for good, when he heard a voice. “The reason—what motivated


me to come back again and again… was Jesus Christ. He told me, ‘This is the place, and you must stay here.’” Castillo stayed and joined the chorus of prayers for a larger place of worship. The members prayed persistently, trusting that God would provide a new church. And in the 1990s, the answer arrived in the form of Maranatha Volunteers International—or so it seemed. Daniel Fontaine, assistant to the president of the Adventist Church in Inter-America and former president of the Adventist Church in Cuba,

was among the special guests at the event. He spoke during the dedication, recalling the early days of Maranatha’s work in the country, which coincided with his start as president. “It was such an important time in our history. Our buildings across the whole country—we didn’t have a chance to remodel them because the lack of resources,” said Fontaine. “Maranatha arrived with their help, with their donations, with their support. And we were able to remodel across the whole country!” Maranatha renovated and

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Photo by Laura Noble

CARDENAS, CUBA: 1 Approximately 1,200 people from all over Cuba attended the Cardenas Church dedication on April 22, 2017. 2 For decades, more than 100 people met in (and outside of) this little structure, no bigger than a two-car garage. 3 Maritza Piedra, a longtime member of Cardenas, gives a prayer of gratitude for her new church.

Photo by Kyle Fiess

constructed approximately 200 projects in Cuba, including a seminary in Havana. But Cardenas was not among those who received a new church, despite being on the list of projects needing help. “There were a lot of issues with the land, issues with the city itself getting permission, the location, some of the feelings of the church there—it was a tough location. And so it kept coming up and up, back and forth and trying to get permission,” says Don Noble, president of Maranatha. Then in 2015, after more than 20

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years of failed attempts, Maranatha received permission to build. Things progressed quickly after that; construction crews assembled, supplies were shipped, and volunteers arrived for a mission trip in May 2016. Eighteen months since breaking ground and more than 30 years of prayer later, Cardenas finally had a beautiful new church. “God had a plan for Cardenas. There were all kinds of delays, challenges, but what’s marvelous about this is the Adventist church in Cardenas never stopped praying. They maintained their faith, their confidence that someday

their church would be rebuilt,” said Fontaine, during the dedication program. The new Cardenas church is 12,000 square feet and has seating for 500 people in the main sanctuary, with more on the second floor. The two rooms can be connected by closed circuit television. There are Sabbath school classrooms, a fellowship hall, bathrooms, and even showers. The building was designed to accommodate worship for the local congregation while also serving as a place for convocations and retreats. “This building is to be shared,” said


Photo by Kyle Fiess

HOME WORSHIP: During the 18-month construction of the new Cardenas church, members broke into small groups and met in homes for Bible study and Sabbath worship.

Perez at the opening ceremony. “Let’s share this church building with other Christian denominations. Let’s share it with the community. Let’s share it with our brothers and sisters across the island.” And just hours after the dedication, Cardenas held their first evangelistic series in the new church, welcoming hundreds of people. “This is something beautiful. It produces joy. It is something that is already causing an impression on people,” says Lopez, who was emotional at the sight of his new church. “I know God is going to work, because if He already allowed the church to be built, it’s because it’s in His plan to fill it up. And that the Gospel will be preached the way it has to be preached. I believe this is going to yield tremendous results.” •

DISCOVER MORE Go beyond the story at www.maranatha.org

Photo by Kyle Fiess

CHURCH BUILDER: Jorge Castillo is a member of the Cardenas church and also helped to build the sanctuary. He says it was “a privilege to be part of the story. I’ve been part of the construction crew, and I thank God for choosing me to be part of the team.”

• Watch an episode of Maranatha Mission Stories on the Cardenas church dedication at www.maranatha.org/ cardenasdedication

Photo by Kyle Fiess

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT: Sonia García, deputy secretary of Religious Affairs of Cuba, was among the many dignitaries at the dedication. Speaking on behalf of the Cuban government, García said, “I am glad you are now able to enjoy a new, bigger, and more beautiful church building. It gives me pleasure to see you so happy.”


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A Legacy of Service

Freeman, Maranatha founder, passes away


22, 2017, Maranatha mourned the loss of founder John Freeman, who passed away at the age of 95. Freeman established Maranatha Volunteers International in 1969. The idea for the ministry came from his desire to introduce his family and friends to the mission field. While shortterm mission trips were not new to the world, Freeman put a unique spin on the concept: volunteers were invited to fly their own planes to the mission site. An experienced pilot, Freeman invited friends with private planes to join his family on building the Eight-Mile Rock Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grand Bahamas. The project welcomed 28 volunteers, and Maranatha Flights International was born. (The name was changed to Maranatha Volunteers International in 1989.) Freeman and his wife Ida Mae continued to lead and participate in mission trips, traveling all over the world and growing the Maranatha community. Freeman’s last Maranatha project was to Mexico in 2009; even at 88 years old, he was passionate about missions and willing to serve. “It takes a special kind of person to begin something—to take an idea and bring it to life. That’s who John Freeman was. God used John to start this ministry, a vision to introduce everyday people to the mission field,” says Don Noble, president of Maranatha. “Fortyeight years later, Maranatha Volunteers International has become more than a mission organization. It’s a way of life, a n may

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community, and a commitment to share the Gospel through service. We mourn John’s death, but his life reminds us of what it means to answer God’s call. God not only used John to start this ministry, He chose John to change the world.” A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Messages of condolence can be sent to Ida Mae Freeman at 39941 Mad Creek Road, Gates, OR 97346. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be sent to Maranatha Volunteers International. A church will be constructed in memory of John Freeman and additional donations will go to further Maranatha’s work. •

Don Noble with Ida Mae and John Freeman.


Hutchinson, Minnesota Deanna Paxton preps the hallway of the Maplewood Academy girls’ dormitory for painting. She was one of 45 volunteers on a twoweek campus renovation project, which included landscaping, painting, cement work, and bathroom construction. Founded in 1888, Maplewood Academy is a Seventh-day Adventist boarding school with more than 100 students. The Maplewood project was one of 27 Maranatha mission trips scheduled in North America in 2017. Photo provided by Deanna Paxton


New Water Rig for Maranatha

The generosity of a donor has made it possible for Maranatha to own a water rig, dedicated to the well program in Africa. In the coming months, the rig will drill wells in Zimbabwe and Kenya, where we are also building churches and schools. This equipment has the capacity to drill 200 wells a year, impacting 200 communities and an average of 500 people per village. Help Maranatha in the effort to bring clean water to Zimbabwe and Kenya by making a donation to our water program. You can make a gift in any amount. Full sponsorship of a well starts at $10,000.

will focus on the island of São Tomé, primarily in the capital city. The country is home to approximately 200,000 people and 7,000 Seventh-day Adventists. According to Fernando Melo, president of the Adventist Church in São Tomé and Príncipe, there are 70 congregations in total, and only 20 have permanent and proper places of worship. There is one Adventist school in the country, located in the capital of São Tomé. It is growing rapidly and needs to expand to accommodate upper grade levels. Maranatha will be assisting with this project, along with the construction of One-Day Church frames. Maranatha will also be distributing 5,000 Bibles to members, most of whom do not own Bibles. Look for volunteer opportunities in 2018.

Kenya School Sees Increase in Students

Maranatha to Begin Work in São Tomé

Recently, Maranatha committed to building classrooms and churches in São Tomé and Príncipe, a nation of islands off the coast of west central Africa. The projects

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with the girls and a 53% increase in residential students overall. “The new dormitory has put the school on the map in the area, for it is the only one of its kind around,” says Patrick Mwathi, principal. “This has made many to consider the Kiirua School very positively and their attitude toward the Adventist Church as a whole. Many have testified that Kiirua School is on the road to be the best school in the area, with many booking for next term’s enrollment.” Last August, 58 volunteers arrived on campus to build the dormitory, which was completed in a week. The new building has a steel frame and roof, concrete floor, and block walls. Volunteers also generously provided the students with new mattresses, pillows, blankets, towels, and storage trunks. The existing bunk beds were sanded and restained.

Maranatha Mission Stories Less than a year after Maranatha volunteers completed the construction of a new girls’ dormitory at Kiirua Seventh-day Adventist School in Meru, Kenya, the principal is reporting an increase in students. In 2017, there has been a 30% increase in students, overall, with a 64% increase at the secondary level. In the dormitories, which houses both primary and secondary levels, there has been a 42% increase

is a weekly half-hour show featuring mission stories from around the world. The program highlights inspiring stories from communities and people who have been touched by Maranatha.

Ways to Watch • • • • •

Hope Channel 3ABN maranatha.org Roku YouTube

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 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.

Big Lake Youth Camp Project

Bolivia Project

OREGON, USA Leadership: Cathie Clark, Kelly Rogers September 3 - 17, 2017

COCHABAMBA, BOLIVIA Leadership: David & Judy Shull Jan. 31 - Feb. 13, 2018

Guyana Project

MERU, KENYA Leadership: David Lopez, Merrill Zachary, George Alder Jan. 31 - Feb. 14, 2018

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA Leadership: George Carpenter, Jon Harvey October 12 - 23, 2017

India Project THANJAVUR, INDIA Leadership: Sheena Smith, Lorin Rubbert October 18 - 29, 2017

Kenya Project MERU, KENYA Leadership: Merrill Zackary, George Alder November 15 - 30, 2017

Christmas Family Project DAVID, PANAMA Leadership: Claudio & Elizabeth Japas, Caleb Batista Dec. 20, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2018

Kenya Project

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 set a budget, find a site and accommodations, organize your team, and provide in-country support from our staff. For groups ranging from 5-105, call for a consult and we’ll help every step of the way. For more information, call (916) 774-7700 or email leaders@maranatha.org

India Project

Thanks for Serving!

INDIA Leadership: Loretta Spivey February 14 - 25, 2018

The following Group Project Teams are serving during the months of July/August/September:

Zimbabwe Project HWANGE, ZIMBABWE Leadership: Phil Becker March 1 - 14, 2018

BRAZIL Botafogo & IASP Adventist Churches Team — Brazil

Multiple Group Project

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Concord & Salisbury Adventist Churches Team — North Carolina

DAVID, PANAMA Leadership: Steve Case, Luther Findley March 22 - April 1, 2018

Family Project

GUYANA West Houston Adventist Youth Team — Texas

LOCATION TO BE DETERMINED Leadership: Steve Case June 21 - July 1, 2018

Corona Adventist Church Team — California

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Dan Skau, Daniel Medrano, Jose Luis Diaz Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 7, 2018

Ultimate Workout 28

KENYA Pend Oreille / Fox Valley Adventist Church Team — Washington & Wisconsin

São Tomé Project

College Place Spanish Project

SÃO TOMÉ Leadership: To be determined January 10 - 21, 2018

WASHINGTON, USA Leadership: Leroy Kelm 2018, To be determined

Ultimate Workout Alumni Project

COCHABAMBA, BOLIVIA Leadership: David Lopez, Rebekah Shephard July 18 - 29, 2018

1 8 | THE VOLUNTE E R SU M M ER 2017

*Volunteer opportunities open to the general public will now be listed as “Projects” instead of “Open Teams.” Please note the naming change has not yet been made to all projects listed on the website.

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Located on the west coast of Southern Africa, Angola has one of the fastest growing economies due to booming oil and diamond industries. But Angola is still recovering from decades of civil war, and it is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Capital Luanda Population 25 million Size 481,400 square miles; twice as big as Texas Official Language Portuguese, Bantu Religion Roman Catholic (41.1%), Protestant (38.1%),

other (8.6%); none (12.3 %)

Literacy 71% Trade 2nd largest oil and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS IN ANGOLA There are more than

414,000 324

Maranatha has constructed

Seventh-day Adventists

(1 million attend each Sabbath)


Maranatha has constructed




1961 An anti-colonial

guerrilla movement against Portugal results in war.

1975 1975 Angola wins

independence from Portugal.

1975 Conflict and

civil war breaks out between three nationalist movements.

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2005 1992 Guerilla war begins again; next decade continues to be turbulent.

1991 Peace deal signed but not before more than 350,000 Angolans die in battle.

2002 Civil war comes to an end after 27 years of conflict; more than 500,000 lives lost.


Non-Profit U.S. Postage


Roseville, CA Permit No. 111

990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678


About Maranatha Maranatha spreads the Gospel throughout the world as it builds people through the construction of urgently needed buildings.

Our annual convention event

All notices of change of address should be sent to the Maranatha Volunteers International United States address. United States Headquarters:

SEPTEMBER 22-23, 2017 Trinity Life Center

5225 Hillsdale Blvd Sacramento, CA

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

More information at maranatha.org/missionmaranatha ON THE COVER: A young girl in her classroom at Alegria Seventh-day Adventist School in Luanda, Angola. Photo by Julie Z. Lee

Julie Z. Lee, Editor Carrie Purkeypile, Managing Editor Heather Bergren, Designer

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer Summer 2017  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.

The Volunteer Summer 2017  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.