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W I N T E R 2 0 13

A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International





Scenes from Cuba Maranatha recently went to Cuba to dedicate the Alacranes Church (center) and break ground on the Cardenas Church. Read the full story on the next page.

The Growing Church in Cuba BY JULIE Z. LEE

Nearly 20 years after beginning work in Cuba, Maranatha’s involvement is still going strong on this small island nation. More than 200 renovation and construction projects have been completed, and in late 2012, Maranatha broke ground on one church construction project and celebrated the completion of another. The completed church, Alacranes, was originally constructed by longtime Maranatha volunteer and board member Tem Suarez in 2001. Membership at Alacranes has since grown to create four daughter congregations, and the church leaders have written a strategic plan to continue the expansion.

Photos opposite page by Laura Noble

Maranatha returned to Alacranes after receiving a request for assistance on building repairs. Over the years, the church structure has suffered much wear and tear, and it needed serious renovations, including replacement of the light roof with a concrete one. When the work was completed, a small group of Maranatha supporters joined 200 church members and local leadership, in December, for the dedication of the refurbished Alacranes Church. During the same trip, Maranatha broke ground on a new church building for the Cardenas congregation. The project has been 15 years in the making, as hurdles involving government permissions caused long and multiple delays. But the government finally granted most of the permits required to not only rebuild the existing structure, but to also allow for expansion into the neighboring lot. mar an a t h a . o rg

Currently there are 300 people attending the Cardenas Church. Not everyone who comes can fit into the existing building, and about half of the congregation is forced to sit outside and peer through the front windows. The new church will not only accommodate more people, it will also include Sabbath School classrooms and a multipurpose room. The growth of churches in Cuba is extraordinary, given the country’s political climate. Maranatha’s history in Cuba began in the 1990s, decades after Cuba was declared a communist nation and five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. For decades, Cuba had promoted atheism, but the government began loosening religious restrictions. In 1992, the government changed policy to make Cuba a secular state and recognized the rights of citizens to practice their beliefs. For thousands of Seventh-day Adventists, it was a decision with great impact. For decades, they had quietly hung on to their faith, worshipping in private. The change in government policy was a window opening for the church. It was at about this time, that Maranatha began talking about

Cuba. Providence led Maranatha to Tem Suarez, a Cuban immigrant who had semi-retired from a successful business to serve in missions. Tem devoted much time and energy to paving the road for Maranatha to build and renovate churches in Cuba. The Alacranes project was among his last; Tem was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 2003. Yet even a decade after his passing, Tem’s work is still bearing fruit in Cuba. The Adventist Church in Cuba is steadfast in its commitment to sharing the gospel—no matter what the hurdles and no matter how long it takes. This patience and faith is demonstrated in the story of Marialena at the Cardenas Church (pictured on opposite page, lower right, with daughter Mariesa). Marielana is 90 years old, and she has been praying for a new church building for 15 years. She has been praying for so long that she has callouses on her knees. Even her daughter, Mariesa, has been recruited to pray, and she, too, bears calloused knees from years of prayer. In a country that has sustained a long history of uncertainty, a steadfast faith is necessary for daily living. In the case of the Cardenas church, the two women have seen that while God may take His time in responding, He indeed answers prayers. Full of gratitude and overwhelming happiness, Mariesa says that they are going to give back—not only for the sake of her fellow Cubans but for the kingdom of God. “We are going to make beautiful plans,” says Mariesa. “It’s going to be a benefit for the whole church, for the whole city, for all of Cuba. Cardenas will shine tremendously when the church is done.”


Finding Friends Among Strangers

Photo by Leonel Macias

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Georgia “Bink” Fortun admits that she is someone you wouldn’t expect to find on a mission trip to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. A new Christian from a small Wisconsin “village” of only 600 people, she was a bit of a loner on the project at first—perhaps intimidated by the newness of it all. But eventually, Bink opened up to experience connection in a new way.

Georgia “Bink” Fortun paints a bench at a local orphanage for one of the mission trip’s outreach activities. Photo by David Lopez

On the first day there, a group leader asked for people to help in the kitchen. No one raised a hand. “I can do that,” thought Bink. She volunteered for kitchen duty and, as it would turn out, the work was transformational. “That is where I met Richard, the chef,” she says. “Richard taught me that the idea is not to prepare the meal, but to prepare the people,” says Bink. “There were a lot of heavy 4 | THE V O L U NT EER W IN TER 2013

discussions in that kitchen. His patience, goodness, kindness, and guidance were a great influence on all the volunteers and on me as well. It was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done.”

work to fetch a bowl of turpentine. “He gently washed my hands,” she says, welling with emotion. “It was done with unbelievable kindness, love, and respect. It’s the way a foot washing should feel.”

Then one afternoon, after spending part of a day painting a local orphanage, Bink returned to the kitchen, unable to scrub off the marks of the morning’s labor. Richard, the local chef, stopped his

Before embarking on her trip, Bink had already planned on being baptized into the Seventh‑day Adventist Church. But she planned to do it alone, “Just you, me and God,” she told the project

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pastor. Yet as days went by, all the volunteers witnessed Bink letting her guard down; she was changing. “It was something I planned on doing in secret,” she says. “But I ended up inviting everyone, and more than 60 people were there! It turned out to be the absolute best, blessed Sabbath I have ever had.”

One of the unique parts of the Bulawayo project was how the local community got involved in the project. Several showed up to work on the job site on a regular basis to carry grout and lay block. The daily interaction blossomed into special friendships between the volunteers and the locals.

Bink was part of a volunteer group focused on constructing an urgently needed primary school in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The community is thrilled about the new elementary school underway. Already 335 children have applied, and there is a huge stack of resumes from teachers who want to work in the new building.

The openness of the Zimbabwe people surprised first-time volunteers Roscoe and Rosa Smiley. The Smileys were apprehensive about the project at first as it’s not the kind of adventure they had really considered before. “Many of my friends were very afraid for us to go,” says Rosa. They didn’t know what to expect on a foreign continent in a very distinct culture.

The large school building—called an Education and Evangelism Center (EEC)—will also serve as a church on the weekends and as home for many community events. Currently, more than 600 people attend church in a classroom at a high school across the street. Many churchgoers have to stand outside the building, looking in through each of the windows or listening in from adjacent rooms, trying to be part of the service.

Roscoe (left) and Rose Smiley meet Bulawayo church members on Sabbath in Zimbabwe. Photo by Terry Schwartz

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But the Smiley family was glad they decided to participate on the project. Rosa spent a lot of time conversing with local people, and found them to be genuinely interested in what she had to say. “I just had no fear at all. I was a little bit surprised.” For both Bink and the Smileys, the Bulawayo project changed them in a way that has influenced their lives

back at home. For Bink, this has meant a renewed passion for God and service. “Since Maranatha, I’m on fire! I can’t stop. I’m reading my Bible on breaks at work, I’m communicating with other church members … Maranatha is amazing … but all the glory to God! He has been prepping me. For the rest of my life I want to serve Him,” says Bink. As for the Smileys, they have decided to make a habit out of being open to new people. They even invited a homeless family into their home to celebrate Thanksgiving. “I have never done that before!” exclaims Rosa. Photo by Terry Schwartz

Pastor Adam Deibert baptizes Georgia “Bink” Fortun at the volunteers’ hotel in Zimbabwe. More than 60 people surrounded Bink for the momentous occasion.

After the 43 volunteers began the block work on the large Bulawayo EEC in October, a second team of 25 people arrived in early November to continue the work. Photo by David Lopez


Becoming a Missionary How one couple went from tears to joy in the mission field BY JULIE Z. LEE

Jorge and Edjane Barbosa loved to watch Maranatha Mission Stories. Their son, Elmer, who works for Maranatha in Africa and Brazil, first turned them on to the program. Quickly Jorge and Edjane became engrossed in stories about how a simple church or school could change a community for the better. They were compelled by people’s overwhelming hunger for Christ around the world. And they were inspired by the stories of everyday missionaries who gave of their time and money to help others. So after two years of watching the program, the time came when Jorge and Edjane no longer wanted to just hear the story. They wanted to be part of the story. It was time to put faith into action. Jorge and Edjane gave up their jobs at an Adventist university in Brazil, packed their belongings, and asked God to use them wherever He needed them most. That place turned out to be Barra de Sao Miguel, a flat, dry, and barren town located hours from a big city. With only 2,000 residents, it was in stark contrast to their home city in Lavras, which has a population of 360,000 people. Most people in town were poor and few were educated—a big adjustment for a couple who had worked in higher education for years. What’s more, there were zero Adventists in Barra de Sao Miguel. During this time, the Northeast Union in Brazil, where the Barbosas live, had launched the “Land of Hope” project, an initiative to send missionaries to 500 cities with no Adventist presence. Barra de Sao Miguel happened to be one of them.

Edjane (left) and Jorge Barbosa both worked at an Adventist university in Brazil before they were inspired to leave their jobs and home to become missionaries.

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The transition was a shock for Jorge and Edjane, to say the least, and it didn’t wear off right away. “We were very insecure because of the unknown. Everything was new. For six months we were alone while we worked, and we were very lonely,” says Edjane. Sabbaths were especially difficult for the Barbosas. They were used to a vibrant worship service at the university church, where hundreds attended, and Sabbath activities stretched through the afternoon. In Barra de Sao Miguel, they only had each other. For the first few months, they sang hymns together, read the Bible, then took turns preaching to each other. Usually, the day ended in tears. They couldn’t help but wonder if they had made a rash decision—a mistake. In time the Barbosas grew accustomed to life in rural Brazil. The slow Internet, the brown tap water, and the four-hour bus rides for groceries became a routine part of life, as did their quiet Sabbaths. Then, their persistent witnessing finally resulted in a few people joining them for worship in their home. But Jorge and Edjane knew that worshipping in their small home was not sustainable—not if they wanted to grow. “When people asked, ‘Where is your church?’ We could not answer because it did not exist,” says Jorge. Their local conference had plans to build a church in each of the 500 “unreached” cities, and Maranatha was asked to build 112 of them. It happened to be that Barra de Sao Miguel was assigned one of Maranatha’s One-Day Churches, and eight months after the

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Using donations from friends and funds from the Church in Brazil, the Barbosas built the walls of their One-Day Church and even added a wing for bathrooms and Sabbath School classrooms.

Barbosas arrived in town, crews came to pour the foundation and build the frame. As customary with One-Day Churches, it was now up to the local church to finish the walls. The challenge motivated Jorge and Edjane, and they began writing to friends and family around the world to raise funds for bricks, mortar, paint, and furnishings. With the help of the conference, the Barbosas collected enough money to build the walls and interior of the church. But they didn’t stop there. They added an extension for Sabbath School classrooms and bathrooms for the congregation. “The fast rise of the One-Day Church drew the attention of the community, and today it is the most beautiful building in town,” says Edjane. The Barbosas dedicated the church in October 2012. One hundred people attended, and two were baptized. Now—one year after the Barbosas arrived in town—the

While the group is small, the Barbosas are working diligently to grow their congregation--and their new church has certainly helped. Photos provided by the Barbosa family

Barra de Sao Miguel Adventist Church has twelve members. Edjane says that while they had doubts a year ago, now they know that giving up their life in Lavros to step into the unknown was the right thing to do. In fact, this first experience hasn’t deterred them from the missionary spirit, and they are talking about their next assignment. “I asked my mother if she was just waiting to finish this and go back home. And she says, ‘No, I want to figure out the next place I can go,’” says Elmer, who is in awe of his parents’ resolve. “Even though it is difficult, there is nothing better they can do than missions.”



Members of the Enumclaw Adventist Church built One-Day School classrooms for the La Trinidad School, which was in urgent need of space. Photo by Russ Trussell

Instant Addition Opens Possibilities By CARRIE PURKE YPILE

One country where One-Day Schools have been making a big impact is in Nicaragua. Fraught by frequent war and natural disasters, Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. One of the consequences of such an unstable government is an education system in need of great improvement. For a time, the national literacy rate was at only 50 percent. In 1980, the government launched a literacy campaign that improved the situation. But Nicaragua’s education system is still in need of assistance. Among the many needs: better facilities.

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The Seventh-day Adventist Church in La Trinidad, Photo by Maranatha Field Staff Nicaragua, is very active. With five with many schools in Nicaragua, congregations and counting, the their rooms are overflowing. The members are passionate about One‑Day School provides the spreading God’s Word. Among perfect solution for their needs. their many ministries is the La Trinidad Adventist School. With In November 2012, Maranatha 30 percent of the students coming volunteers constructed two from non-Adventist homes, the One‑Day School classrooms on school is a great outreach tool. their existing campus, immediately providing more space and more Enrollment has been increasing opportunities to learn about the at La Trinidad School, and they love of Jesus Christ. need to expand their campus. As

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ONE-DAY CHURCH Building a Place of Hope By SUSAN WOODS

“I was in prison and you came to visit me” (and built me a church) – Matthew 25:36 Many of the individuals that find themselves in Chikurubi desire a future. Most didn’t plan to destroy anyone else’s life or their own. Yet one bad choice after another led them to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. They now live boxed into lonely cells, trapped in endless routines, and incessantly watched by grim-faced guards. A few years back some Seventh‑day Adventists decided to reach out to these isolated men. Several guards from the prison, who were also church members, joined friends in sharing the love of Jesus through a series of meetings. Fifteen prisoners were baptized, and a small church was born. The members were given permission to meet in a rundown school building within the prison walls. As long as they stayed on good behavior during the week, the prisoners were allowed to meet with fellow church members on Sabbath. September 18, 2012, brought great excitement for this growing church, now up to 98 members with over 200 in attendance. Police escorted a large truck and pickup through the outer and inner gates of the prison. After 90 minutes of careful search through all the

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required documents, construction supplies, and vehicles, a Maranatha crew, led by Anthony Paul and Sam Cossa, was given permission to enter Chikurubi. As the crew began unloading supplies, eight or nine prisoners were escorted to the construction site. Prison authorities had agreed that prisoners could volunteer in one-hour shifts. The crew leaders soon enlisted the prisoners in creating trusses for the building and carrying supplies. As all worked together, hardened faces of prisoners softened; smiles lit up their eyes as they felt acceptance from new friends and watched a building take shape. Says Anthony, “Several of the prisoners wanted to share their stories with us—how they’d ended up in jail, how they wanted to make a new start in their lives. We all ate lunch together. At first the guards weren’t sure about all of us eating with the prisoners, but we provided extra food for them. We were able to share soap, literature, a few clothes, and hats with them. Emmanuel Chigagora, from the East Zimbabwe Conference, prayed with them and reminded them that ‘No one else may give you

Several prisoners (in white) helped to build a church at the Chikurubi maximum security male prison in Zimbabwe. Photo provided by Susan Woods

a second chance but God does, no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been.’” This was one time the crew felt the One-Day Church construction happened too fast. Six hours later, Chikurubi Maximum was finished. The guards expressed their amazement at how fast the church went up, how orderly and neat the work. But the work wasn’t over. The following day, the crew returned to build Chikurubi, a church in the guard village, outside the maximum-security section of the prison complex. Here 100 members will join approximately 50 children in worship each week. Prison guards and a few prisoners volunteered to help build this church. Excitement continues for the guards, their families, and the prisoners as plans are underway to soon add walls and a concrete floor to these buildings. Church members look forward to inviting more prisoners to their new churches and inspiring them with hope for a wonderful, eternal future.



Ecuador Open Team 1

Falakata Open Team 2

Ghana Open Team

Ambato, Ecuador

Falakata, India

Accra, Ghana

LEADER: Merrill Zachary

LEADER: Karen Godfrey

February 14 - 26, 2013

March 12 - 24, 2013

LEADERS: Vickie Wiedmann & Gary Jessop

March 20 - 30, 2013

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

Summer Family Project

Collegiate Project

Malamulo Open Team


Malamulo, Malawi

Santiago, Panama

LEADER: Ethan Weber

LEADER: Jason Blanchard

LEADER: Steve Case

July 3 - 16, 2013

July 10 - 24, 2013

June 20 - 30, 2013

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Ecuador Open Team 2

Kariba Open Team

Camp Yavapines Open Team

Ambato, Ecuador

Kariba, Zimbabwe

LEADER: David Lopez

LEADER: To Be Determined

Prescott, Arizona

Mar. 28 - Apr. 8, 2013

April 12 - 23, 2013

LEADERS: Sadie Torrez & Marcello Martinez

Apr. 21 - May 1, 2013

Maranatha has opportunities for volunteers of all kinds to get involved in service around the world. What project looks most inviting to you? Whether you are heading off on your own to join a group of fellow volunteers or taking your family along for the ride, we are happy to help you find the right project. Visit our online Project Calendar at maranatha.org for the most up-to-date listing of projects. Then contact us by emailing volunteer@maranatha.org or call (916) 774-7700 to receive more information.

Ultimate Workout 23

Young Adult Project


Dominican Republic

LEADER: Steve Case

LEADER: To be determined

July 16 - 29, 2013

August 1 - 12, 2013

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North America Projects Contact us to be put on an email list to hear about upcoming U.S. projects.



Group Projects

Living Word Christian Fellowship Hamilton, Ontario

October – December 2012

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Markham Woods Adventist Church (Florida)

donor has given us backpacks, flip-flops and sweatshirts. Also, donations of school supplies were given to us,” said Szasza.

The group, from Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, would be building One‑Day Churches in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. But during a site visit prior to the trip, project leaders realized that the poor church members in Ecuador would need help finishing the walls and floors of their churches once the steel framework was up.

Once the team finally arrived in Ecuador, their day was packed with activity. From early morning breakfast and worships to construction and then Vacation Bible School in the evenings, they had little time to rest. The team also visited a local public school to hand out the backpacks, toothpaste and toothbrushes. They also went to a rural community to pass out sweatshirts and shoes.

“So hence a great fundraising project started by selling bricks for $10 a brick. All the proceeds would go toward funding for walls and flooring for six churches and to pay off a loan of the land for one of the churches,” said Szasza Paz, a volunteer and member of Living Word Christian Fellowship.

After all this giving, the Living Word Christian Fellowship team was surprised when local church members wanted to do the same by bringing fresh fruit and home‑cooked meals to the volunteers. But it was one unusual gesture that touched the volunteers’ hearts.

To bring the importance of the fundraiser home, Francis Douville, the church pastor, surprised the congregation by having church outdoors on a chilly fall day. He wanted them to experience what it would be like to worship without walls and floors. The exercise, along with other efforts by the church, worked, and within five weeks they reached the goal of funding blocks and flooring for six One-Day Churches—and more.

“One of the ladies from the church gave up her purse to give it to one of our youth. Our youth didn’t want to accept it at first, but the lady insisted that she keep it,” said Szasza. “It definitely realigned our priorities. It also made us realize how we cannot take things for granted, and how we should be open to help those in need, either in our community or around the world... We have met so many beautiful people there, and they have warmed our hearts and changed our lives forever!”

“Not only were we able to raise enough money, we also got lots of material donations. Dentists have given us toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss. A very generous

--Special thanks to Szasza Paz for her report. Watch an interview with the Living Word Christian Fellowship pastor, Francis Douville, at www.maranatha.org/hamilton

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India Andrews Academy (Michigan)

Ecuador Living Word Christian Fellowship (Ontario, Canada)

Nicaragua Enumclaw Adventist Church (Washington) Tracy Adventist Church (California) Glendale Adventist Church (Arizona) Lansing Adventist Church (Michigan) Triadelphia Adventist Church (Maryland)

Zambia International Caring Hands (Oregon)

Thank you for serving! How do I Prepare to Take my Group on a Project? 1. First determine if you have enough interest to bring at least 15-20 volunteers. 2. Call Maranatha at (916) 774-7700 and speak to our Coordinator for Group Projects about getting started. 3. Begin recruiting participants and leadership. 4. Work with Maranatha to set a budget. 5. Pray

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

Photo opposite page by Tom Lloyd

The 11 members of the Living Word Christian Fellowship volunteer team weren’t going on their actual mission trip until the end of October. But the mission work began earlier than that.


Photo by Dick Duerksen

Photo by Dick Duerksen Photo by Maranatha Field Staff

Photo by Leonel Macias

Photo by Maranatha Field Staff

Photo by Dick Duerksen

One-Day School in Curaテァao Volunteers constructed 12 One窶船ay Schools at the Mahama Sur Adventist School in Curaテァao. The completed campus was the answer to four years of prayer. The new school replaces a campus that was demolished by a severe tropical storm in 2008.


Maranatha Loses Vanden Heuvel, Missions Pioneer today if it wasn’t for the commitment of Van and Fay in the early days,” said Don Noble, president of Maranatha, in a 2004 interview about the Vanden Heuvels. “Van ran all of the Maranatha projects, virtually all of them, for ten years… We do things differently now at Maranatha than they did. But we stand on their shoulders and see farther. They were visionaries, and we learn from them.”

Maranatha pioneer and board member Van Vanden Heuvel passed away on October 26, 2012. He was 89 years old. Van and his wife, Fay, have been an integral part of Maranatha’s development over the years. Van’s first project was to Yellowknife, Canada, in 1972. The project convinced Van to devote his life to missions, and within months, the Vanden Heuvels were moving to Honduras to run Maranatha projects. Van was also instrumental in reconstruction and aid efforts in the Dominican Republic after Hurricane David devastated the island in 1979.

A memorial service for Van was held on December 1, 2012, at the Mesa Palms Adventist Church in Mesa, Arizona.

“I’ve questioned whether there would even be a Maranatha

Overwhelming Support at the Maranatha Convention Asia expressed gratitude for Maranatha’s support and also pointed out the continuing need for churches and schools in their countries. Highlights from this year’s convention are posted at maranatha.org/convention, and a three-disc DVD set of the weekend program is available by mail. To receive your free copy, call (916) 774-7700. More than 1,500 people gathered in Roseville, California, for the 2012 Maranatha Volunteers International convention. The weekend program, themed “In Christ

Alone,” focused on Maranatha’s current work in 28 countries around the world and the impact it is having on communities. Church leaders from Africa, Latin America, and Southern

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Next year’s gathering, “Celebration of Missions,” will be in Roseville once more on September 20 and 21, 2013. Steve Green, Christian recording artist, will be the musical guest.

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Maranatha Dedicates EEC in India Maranatha celebrated the completion of an Education and Evangelism Center (EEC) in Newasa, India, on November 24, 2012. More than 500 people gathered for the dedication of the school, including Maranatha President Don Noble and Southern Asia Division President John Rathinaraj. Elder John was the keynote speaker at the event, and he challenged everyone to make good use of the facility to praise God and teach others about the Gospel message. The new school, which already has 300 elementary students

enrolled, has multiple classrooms, offices, and an auditorium. Maranatha has built many schools in India, but this is the first EEC. Maranatha has constructed more than 100 EECs around the world, most of them in Latin America. School administrators say that the unique design of the building, which is located at the center of town, is already drawing lots of attention from the community.

Brazil Requests 1,000 Churches for New Union In November, the South American Division marked the establishment of the new East Brazil Union during a special ceremony. Included in the program was the dedication of a Maranatha One-Day Church. Adventist leaders believe that this region will see a phenomenal growth in membership, and

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Families have expressed interest in sending their children to Newasa, and the school expects enrollment to grow rapidly in the next few years.

About Maranatha Maranatha spreads the Gospel throughout the world as it builds people through the construction of urgently needed buildings. All notices of change of address should be sent to the Maranatha Volunteers International United States address. Julie Z. Lee, Editor jlee@maranatha.org Carrie Purkeypile, Managing Editor cpurkeypile@maranatha.org Heather Bergren, Designer hbergren@maranatha.org

they have asked Maranatha to build 1,000 One-Day Churches over the next five years. Overall, Brazil has the largest Adventist population in the world with over 1.2 million members.

United States Headquarters: Maranatha Volunteers International 990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678 Phone: 916-774-7700 Fax: 916-774-7701 Website: maranatha.org In Canada: Maranatha Volunteers International Association c/o V06494C PO Box 6494, Station Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 6R3 CANADA

Non-Profit U.S. Postage


Roseville, CA Permit No. 111 990 Reserve Drive, Suite 100 Roseville, CA 95678


“I was watching Maranatha Mission Stories on the Hope Channel one Sabbath afternoon in my home, and the program was on Ultimate Workout. At the end, I turned to my mother and told her, ‘I want to go on the next UW,’” said Patience, who lives in Curaçao. Patience’s mother said “Yes,” and the family began saving money so Patience could go to India on UW 19. “This would be a first for any teenager in my home country of Curaçao,” Patience remembers. “I had to explain it to everyone, and then they got as excited as I was!” Ask Patience what she remembers about India, and she’ll give you a long list of life-changing memories. Although she laughs about the traffic and the crowds and is still amazed by the hospital-painting job the teens did in Jeypore, Patience’s eyes fill with tears when she talks about the children. “I just love the children and wanted to adopt them all and bring them home to Curaçao. Oh, I miss the children. Especially the blind children at the school in Boboli.”

Photo by Brenda Duerksen

All UW teens are “changed forever.” For some that means a shift in purchasing habits. For others it means a new understanding of human need and a change in career choices. For Patience it was both. “I came home needing less. The kids in India are really happy—even though they don’t have many of the things I thought I needed. I also decided that I wanted to spend my life serving God as a missionary, serving wherever there are needs.” Patience has completed a degree at Andrews University and is now serving as head of administration at a Seventh-day Adventist hospital in Curaçao. “After a little more experience here,” Patience says, “I am ready to go wherever God needs me next.” Ultimate Workout never ends!

On the cover: Virginia Widicker, longtime volunteer, on the Curaçao Project. Photo by Dick Duerksen.



Each month, thousands of people contribute $10. The joint effort of everyone involved helps to sponsor the construction of urgently needed churches each month.

Join today by sending your $10 to Maranatha Volunteers International

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer Winter 2013  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International. The newsletter is published four times a year and features...

The Volunteer Winter 2013  

The Volunteer is the official publication of Maranatha Volunteers International. The newsletter is published four times a year and features...