Page 1


VOLUNTEER A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International

W I N T E R 201 9

A NEW HOME IN KAJIADO How Maranatha is providing hope for Maasai girls in Kenya



Julie Z. Lee Editor Heather Bergren Designer Dustin Comm Writer

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

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

ESCUINTLA, GUATEMALA (1993) For former Seventh-day Adventist World Church President, Robert Folkenberg, the mission of Maranatha was personal. A pilot himself, he resonated with the adventurous spirit Maranatha founder John Freeman and others embodied, flying to the mission field in their own airplanes. While serving as the President of the Adventist Church in Central America in the 1970s, Robert asked John if they would come build churches in his territory. Later as General Conference president, Robert made sure Maranatha was involved in global mission initiatives and made many trips to the mission field with Maranatha. His support for the mission helped grow Maranatha into the supporting ministry of the Seventhday Adventist Church that it is today. 2 | THE VOLUNTEER WINTER 2019

About the Cover: Maleton, age 9. This Maasai girl was assigned to soon be married to an older man until she was rescued by an Adventist center for girls. Photo by Christina Lloyd. www.maranatha.org




The early history of Maranatha comes in bits. Fragments shared on a plane ride to Peru. Snippets while on a project in Brazil. Anecdotes told over dinner at a noisy restaurant, where you have to lean in to hear how we pulled off a project of 1,200 volunteers, in one country, in 90 days. The dates and details can fluctuate, depending on who is talking—and whose memory is more precise. After all, it’s been fifty years since Maranatha was officially established in 1969. In the beginning, records were kept on slips of paper or in the fickle files of people’s minds. Today, there are only a handful of people who were there from the start, and many of these folks are now in their 80s and 90s. Considering this, the task of writing Maranatha’s history is not easy. This year, we’re commemorating our 50th anniversary, and I’ve been interviewing people about the early days of Maranatha. Slowly, the pieces are coming together but not as neatly as I want. Sometimes facts contradict and dates hop around; much is murky from the haze of time. www.maranatha.org

One of the people I’ve talked to is Don Kirkman, Maranatha’s favorite storyteller. He’s 92 and full of humor and heart. He wasn’t one of the charter members of what was originally called Maranatha Flights International. But he was there early on, and he’s been a devoted board member, architect, and volunteer ever since. Don told me about the Yellowknife Project. This was the legendary Maranatha mission trip in 1973, when 23 private aircraft flew into the Northwest Territories to build a Seventh-day Adventist Church in just two weeks. This “fly-in,” as it was called, drew much attention and established Maranatha as an important supporting ministry of the Adventist Church. He dropped names of who was there, recounted the 24 hour days of work—up there, the sun dipped low but never set—and chuckled at how he and his friend didn’t catch a single fish on the trip, despite their best efforts. Then Don stopped. He looked at me and said the only thing anyone really needs to know about Maranatha’s history.

“The story of Maranatha is not about Maranatha. The story is how God has worked through Maranatha.” The details. The timelines. The who said what and where. They give a report, but they’re really not what matters in the biography of Maranatha. This is an organization that started with a few planes and a calling. It’s a program that was built by volunteers who were profoundly changed by the Holy Spirit. It’s a mission dependent on faith and total trust in God, every step of the way. This year, we’ll be celebrating five decades of missions and service. We’ll do this by telling stories of faith. In our magazine, letters, television program, website, and at our annual convention, we’ll share testimonies from the past along with incredible stories that are unfolding now—all woven together by the common thread of God’s leading. We’ll talk about how Maranatha is a vessel. An instrument. A tool to finish the work that God has called us to do. Until the name of our mission is no longer a prayer, but a reality appearing before our eyes. T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 3



A snapshot of volunteers and projects in the mission field.

SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE In November, the Angolares congregation celebrated the dedication of their new church.

INDIA The village of Pandri Kalan received a well, thanks to Maranatha’s new water effort in India. 4 | THE VOLUNTEER WINTER 2019

INDIA Volunteers from Brazil organized a dental outreach alongside their school construction project in Khunti. www.maranatha.org

INDIA A young volunteer on the Family Project, held during Christmas, learned how to throw clay with a local artisan.

BOLIVIA Forty-three volunteers with the Oklahoma Conference Team worked on the Cassab church in Cochabamba.

ZAMBIA In February, 43 volunteers went to Zambia to build the Kabwe Adventist Primary School.

INDIA Members of the Eastgate Adventist Church from Washington, helped to build the Saikarap church. www.maranatha.org

GUYANA In December, the first official Adventist school opened in Georgetown. T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 5

News + H I G H L I G H T S

The Wauchula church, in Florida, was constructed in just 11 months, using Maranatha’s standard plan for churches in North America.



fter a 2004 hurricane destroyed most of the Wauchula Seventh‑day Adventist Church, it was more than a decade before the congregation decided to rebuild. They had limited funds, however, so they reached out to Maranatha to learn more about the cost-effective building plan for North American churches. Maranatha has a template design that saves on architect fees and expedites the entire construction process. Since 2012, Maranatha’s standard North American church design has been utilized by half a dozen congregations in the United States. Groups also have the option of using Maranatha volunteers to construct the church, which provide further savings. In November 2016, construction began, and with the help of 54 Maranatha volunteers, the church was completed in 11 months. Once 6 | THE VOLUNTEER WINTER 2019

finished, church members exhibited a new pride in their building, inviting friends to worship in their sanctuary. Soon the church’s membership grew from 28 to 70, a 250% increase. “I think it shows that when you have a decent house of worship that people are proud of, the church will grow,” says Roger Hatch, who led the construction project for Maranatha. Currently, the Adventist Church in North America is collaborating with Maranatha to fulfill a number of church construction requests in the United States and Canada by using the standard church plans and volunteers. Learn more about how Maranatha can help your church by going to maranatha. org and looking at North America Project Assistance.

PANAMA SCHOOL COMPLETED This year, the Adventist Church in Panama dedicated a new school in the city of Dolega. The campus, which was built by Maranatha, is the only Christian school in the region. A total of nine volunteer groups helped build the structure, which includes staff offices, bathrooms, and a central auditorium that can be used as a meeting space or gymnasium. www.maranatha.org



n September 29, 2018, Maranatha participated in “Tempo de Celebrar” in Salvador, Brazil. More than 35,000 people gathered at a soccer stadium to celebrate the completion of “Santuários de Esperança,” a fiveyear church-planting campaign by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in east Brazil. During this timespan, 1,000 churches were built, including more than 400 by Maranatha. Before the program launched in 2013, Geovani Queiroz, president of the Adventist Church in east Brazil, identified 1,000 principal towns in the region with no Adventist presence. Queiroz and his team designated missionaries to support the growth of each congregation and formed a strategic partnership with Maranatha to

build churches. During the Saturday evening program, Maranatha was honored, and Don Noble, president of Maranatha, addressed the crowd. “It was impressive to see so many people gathered to express their support for this endeavor,” says Noble. “They realized the great significance of these churches for the growth of God’s kingdom in their area of the world.”

The event also featured performances from Grammy-nominated singer Wintley Phipps, a message from evangelist Mark Finley, and nearly 800 baptisms. Maranatha has been working in Brazil since the 1970s. During the most recent effort, Maranatha constructed 988 churches in the country with help from 921 volunteers.



fter weeks of anticipation for the global day of giving known as #GivingTuesday, Maranatha donors responded by raising a total of $105,201 for water wells in Kenya. This more than doubled the original $50,000 goal. The annual campaign was entirely driven online through social media, email, and Maranatha’s website. It was also boosted by matching funds from generous donors. The funds from #GivingTuesday will provide multiple wells in parts of rural Kenya that have no water. Villagers, usually women and children, often must walk miles each day to collect water


from dirty streams or dig down into dry riverbeds to scoop up whatever water seeps up. These sources can be contaminated, but it is the only option they have. Maranatha has provided more than 1,000 water wells in countries around the world. In 2018, Maranatha launched an effort to drill wells in Kenya, where an estimated 19 million people lack access to clean water. #GivingTuesday refers to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2018, the movement raised more than $380 million in the United States alone.

T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 7

A New Home in Kajiado How a school in rural Kenya is saving lives By Dustin Comm Photos by Christina Lloyd


n the night that 6-year-old Aliza Tianina ran away from home, it was pouring rain. It was pitch black, and she didn’t know exactly where she was running, but she knew that she had to get away. Alone, she made her way through the Kenyan bush, staying away from roads, wild animals, and other predators. Her decision to run was dangerous, but no less terrible than the fate that awaited her back at home. As a member of the Maasai tribe, she was scheduled to undergo traditional female circumcision known as female genital mutilation (FGM). It is painful and comes with the risk of infection, urination problems, severe bleeding, and even death. The ritual was in preparation for her upcoming marriage, when she turned 9 years old. In exchange her father would receive a dowry of cattle, the Maasai’s currency of choice. The Kenyan government has declared child marriage and FGM illegal, yet most Maasai girls still undergo the painful ritual as young as six years old, having no choice in the matter. So Aliza decided her only option was to run away. This was her second attempt; her first effort had failed. For days, she traveled on foot, across a flooded landscape, crossing rivers where the water came up to her neck. She encountered wild animals and hunger pains throughout her journey, and days later finally arrived in a town. Eventually she landed at a place called at the Kajiado Adventist School and Rescue Center, some 30 miles from her village.



Headmistress Sarah Daniel (left) walks with student Aliza Tianina (right) on a visit to Aliza’s old village. www.maranatha.org

T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 9

A New Home

Today, Aliza is 15 years old. For the last nine years, she has lived at the Kajiado center, going to school with 200 students to study math, English, and Bible. The school educates students up to 8th grade and provides vocational programs, like tailoring. However, for high school, students must attend local secondary schools outside the walls of the center. At night, like all the girls, Aliza shares a twin mattress with another student. There are four girls to a bunk as there just isn’t space for enough beds. In the morning, she bathes in the bathroom, an outdoor row of stalls with buckets of cold water. The ground is dirty, and standing water covers the floor. There is no real privacy. But this is home. For many of these girls, this is the only family they have as the chances of returning to their village are slim. When a girl like Aliza runs away, it causes problems. Either the father is upset because he’s lost a chance to increase his wealth, or the future husband has already paid the dowry and has no wife to show for it. “When my dad first heard that I had run away, he just wanted to kill my mom because he thought she was the one who showed me the way to go,” says Aliza. “My grandad wanted to curse me because of running away and not getting married.” Although many of these girls experience trauma through their families, they still yearn to return. But since most can’t go back, Headmistress Sarah Daniel becomes their mother. Sarah, who has been at the school since 2009, is the type of person who makes you immediately feel safe. She has a strong, regal presence about her, yet she is also warm and kind. Her influence allows the girls to feel supported emotionally, academically, and spiritually. Educating these children is one of the school’s top priorities, but Sarah

“For many of these girls, this is the only family they have.”



recognizes the unique situations the girls are coming from. “The first thing that we do is accept them, show them love, show them that Jesus cares for them and for their future. After that, these girls will be able to have some trust in you. We normally do some counseling. It is a traumatizing experience, because some of them go through very difficult situations. There are those who, after [undergoing] FGM, are not even given time to heal. We counsel them, we help them accept themselves, and we show them that they can be good people who can have a future. Then after a month, we can allow them to go to class,” says Sarah. This loving, supportive environment allows girls to discover who they are and what they can become. “Some of them don’t imagine whether they can become better people,” says Sarah. “You know, when I’m born and I just know that I’ll just grow, go through FGM, get married–I can never imagine that one day I can become a doctor.” Since 2000, when the center was established, it has provided support for more than 2,000 girls. Yet, because of the lack of infrastructure, the school cannot grow any more. It is the only rescue center in the region. In recent years, the school estimates they have been forced to turn away more www.maranatha.org

than 200 children. “I have cases of 46 girls [now] who want to come in but I don’t have the space, honestly,” says Sarah. “I just give promises: ‘Just give me some more time. In case of danger please consult us, but we just don’t have the space.’”

A Timely Visit

After hearing about the need at Kajiado, Maranatha agreed to provide more dormitories with attached bathrooms, and other facilities on campus. Work on various projects started in 2018 and will continue in 2019. Recently, as part of the fundraising process for Kajiado, I was on campus as a member of Maranatha’s media team. We were there to document the girls’ stories and show the need for new buildings. After a few days filming at the school, we had the opportunity to go to Aliza’s old village and learn what life was like for her before her escape. The crew, along with Sarah and Aliza, started our journey on a dark highway at 4:45 a.m., heading south from Kajiado. As we drove along at highway speeds, I imagined 6-year-old Aliza sloshing through mud and swollen rivers as she

Photos from left to right: Kajiado student Aliza Tianina visits with her father, Ole Mwanta, and brother Edgar. Maleton and Edgar receive a health screening at a local clinic as part of the school’s registration process. View of the current girls dorm from the future site of two new dorms. Maleton unpacks new belongings into her new home.

T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 1 1

“They will have the opportunity to learn about a Heavenly Father who loves them.”


traversed the harsh landscape during the rainy season. As the sky began to lighten, we finally arrived at a Maasai manyatta, a village, surrounded by acacia trees. At the familiar sight, Aliza and Sarah recalled their first attempt to go back, two years ago. “My dad came out of the house, and he wanted to beat me while I was holding my little brother,” recalls Aliza. “Everyone was crying, saying ‘Please don’t beat her, let her stay with us, we have missed her.’” Thankfully, things were different this time. Aliza’s father, Ole Mwanta, the village elder, was stern when we first arrived, but he slowly warmed and eventually came to regard us as honored guests. The anger he once felt had been replaced by pride for the education his daughter is receiving. While capturing village life, we received word that a visiting 9-yearold girl, a cousin of Aliza’s, had just been “booked” for marriage and was scheduled to undergo FGM. The girl, named Maleton, was crying and scared. Her grandmother, who brought the girl to this manyatta for circumcision, was also distraught, looking for a way out for her granddaughter.

Suddenly, Sarah asked to take Maleton to the rescue center. After consulting with Ole, he agreed and asked if we would also take his 7-yearold son, Edgar, because they couldn’t afford to send him to school. The Kajiado school has 44 boys enrolled, which helps the girls form healthy relationships with males. Within a couple hours, Maleton and Edgar were loaded into our vehicles, headed toward an unexpected future. As we drove away from the village, Sarah began to cry. Moments earlier, this fearless advocate had reassured Maleton’s grandmother that if the father had any problems, he could come talk to her. Now, the reality of saving another girl was sinking in, and although she’s rescued many girls, it hasn’t calloused her. Just a day prior, Sarah told us Kajiado was full. But here she was, bringing two more children to campus. “You told us you couldn’t take on any more kids–why did you rescue Maleton and Edgar?” I asked. “You’re right,” said Sarah. “We don’t have any more space. But we couldn’t leave them there. We had to take them.” www.maranatha.org

Photo by Leonel Macias

A New Beginning

The following day Maleton and Edgar started their first day of preschool. Already, they were learning songs with their new classmates. In the coming years, they will learn English and Swahili, mathematics, and science. They will learn that they can have a career in medicine, business, education, or law. They will learn that God has a purpose for their lives. Life has changed dramatically for Maleton and Edgar, as it has for many children at Kajiado. Yet the girls are keenly aware that there are many more who need help. When students found out we rescued two relatives of Aliza, they told us of siblings and cousins, back in their villages, and asked if we could rescue them too. We tried to tell them that Maranatha is building new dormitories so the center can take more children. But in the face of their earnest pleas, our promises seemed hollow. However, the truth is these new buildings will be the start of a significant impact that Maranatha is helping make in the region. The structures are simple cinder block walls with a roof, but these new dorms will mean Sarah can open the doors of the rescue center to more children. More girls will escape FGM and child marriage to have a new future. They will no longer be forced to sleep two to a mattress. New bathrooms with real showers and toilets will provide a decent level of hygiene and cleanliness. www.maranatha.org

These buildings mean that more girls will find a new home, a new family, and a new life at Kajiado. They will have the opportunity to learn about a Heavenly Father who loves them, a church community that supports them, and a Savior who gives them the strength to forgive and love. During mid-week prayer meeting at the school, we listened to the kids sing “What a Friend we have in Jesus.” At the Kajiado center, hymns are sung with the power to claim the lyrics. As the chorus of voices rang out, I looked at the faces of these children who were once rejected. To those who previously had nowhere to go and no one to count on, a Savior is praised with all their might. They sing because the words have a direct connection to their rescue experience. “Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.” Though the world can forsake the least of those among us, we hold onto places like the Kajiado Adventist School and Rescue Center, where new life grows as children find solace, a Savior, and a future. And as Maranatha’s work continues at this small school at the edge of Maasai-land in Kenya, even more children will find themselves in loving arms as they begin new journeys in a new home.

Photos from left to right: Maleton (red vest) experiences Sabbath School for the first time. Headmistress Sarah Daniel poses with Maleton and Edgar after purchasing their new school uniforms.

T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 1 3


A Family’s Journey Into Missions By Dustin Comm and Julie Z. Lee


hile in high school, Karisse Fiedler and Matthew Lee went on two Maranatha mission trips—one to Honduras and another to Venezuela, where Karisse was baptized. Then, after they got married, they spent two years in the Micronesian Islands, serving as missionaries on the island of Chuuk. Now, as a family of four, the Lees have dreamed of returning to the mission field. But what ultimately took them back was their son. “Cohen really wanted to go on a mission trip. He would tell us that he couldn’t believe he was nine years old, and he still had never been on a mission trip,” remembers Karisse, who lives in northern California. “This kid really wanted to go, and we thought, ‘Why not start them young and see what they can do?’” Karisse started researching opportunities and learned about a project to Fiji being organized by college students. It looked like a great experience, but there were a couple of challenges. First, Matthew wouldn’t be able to go because of scheduling conflicts. Second, Karisse was worried about whether her kids would be able to handle the work. “I didn’t want to take my kids on a mission trip only to have them play on the beach all day while I worked. I wanted a way for them to actually work and experience service,” says Karisse. Project leadership assured her that the kids would get to help, and she verbally committed to joining the project.

“Watching our kids get involved in service was the highlight for us.”


In June—just a couple months before the Fiji trip was to begin—the Lees had a change of heart. “We wanted to find a trip our whole family could do together. Instead of trying to make a mission trip fit our kids, why not go on a mission trip designed for families?” says Karisse. “We remembered the Maranatha family mission trips because friends of ours had gone on one a couple years before. We went on the Maranatha website, and it was easy to find.” So the Lee’s registered for Maranatha’s Family Project in Bolivia, which was scheduled over the Christmas break from school. Then, they started fundraising. Karisse worked extra nursing shifts at the hospital and set aside those earnings for the trip. Matthew, a teacher, did odd jobs for neighbors. Even the kids helped out. “We put out an announcement in the church bulletin that said our kids would be willing to work for $15 an hour and an adult would accompany them for free to supervise,” says Karisse. “This way our kids would be involved in raising the money and also learn a good work ethic.” The post got an overwhelming response. Under the watchful eye and helping hand of their parents, Cohen and his sister Zara, age 7, spent their summer pulling weeds, landscaping, dog sitting, and washing windows. They held bake sales and spent hours outside the local market with a table of goods and a colorful sign asking for support for their upcoming mission trip. It was challenging labor, but both kids were determined to go to Bolivia. “The hardest job was probably weeding because the yard was huge,” says Cohen. “But when things got hard, I just kept thinking about the mission www.maranatha.org

trip and how good it was going to be.” Finally, the Lees raised all the money needed, and in December, they boarded a plane for South America. In Bolivia, the Lees joined 53 volunteers in Cochabamba to build the Dios Proveera church. For years, the congregation had been meeting in a building with only two and a half walls, a roof of various materials patched together, and a dirt floor. The group also painted the Chimba church, previously constructed by another group, and organized a community children’s program and a medical clinic, which included health screenings and dental services. Every day, the team split into groups for various work sites. Children had the option to stay with their parents or join the Day Camp, a program for the young volunteers. Like most of the kids, Cohen and Zara rotated through various sites to experience every aspect of the project—although they certainly had their favorite stations. “My favorite part was helping build the church,” says Cohen, who loved hanging out on the construction site with his dad. “I got to spread mud on the blocks, shovel and sift sand, and work on the scaffolding.” Zara enjoyed putting her well-practiced fundraising skills to good use. When the volunteers heard that the local congregation still owed quite a bit of money on the loan for their property, Zara and the other kids on the project made limeade and sold it to the adult volunteers to raise $250 for the local church. By the end of the project, the Lees were exhausted and thoroughly blessed. “I liked it even more than I thought I would. The people were so kind and generous,” says Zara. “It was really fun, and you got to learn more about God. I felt really glad.” “It was awesome. I got to play soccer with some of the local kids, make new friends, help with the construction and at the clinic, and see new things,” says Cohen. For Karisse and Matthew, their son may have been the impetus for going on the trip, but after the experience, they won’t need any convincing to go on more projects with their family. “Watching our kids get involved in service and being focused on others was the highlight for us,” says Matthew. “It teaches our children to have empathy and helps them to see others’ reality, which gives them a framework to base future experiences on. We were so impressed with the coordination and smoothness of the logistics of the trip. Our group leaders were amazing and did such a great job of including kids in all aspects. We look forward to joining Maranatha on another family trip.” Interested in going on a family adventure with Maranatha? Join us from June 20-30 in Zambia for our next Family Project. Visit maranatha.org for more information.


FAMILY TIME: (Top) The Lee family stand in front of the church they helped to build. (Center) Cohen and Zara at one of their many bake sales. They spent months fundraising for their mission trip. (Bottom) Matthew works on the final rows of the Dios Proveera church. Photos provided by Lee Family

T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 1 5



n February, nearly 80 people gathered in High Springs, Florida, for a Maranatha project at Camp Kulaqua. The volunteers spent more than two weeks helping with renovations at the Christian retreat center. While the primary focus was on replacing decks for the camp cabins, volunteers also helped with landscaping, fencing, and painting. The participants came from all over the United States, along with two from Brazil and one person from Jamaica. The volunteers ranged in age from 3 years old to someone who turned 80 on the last day of the project. About 40 percent of the team were first‑time volunteers. Among the first-timers was a fellow named Gordon Hudak. He joined for several days at the invitation of a friend and was immediately “hooked.” “My limited five-day experience, this past week working with the Maranatha team, had such an impact on me in so many ways. Spiritual is certainly at the top! The team members that I met have such a love for mission and a deep relationship with Jesus,” Gordon wrote on his Facebook page. “Most of them, as others, could simply write a check for any given worthy cause and been on their way. It’s really another thing to be hands-on involved with Godgiven talents.” Maranatha coordinates more than two dozen projects in the mission field of North America each year. The majority of these projects provide food and lodging in exchange for your service. Check out maranatha.org for a list of all our opportunities in the United States and Canada.



MISSION FLORIDA: The task list at Camp Kulaqua was long and varied with the biggest project being the decks. The volunteers divided into mini-teams to work on different steps of the process: demolition, cutting wood, framing, setting posts, etc. There were other large jobs, such as installing thousands of feet of privacy fencing, cleaning miles of trails that surround the camp, painting existing fences and siding, and lots of landscaping. There was no shortage of work, and the volunteers accomplished quite a bit while also bonding with each other in friendship and faith. Photos by Susan Woods

Maranatha Memorabilia Photo by Tom Lloyd


fter 50 years, we’ve acquired quite a collection of Maranatha artifacts. Recently, we dug into the archives to take a trip down memory lane. From jackets to keychains to tiny patches that indicated how many projects you’d been on, Maranatha was quite a club of enthusiasts. Did you know Maranatha once required a monthly membership fee? There were passports with special stickers for each trip you took. A man named Bob Hoffer built wooden church banks for The $10 Church program. The Adventist World Church president even wrote a book about the early pioneers of Maranatha! Today, Maranatha has grown into a much larger organization, involving more than 40,000 people from around the world. We’ve come a long way, but it’s fun to see how it all started.



A look at how your support is making a real difference for communities around the world.


BEFORE The congregation of Água Marçal used to meet in this partial structure in the yard of a church member’s home. The space was too small, and there was no protection from the relentless heat and tropical rain of São Tomé.


AFTER The beautiful new church building, sponsored by generous supporters like you, is spacious and full of light. It is also located on a busy road where plenty of people will be drawn to the presence of the Adventist faith in their community.



ears ago, Roy Fred Genn worked with Maranatha’s planned giving team to give a portion of his estate to missions after his death. When he passed away, his generous gift sponsored the construction of the Runyararo Adventist School in Zimbabwe (formerly called Masvingo). Today, the school is filled to capacity with more than 1,000 students, who are now receiving an education and learning about the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more about how you can leave a legacy for missions. Call The Maranatha Foundation for a free consultation at (916) 774-7700 or visit plannedgiving.maranatha.org



PROJECTS THAT NEED YOUR HELP This year, Maranatha is working in 13 countries to provide churches, schools, and water wells to communities in need. Here are a few programs that urgently need your prayers and financial support. BOLIVIA


I N 20 19

Here’s where Maranatha is working this year. BOLIVIA BRAZIL CANADA COSTA RICA

We are hoping to build nine churches but desperately need more funding. Bolivia has an active membership with 123,000 members. But many of the congregations are unable to afford a church of their own. Last year, your donations built six churches. Thank you! Now we hope you’ll help us continue the work by making a gift for Bolivia projects.




Did you know that approximately 38% of the churches in India were built by Maranatha—thanks to your generous donations? This has led to tremendous membership growth, and now they need more churches. In a country of more than one billion people where only two percent are Christian, we have a long ways to go in sharing the Gospel. Please help us continue our work in India by making a donation. We are proposing to build 30 churches this year if we have funding.


For the past 30 years, this program has funded nearly 400 churches by asking thousands of people to give just $10 a month. However, support for this simple but critical program has dropped, and this is making an impact on our ability to help congregations around the world. Please join The $10 Church by making a monthly donation for $10 or more a month. If you’re already a member, please consider increasing your monthly amount. This is one of Maranatha’s most important fundraisers!





T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 2 1



Anyone can join a Maranatha mission trip! Check out our upcoming opportunities here or go to maranatha.org for the most updated list.






May 5 - 16, 2019

Camp MiVoden Project


Doug and Melody Wheeler, Jerry Wesslen

Camp renovations

May 7 - 28, 2019

Castle Rock Adventist Church Project


Bonnie Ammon-Hilde, Leroy Kelm

Windows and siding replacement

May 30 - Jun. 13, 2019

Shenandoah Valley Adventist Academy Project


Ernie and Jeanice Riles


Jun. 9 - 23, 2019

Milo Adventist Academy


Leroy Kelm

School renovations

Jun. 12 - 27, 2019

Kenya Project


Loretta Spivey

Construction of school classrooms

Jun. 16 - 23, 2019

Redwood Area Camp Project


Richard Dederer, Stan Brayfogle

Camp renovations

Jun. 17 - 27, 2019

Camp Whitesand Project


Merrill Zachary, James Mills

Camp renovations

Jun. 20 - 30, 2019

Family Project Zambia


Steve Case, Danny Poljak

Construction of school classrooms, medical clinics, and children’s ministry

Jun. 23 - Jul. 12, 2019

Union College Project


David and Susan Woods

Dorm renovations

July 8 - 22, 2019

Pine Forge Academy


Roger Hatch, TBD

School renovations








Jul. 10 - 22, 2019

Ultimate Workout 29


Rebekah Shephard, Dan Klein

Construction of school buildings, medical clinics, and children’s ministry

Jul. 22 - Aug. 4, 2019

Young Adult Project 2019


Angela Boothby

Construction of school retaining walls

Jul. 24 - 31, 2019

Family Project USA

Steve Case

Renovation of school dormitory and campus, community outreach

Jul. 29 - Aug. 20, 2019

Lake City Junior Academy


Gerry Anderson, Judy Leeper

New school construction/addition

Aug. 5 - 20, 2019

Oshkosh Camporee


Roger Hatch

Camp setup and teardown

Aug. 21 - Sep. 6, 2019

Pacific Union College


Leroy Kelm, TBD

Dorm renovations

Sept. 8 - 20, 2019

Leoni Meadows Camp


David Schwinn, TBD

Camp renovations

Sept. 8 - 20, 2019

Rio Lindo Academy


Roger Hatch, TBD

Renovations on dorms, painting staff housing and roofing

Oct. 24 - Nov. 3, 2019

Zambia Project


Rebekah Shephard, Mark Jones

Painting school campus

Nov. 6 - 17, 2019

Bolivia Project



Construction and finishing work of school campus

Dec. 23, 2019 - Jan. 3, 2020

Ultimate Workout Alumni Project


Sam Dinzey, Dan Skau, Daniel Medrano

Floor and foundation for church construction

Thank You




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


West Houston Adventist Church Team Texas

Oklahoma Conference Team Oklahoma

Ozark Adventist Academy Team Arkansas

SAGE WA Team Washington


Daytona Beach Adventist Church Team Florida

Chisholm Trail Academy Team Texas

Niles Westside Adventist Church Team Michigan Auburn Adventist Academy Class of 1968 Team Washington Chehalis Adventist Church and Friends Team Washington



Bass Memorial Academy Team Mississippi


Highland View Academy Team Maryland


Greeneville Adventist Academy Team Tennessee

Weimar Academy Team California


Sandia View Academy Team New Mexico

T H E V O LU N T E E R WINTER 2 0 1 9 | 2 3

Non-Profit U.S. Postage


Roseville, CA Permit No. 111

990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678

Travel into the mission field and see how God is leading ordinary people to make an extraordinary difference in communities around the world with our television program, Maranatha Mission Stories.


Join us in celebrating 50 years of missions at our annual convention.

SEPTEMBER 20-21, 2019

Hope Channel Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ON DEMAND

The Maranatha Channel App Download our app at the App Store and Google Play stores.


www.maranatha.org View all episodes online at Maranatha’s website. Find segments by using our online “Search” function.


3ABN Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2:00 p.m.

Featuring performances by Christian Edition

Trinity Life Center | 5225 Hillsdale Blvd | Sacramento, CA 2 4 | T Hinformation E V O L U N T E E R Wat I N Tmaranatha.org/missionmaranatha ER 2019 More

Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Download The Maranatha Channel to watch all current and archived episodes and other videos on demand. YouTube Go to www.youtube.com/missionstories to watch. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and automaticallywreceive w w . m aupdates. ranatha.org

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer Winter 2019  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.

The Volunteer Winter 2019  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International.