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A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International

Finding Freedom in Cuba A look at longing and faith in the world’s most intriguing island





Il Parakuo, Kenya

Photo by John Ndiege Marande

Members of a Maasai Seventh‑day Adventist congregation in Kenya meet each Sabbath under a tree because their church blew down in a storm. Maranatha met with Adventist Church leadership in Kenya in November to discuss potential church and school construction, along with clean water needs.


A Cart Named Maranatha


eorge has been a member of the cardenas

Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cuba for more than 30 years. As I listened to him talk about the challenges of being a Christian in that setting over several decades, I began to see how they have developed such a powerful faith in God and a deep commitment to Jesus Christ. The various forms of pressure and persecution they have experienced have developed in them a reliance on God that is unshakeable.

When the old Cardenas church was demolished, George watched with tears streaming down his face. These were tears of joy. He believes that this new church is a sign from Heaven that Jesus is coming soon, since many people will now have a new opportunity to be introduced to Jesus. The neighbors who have observed this church for years have been skeptical that a new church could happen, but now they are quiet and watching the progress. George believes they will join the church and be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Transportation for George consists of an old bicycle and a horse-drawn cart. George is so excited that Maranatha is building this new church that he named his cart “Maranatha.” He says this will give him an opportunity to witness around Cardenas about his faith and the new church. It was obvious from listening to him that he can hardly wait for this new church to be completed and more people can be invited to meet Jesus. As we begin a new year, we at Maranatha continue to pray that God will use this ministry to bring more people to Jesus. News headlines from around the world declare that rapid changes are taking place in this planet. How long will we be able to continue taking the message of Christ to the world? In fact, the question I have received repeatedly over recent months is, “Can Maranatha continue to function in this challenging and dangerous world?” How would you answer that question? Opportunities for life-changing projects continue to be presented to us, and the Gospel Commission is still in effect. As we carefully and prayerfully consider how to function in the world of 2016, please add your prayers to those of the Maranatha Board and staff. We are very motivated to respond to more requests for life-changing projects. I’m sure that George and the other members of the Cardenas church would agree that we should continue building churches and schools, drilling water wells, and providing volunteer mission opportunities. The new year will be different, but we have every intention of responding to mission needs around the world as God leads the way. N

Don Noble, president

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CUBA A look at longing and faith in the world’s most intriguing island. Julie Z. Lee

Photo by Leonel Macias


obbie cannot stop talking.

It is July 2015, and I am in the car, traveling from Havana to Cardenas, for a Maranatha assignment about the Cardenas Adventist Church. As Marantha’s country director for Cuba, Ed Ledo is one of my travel companions, and for this trip he has brought his wife, and his son, Robbie. Robbie is gabbing about everything from video games and travel to what he wants to be when he grows up. He has dreams. Big dreams—just as any teenager does at his age. At one point during the conversation, he breaks into song. “Que sera, sera! Whatever will be, will be. The future is yet to see! Que sera, sera!” It is an American song, once sung by Doris Day and popular in the 1950s. It’s surprising that a 16-year old would know the song. But like so many things in Cuba these days, life is a blend of the old and new. Life is a patchwork enterprise. As Robbie sings, his father sits quietly. A year ago, Ed would have been the chatterbox in the car. After all, Robbie inherited his vibrant, gregarious personality from his dad. But in the past few months, Ed has received devastating news. After two years of painstaking effort by Ed, his family’s application to leave Cuba has been halted due to lost paperwork by the U.S. government. The news has been crushing for the family and especially for Ed. He’s lost weight. He seldom talks. His body carries the weight of defeat. Ed has been hoping to leave Cuba for quite some time. This isn’t because he doesn’t love his country. It’s just that it isn’t easy to listen to your child talk about dreams for his career, his life, his future— knowing that as long as things remain status quo in Cuba, things may never change at all for his son. While Ed and his family are eager for change, others are hoping life stays the same in Cuba—at least until they can get through their tour. Just a couple days before, I was at the Cancun airport in Mexico, waiting to buy a ticket to Havana. A few Americans

stood behind me. Between exchanges about hotels, food, and currency, I heard them say the one thing everyone says when thinking about Cuba. “I want to see Cuba before everything changes.” The change they are referring to is the presidential order to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Already, the U.S. has reopened the embassy in Havana, and the government is taking steps to lift the embargo. So Cuba, having been trapped in a virtual time capsule for more than fifty years, may be on the cusp of major change. And for tourists, it means the clock is ticking on the opportunity to see a place frozen in time. BEYOND THE ALLURE

The anticipation is warranted. Take one look at old Havana and it’s easy to see why tourists are clamoring for a visit. The city, poised gracefully on the edge of the sea, is reminiscent of an aging Hollywood star—filled with fading glamour and nostalgia. There are cobblestone streets, horse-drawn buggies, and 1950s sedans weaving through town. Mansions, both dilapidated and elegant at once, line the city. On the malecón—a walkway wrapping the bay—men and boys fish for their supper using a nylon string. There are small stacks of fish on the sidewalk, some still trembling with life. In the newer parts of town, there are monuments that illustrate the country’s shift in government. Stark, concrete, and unadorned, the architecture of communism is cold but fascinating to behold. Throughout the city, there are billboards with propaganda, shouting statements like “Socialism or death!” or “Thank you Ché for your example!” It is an intriguing place for an outsider—for the

visitor who steps in and marvels at this veritable snow globe of a country— and one of the few places forbidden to Americans. But the aspects that allure the tourists are what frustrate the more than 11 million people who cannot leave. Old buildings and jalopies are evidence of a place with little progress. Life in Cuba is hard. “In Cuba, more than 80% of the population works for the government. And the government pays little to the people. So the average wages here would go between $8 to less than $20 a month,” says Ed. “So you could easily figure out—do the math for yourself. For instance, one bottle of cooking oil costs $2.50. One bottle of soap costs 55 cents a piece. One liter of milk costs almost 50 cents. So life has its struggles here.” There are monthly food rations, but Ed says it’s inadequate. A ration might provide five pounds of rice and half a pound of beans per person; the rest must be purchased. “People have to be creative and use their wits and initiatives parallel to the wages they make with the government to make sure they have food on their tables on a daily basis,” says Ed. As for his son’s hope to travel the world, Ed has to balance encouragement

Photo by Leonel Macias

CITIZEN OF HEAVEN: Ed Ledo, Maranatha’s country director in Cuba, says when times are tough, he finds hope in his faith. 6 | THE VOLUNTE E R W I NTER 201 6

Photo by Leonel Macias 1

with a gentle dose of reality. Technically, Cubans can travel, but few can afford it on their government-issued salaries— salaries that will never increase no matter how hard he works. “It breaks my heart because I know under the current circumstances, he’s not going to make it ever in a lifetime period. I’m not going to be able to provide it for him—any kind of help. You will just have to give up those dreams all the time,” he says. For the people who live without progress, change is exactly what they want. Change can’t get here fast enough. THE FREEDOM OF FAITH

But life isn’t entirely without hope. Despite the country’s political philosophy, faith persists. Seventy-six percent of the nation claims a religion, with 60 percent being Catholic. Protestants and other Christians claim five percent of the pie. And within that small sliver, there is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. There are more than 34,000 Adventists in Cuba. Compared to membership numbers found in other countries around the world and a total of 18 million Adventists worldwide, Cuba’s membership is a pittance. But considering the context—and the

Church’s beginnings in Cuba, 34,000 is a triumph. It is solidarity and hope. “We have a beautiful country with warm people, friendly people. We also have some hardships and difficult conditions—political, economical. But our faith helps us to move forward, to move ahead, and to praise the Lord every day, and have our church activities and share the wonderful experience of knowing the Lord and eternal hope,” says Ed. Ed has been an Adventist his entire life. He attended seminary to become a pastor but began working for Maranatha in Cuba instead. “This job has been a very, very big blessing to my life for many, many reasons. It’s helped me to grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord. It has given me the opportunity to fellowship with heroes of faith,” says Ed. After nearly twenty-one years of renovating churches in Cuba, Ed has seen how faith can pull you through the most difficult situations. When he first started with Maranatha in the 1990s, religion in Cuba was still a dubious practice. With the threat of persecution lingering from an earlier, more restrictive time, Adventists met in homes and in secret. There were church buildings in Cuba but most were in a

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CUBA: 1 View of Havana’s famous waterfront. 2 With no access to fishing poles, men catch dinner with a nylon line and hook 3 The youth lead out in Sabbath worship at the Cardenas Church. 4 In the tourist section of Old Havana, life looks pristine. 5 The blue exterior of the Cardenas Church.

Photo by Leonel Macias 2 3

Photo by Dick Duerksen 4 5

Photo by Leonel Macias

state of disarray from years of neglect. Back then, there were only 11,000 Adventists on the island. Yet the door had cracked open for Maranatha to help the Adventist Church in Cuba, and Maranatha stepped in. The work wasn’t easy. “I don’t think we have the most difficult conditions as a country for Maranatha. We have our particular conditions. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of them, you think they are monsters that are going to come and devour you. The truth is the Lord is always good. … and the Lord makes the miracle, from the very beginning to the end,” says Ed. Ed’s words take on a deeper meaning as we edge close to Cardenas. The Cardenas Church was established in the 1930s, and it has had its share of struggles. Cardenas church members tell stories of being persecuted for their faith. Sometimes, while walking to church, people pelted them with eggs and tomatoes—an incredibly heinous act when considering the cost of food in Cuba. But despite such hatred from w w w.maranatha.org

Photo by Laura Noble

the surrounding community, the Cardenas congregation carried on. They eventually outgrew their little space. With more than 100 members, the congregation had to put up a tarp and benches outside to accommodate attendance each Sabbath. They urgently needed a bigger church, and when Maranatha arrived in Cuba, Cardenas was at the top of the list. “When we first started in Cuba, I used to meet with the Union president, Daniel Fontaine, on a regular basis. I can recall at one of the first meetings, he brought a list of projects that

were high priority for them. And on that list—the very first list of a long list—was the Cardenas project,” remembers Don Noble, president of Maranatha. “Fontaine said, ‘We really need—desperately need—a church in Cardenas.’” But Maranatha encountered numerous hurdles on the Cardenas project. There were land issues, permit issues, money issues. In the meantime, Maranatha went on to complete more than 200 other projects in Cuba. Yet Cardenas remained untouched. Finally, in 2014—after twenty years


Photo by Leonel Macias

CROWDED SABBATH: (Left) Church services are so full that latecomers have to sit outside. (Above) The Cardenas Church sits on a corner lot in a residential neighborhood.

Photo by Leonel Macias

of starts and stops—Maranatha received permission to build on the lot adjacent to the Cardenas Church and permits to begin construction. Crews scheduled a time for the demolition of the old, blue building and break ground on the new sanctuary. But before the past was about to be ceremoniously knocked down, we headed over to worship in the little blue church. SABBATH IN CARDENAS

It is Sabbath morning at the Cardenas Church, and worship is being led by the youth. It is a full house, and, as usual, rows of people sit on benches outside. A teenager preaches passionately from the pulpit.

Photo by Leonel Macias

FAITHFUL: Martina says, “I have always seen the presence of God’s hand.” 8 | THE VOLUNTE E R W I NTER 201 6

When the service is over, people fellowship for a bit before dispersing home for lunch. They walk or ride bikes. A handful of members stay behind to chat with me about their new church and their congregation. They are all excited about the new building. They say the new temple will create many opportunities to share Christ in Cardenas. They talk about their love for the church with tears in their eyes. “The church is everything to me because the church is my family. People have many blood relatives and family members, but me in particular, the church is my family. It is everything,” says Odanis, who has been a member for all 29 years of her life. In a place where life can be oppressive, closed, and difficult, church is a liberating experience. Church is a refuge. One member, Martina, has been watching from afar. Her face is stoic— her mouth turned down, almost grumpy and bothered. To my surprise, she asks to be interviewed. Sitting in the chair across from me, she talks in a soft voice with little expression. She is speaking Spanish, and Ed translates as we go. When I ask what God means to her, Martina’s face softens and her voice cracks. Tears run down her face.

“God means everything to me. Since I have known the Gospel, I believe God is wonderful, and I am sure God is wonderful. I have been through difficult experiences but I have always seen the presence of God’s hand,” says Martina. It isn’t unusual for people to be emotional while talking about their faith with Maranatha. But there is something different here—their faith seems to reverberate with palpable need and longing for Christ. Could it be the circumstances of life in Cuba? A life burdened by an undercurrent of oppression? The truth is, no matter where you live, life can be challenging. Poverty and lack of opportunity is prevalent all over the world—particularly where Maranatha is called. In my work, I have seen many desperate situations—many places where hope in the Lord is more vital than a privileged American like me could understand. But for these believers in Cardenas, God is freedom. For now, it’s the only freedom they know. By the time this story goes to press, Maranatha will have begun construction on the Cardenas church. It will be a two-story sanctuary with enough seating for more than 400 people. It will be a beautiful structure—the newest and most beautiful building in the neighborhood.

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Photo by Leonel Macias

CELEBRATION: Odanis says that once the church is built, they will have a big party to celebrate.

I ask Odanis what the congregation will do once they finally have a new church. She lights up. “Oh, a party! A spiritual party! … It will be a great blessing. A great blessing.” GOING HOME

On Sunday, I am back in Havana. I have a flight to catch in the afternoon, so the morning is spent capturing the last bits of culture and life in the city. Even in its deteriorating state, Cuba is, no doubt, a lovely country. But for me, there is no space for admiration. Because Ed’s silence is still there. It is there while we are driving to the airport. It is there as he waits with me to purchase my ticket. It is there as he walks me to the security gate, where we both stop. It is as far as Ed can go, for now. In Ed’s work with Maranatha, he’s shepherded many people through these gates. I imagine it must be a complicated emotion for Ed to process each time, watching people come and go, freely. Over and over again. I want to say something before I go. Something profound, something he hasn’t thought of yet to assure him. Instead, my mind flashes back to the

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past few days. I think of the people of Cardenas—their patience, resilience, and faith in God. The party they will have once the new church is finished. I think about Robbie and his infectious joy. I think about what Ed told me just a few days ago. “The Bible says you could find yourself in the middle of the most difficult conditions … but He is always with you,” he said. “You can feel the freedom in the Lord because you are a redeemed person. You are a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. Even though your flesh and body has been bitten hard by the difficulties, there is something inside the heart, in your soul that helps people through and move on by faith.” Ed knows everything there is to know. So I say goodbye and move to the gate toward home. He watches for a few seconds before walking away. Both of us, stepping toward freedom. •

How YOU Can Help Construction in Cuba is expensive, and the Cardenas Church construction project is still in need of more funds. If you have been touched by this story and want to help, please make a donation using the envelope included in the magazine. You can also give online at www.maranatha.org/donate or call (916) 774-7700.

ANSWERED PRAYERS: (Top) An artist rendition of the new Cardenas Church. (Bottom) Demolition of the old building began in November 2015.

DISCOVER MORE Go beyond the story at www.maranatha.org • Watch a Maranatha Mission Stories segment on Cuba at www.maranatha.org/cuba Provided by Don Kirkman

Photo by Joel Aizprua


Building on a Memory

A family finds healing in the mission field. By Carrie Purkeypile

Photo provided by Lorraine Ueeck

Photo by Yuma Molina

MEMORIES: (Left) Kurt and Lorraine raised three boys in rural Alaska. (Right) The Ueeck family traveled from Alaska to Panama to build a church they helped sponsor in honor of late husband and father, Kurt Ueeck.


ifty-eight years ago lorraine

almost lost the love of her life, and her whole world changed. Fifty-six years later she did lose him, and she chose to change the world. Kurt and Lorraine Ueeck met as teenagers in 1956, and their lively romance lasted Kurt’s whole life. Back in those days, Lorraine wasn’t sure about committing to a marriage, but after Kurt was almost killed in a motorcycle accident, she immediately knew that he was the one. They were married at 18 and 19 years old. “I think God had a hand in the accident, because I never would have married Kurt if it had not been for that. And we had an incredible life together.” The young couple moved to Alaska, where they raised three boys and integrated into their community, where Kurt became known for lending a helping hand to anyone in need.

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Then, two years ago, Kurt’s busy hands lost their strength and plunged the family into an unforeseen journey. “The later part of May he started not feeling so good. We went to the doctors, and they did all kinds of tests,” remembers Lorraine. “In ten days time he went from where his eyesight could be 20/20 to where he could not read the largest letters on the eye chart. He began to use a walker.” Whatever it was, the symptoms were progressing at lightning speed. Finally doctors told Lorraine that her husband had an incurable brain disease that affects one in a million people. Just a few days after their 54th wedding anniversary, the doctors gave him 30 days to live. “I spent that night just agonizing what to do,” says Lorraine. “It was so hard to tell Kurt the next morning. We just held each other and cried.”

Photo provided by Lorraine Ueeck

SWEETHEARTS: Young love blossomed into a lasting marriage and a family focused on service.

Strong and dependable Kurt sank deeper and deeper into the crippling chasm of complete disability, finally breathing his last breath, ten days after diagnosis. IN REMEMBRANCE

“It was just such a shock because from the time we knew what was going on until the time he passed away was ten days,” says Kurt and Lorraine’s youngest son, Mark Ueeck. “Over the course of the year we have been trying to think of things to do, just in remembrance of him. Because he was such a special guy.”

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“Kurt was extraordinary,” beams Lorraine. “I always said he must have been born with a wrench and a screwdriver because there was nothing he couldn’t fix. He could do anything. And it was his greatest joy to help people.” Friends flocked to Kurt’s memorial services, and the condolence cards poured in, filled with prayers, memories, and money.

“I think that coming on this Maranatha trip is part of the healing process that I am going through. And it has been a real blessing to me” Lorraine was grateful for the love and support from their community. But she wasn’t quite sure of what to do with the money that came in. “I thought, ‘I want to do something special with this money,’” says Lorraine. She finally decided to donate the money to Maranatha to help build a church. When the boys heard her plan, they were on board. In fact Darryl, Kurt and Lorraine’s oldest son, had an even better idea. “Mom, it would be nice if we could go work on the church too.” Darryl had attended several Maranatha projects and knew the blessing they could experience as volunteers and donors. Lorraine had not even considered the option of building the church they were helping to sponsor in honor of Kurt, but she loved the idea.

the Ueecks’ other son Kim could not attend, Lorraine’s nephew George Alder and his wife would also be there. They began to invite other friends, and many jumped at the chance. In January and February 2015, the Ueeck contingent of 14 people joined the large Maranatha Open Team to Panama to build the Las Tablas Seventhday Adventist Church. They worked hard every day, come sun or sprinkles, to lay blocks. They poured their hearts into the people and the work—just like Kurt would have done. “Out on the jobsite one day Lorraine and I stood off to the side and talked a little bit about Kurt,” says George. “I think we were just about to the top of laying the blocks and I said, ‘This is all for Kurt.’ And she said, ‘Yes, this is for Kurt, and he would have liked it here.’” A HEALING CHOICE

“I think that coming on this Maranatha trip is part of the healing process that I am going through. And it has been a real blessing to me,” says Lorraine. Choosing to partially sponsor a church in Kurt’s honor was as much about helping others as it was helping them through their grief. “It’s not about … making any kind of monument to my father,” says Mark. “It’s about helping spread the good news about the love of Christ, what a loving God we serve. So that I can see

my dad again, sooner. Because I know he’s going to be there in heaven. And I want to be there too. And I want as many other people as possible.” By Sabbath the group had finished the walls and even added the roof, just in time to worship with the Las Tablas congregation! “Oh wow. When we pulled up to the church it was amazing!” recalls Lorraine. “There were just people everywhere. I don’t know how it could even hold all the people that were there. … I was amazed.” The congregation stepped in as soon as the roof was on to tidy up, haul in chairs, and decorate the brand new building with fresh flowers. Their exuberance was an encouragement to the family. The people of Las Tablas truly wanted their church, and they would make good use of it. “There’s a lot of things more important in life than money. But money can do so much good too.” Lorraine beams at the memory. “I absolutely made the right choice. I cannot think of a better place to have put those funds in memory of Kurt.” • DISCOVER MORE Go beyond the story at www.maranatha.org • Watch a Maranatha Mission Stories segment on the Ueecks www.maranatha.org/ueecks


Lorraine, Mark, and Darryl and his wife made plans to travel to Panama to build the church that Kurt’s memorial fund was helping to sponsor. Though

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Photo by Yuma Molina

LASTING LEGACY: Lorraine had no regrets about using funds in Kurt’s honor to help others. That family and friends were able to help build it was even better. THE VOLUNTEER WINTER 2016 | 11

Salvador, Brazil In November 2015, Brazilian volunteers traveled to the city of Salvador, in northeastern Brazil, to construct a church for the Aรงu da Torre congregation. This area has little to no Seventh-day Adventist presence, and the project is part of a larger initiative by the Adventist Church in Brazil to plant 1,000 churches in unreached areas. Maranatha is a partner in this initiative. So far, with the support of generous donors, Maranatha has built more than 300 churches for this effort.

Photos provided by Elmer Barbosa


A Church for Chapel Hill

Fifty Maranatha volunteers gathered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in October 2015, to build a 6,000+ square foot sanctuary for the New Life Fellowship congregation. The Maranatha team joined local volunteers in the framing and siding, as well as the rough plumbing and electrical work. The New Life Fellowship Church was founded in 1998 and has more than 150 members. After years of renting and moving from location to location, the members are anxious to have their own sanctuary. The Chapel Hill project falls under the umbrella of Maranatha’s North America Project Assistance program, which provides construction help for projects based in the United States

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and Canada. The assistance ranges from new construction to renovations for various Seventh-day Adventist-related organizations, including retreat centers, schools, and churches. Three years ago, Maranatha began offering small congregations the option of a standard building plan, designed to be simple, effective and affordable.

Big Turn Out for Maranatha Convention After three years away from the Pacific Northwest, supporters welcomed the Maranatha convention back to Portland, Oregon, with open arms. More than 1,500 people turned out for the annual weekend event, featuring musical guest Wintley Phipps, held at the Rolling Hills Community Church. Watch the entire weekend broadcast, available on Roku and on maranatha.org. Or order your free DVD by going to Maranatha’s online store or calling (916) 774-7700.

You’re Invited to a Special Mission Sabbath

MISSION: MARANATHA! Sharing the Gospel Through Service

You’re invited to a special missions event with Maranatha Volunteers International in Chattanooga.

April 16, 2016 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ICCM Theatre & Event Center 6425 Lee Hwy Chattanooga, TN Admission is free www.maranatha.org/chattanooga

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Create a Project!

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.

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 budge, find a site and accomodations, 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.

Vanuatu Open Team VANUATU

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

Leadership: Peter Koolik, Peter Thomas March 30 – April 11, 2016

Camp Yavapines Open Team ARIZONA, USA Leadership: Sadie Torrez April 3 – 15, 2016

Blue Mountain Academy Open Team PENNSYLVANIA, USA Leadership: Betty Beattie, Roger Hatch April 24 – May 8, 2016

The Dalles Church Open Team OREGON, USA Leadership: Leroy Kelm May 1 – 18, 2016

Camp MiVoden Open Team IDAHO, USA Leadership: Melody Wheeler, Jerry Wesslen May 8 – 19, 2016

Spokane North View Church Open Team WASHINGTON, USA Leadership: Leroy Kelm May 22 – June 8, 2016

Big Lake Youth Camp Open Team OREGON, USA

Leadership: Susan Woods, David Woods May 29 – June 12, 2016

Ultimate Workout 26 USA CALIFORNIA, USA

Monterey Bay Academy Open Team CALIFORNIA, USA

Leadership: Jeanie Tweedy, Jim Grossman June 19 – 26, 2016


Leadership: Rebekah Widmer, David Lopez July 13 – 24, 2016

Milo Academy Open Team OREGON, USA

*Group Project teams must have a minimum of 15 participants; leaders recruit their own teams.

Thanks for Serving! The following Group Project Teams are serving during the months of January/February/March:

Leadership: Leroy Kelm July 24 – Aug 7, 2016

BRAZIL: SAGE Team Washington


COSTA RICA: PUC (Thaumatrope) Team California

Leadership: Angela Boothby July 27 – August 7, 2016

Love is the Answer Mission Team DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Carol Herbert July 29 – August 8, 2016

Kenya Open Team KENYA July/August 2016

Big Lake Youth Camp Open Team OREGON, USA Leadership: Leroy Kelm September 1 – 18 2016

Brazil Open Team BRAZIL October 2016

Leadership: David Lopez, Rebekah Widmer June 16 – 26, 2016

Summer Family Project DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Leadership: Steve Case June 16 – 26, 2016


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Georgia Cumberland Academy Team Georgia Milo Adventist Academy Team Oregon Palisades Christian Academy Team Washington Hinsdale Adventist Academy Team Illinois Grand Rapids Adventist Academy Team Michigan INDIA: Taiwan Adventist International School Team Taiwan PANAMA: Amazing Grace Academy Team Alaska Arlington Adventist Church/Burton Team Texas Sheldon Outdoors Club Team California Redding Adventist Academy Team California Red Bluff Adventist Church Team California ZIMBABWE: West Houston Adventist Church Team Texas

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2015 Year in



canada & united states


dominican republic



833 favorite quote Everyone has a purpose. Everyone has a mission. And if you will just open yourself up to them, He will do amazing things with you. – Kendi Callender, Ultimate Workout volunteer


Ultimate Workout celebrates 25 years of service and holds first Ultimate Workout in United States, held in Milo with 86 volunteers.


Maranatha begins preliminary work in Kenya, preparing sites for upcoming mission trips.


After 21 years of preparation, Maranatha begins work on Cardenas Church in Cuba.



angola 14




year in numbers




594 24



* Not including 19 kits used for dormitories in India and Angola

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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. 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:

Each month, thousands of people contribute $10 to The $10 Church program. The combined donations sponsor the construction of urgently needed churches each month!

Maranatha Volunteers International Association c/o V06494C PO Box 6494, Station Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 6R3 CANADA

Join The $10 Church today!

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

ON THE COVER: Daniela, age 12, at the Cardenas Adventist Church in Cuba, where she is a member. Photo by Leonel Macias.

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer Winter 2016  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.

The Volunteer Winter 2016  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.