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W I N T E R / S P R I N G 2 0 12

A Publication of Maranatha Volunteers International








Talent to Serve When a Maranatha crew arrived at the village of Namatunu in Malawi, one of the local men stood out. He worked with energy and enthusiasm helping to build his new church. He was asked to join the team as they moved on to build more and more One-Day Churches around the country. Elijah proved himself as a talented and honest worker and now serves as logistics officer for Maranatha in Malawi. He tracks shipments, materials and sites, making sure that construction flows as smoothly as possible. He is still in awe at the gift of a One-Day Church to his village. “I call it expensive, because I know the cost of everything!” he says. “The whole church was shaken. Everyone was shocked to see a poor community like ours given a very expensive church like that one.” Every day Elijah works to make more miraculous churches possible across his country. “I don’t have a talent to preach. I don’t have a talent to sing,” says Elijah as he tracks supplies in the warehouse. “But maybe God gave me this talent to work in logistics because I have to serve Him.” Get to know Elijah a little better by watching the Maranatha Mission Stories Episode, At the End of the Dusty Road. Download it free on iTunes, or watch on our website at maranatha.org.

PRAY WITH US BY K YLE FIESS of prayer. The issues range from the seemingly small to extremely critical. But with prayer and trust in God’s leading, every situation is navigable. We have the privilege of looking back and seeing the multitude of ways that God has answered prayers. It bolsters our faith, and gives us a reason to go on when all indicators look bleak. Every Tuesday the Maranatha office staff meets for a weekly staff meeting. At the close of each meeting we pray as a group. We give thanks for God’s leading and present the challenges that exist that week. We pray for field staff and volunteers.

Photo by Tom Lloyd

One day last year Darrell Hardy visited the town of Nueva Guinea in Nicaragua. Darrell is Maranatha’s Vice President for Latin America Projects and was visiting the town to evaluate it as a possible location for a new school.

Photo opposite page by Tom Lloyd

As Darrell talked with the local church members, it was obvious that a school was needed, but many hurdles were in the way. He encouraged the church members to pray earnestly that God would lead and guide them through the process. A few weeks ago, Darrell visited Nueva Guinea again and discovered that the members had accepted his challenge. Every day, for the past five months the members have met at 5:00 a.m. for a special prayer meeting. And throughout that time, God has led them through the process of planning for a new school.

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This month a group of 70 volunteers from the Carmichael Adventist Church in California arrive in Nueva Guinea to start building a new Education and Evangelism Center. Every day, Maranatha is inundated with the challenges that come with many projects happening in multiple countries. Volunteers miss airplanes and shipping containers end up in the wrong countries. Personalities conflict and permission rarely comes when it is promised. For 43 years Maranatha has navigated these challenges with a very important ally—the power

Recently, we have learned that others have joined us in prayer on Tuesday mornings. Church leadership in several countries pray specifically for Maranatha each week. And so we invite you to join us also. Not just on Tuesday, but every day of the week. Pray for specific communities like Nueva Guinea that desire a new school or church. Pray for volunteers who travel all around the world to make a difference. Pray that God will move containers through customs at the appropriate time. We believe that God’s work is moved forward primarily through the power of prayer. Money is important, volunteers are necessary, but prayer is critical. Please join your prayers with ours and support Maranatha in this most important way.


The Quickest


A new phenomenon has begun in India. The amazing work of God’s Spirit over the last 14 years has resulted in a huge growth of believers who long to send their children to a Christian school. In many cases children have no options for school, and rarely do the poorest citizens get a quality education. Maranatha has built numerous school campuses, but the need is far greater than they can accommodate. The boarding campuses are important, but smaller day schools are needed also. After finding The One‑Day School to be an answer to prayer in other parts of the world, Maranatha debuted the first One‑Day School campus in India in November of 2011. The volunteers who constructed the One-Day School campus in Guntur, India were touched by the people around them. “I think it’s

The Adventist School in Guntur, India was closed by the government for their insufficient facilities ten years ago. They have been without a school until Maranatha volunteers put up a One-Day School Campus in November. Photo by Debbie Thompson Kippel


Photo by Laura Noble

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very important to build schools for kids in India and other parts of the world,” says Danilo Poljak, a first time Maranatha volunteer. “First of all, they don’t have the opportunity to go to school. There are not enough schools. Especially if we can build Christian schools. I am convinced that we are saving lives for eternity. They are not just going to learn to read and count. They are going to learn about God. That is very, very important for people in India.” “Almost half of the kids are not going to school because they don’t have the chance,” says Danilo, “They either don’t have a school or their parents don’t have money to pay for them. The school that we built will be a blessing for so many.” Ten years ago the government closed the school, because they weren’t able to bring the old buildings up to code. After a decade, the community is grateful to see the campus opening up to students again. The school campus is right in the middle of the city of Guntur. It will be a day school for those who live close enough to attend classes and live at home. Each new building on the campus took approximately one day to build, yet provides a sturdy, permanent solution. After many years with no Adventist school, the quick construction was a surprise to locals. But the quality was even better than expected. “The level of construction is way different from schools that we saw around the area. Right across the street was a school without windows or doors in most of the classrooms,” says Danilo. “Compared to everything else that we saw, they will be first‑class classrooms.”

Longtime Maranatha volunteer Wayne Juhl was the primary sponsor for the project, officially called the Juhl Adventist School. He remembers his first trip to India, many years ago. “At that time I was just amazed at the people – masses of people. Instead of the town streets having vehicles, they were just packed with people,” he remembers. “I got to know some very nice people who very much needed what we could give.” Wayne’s son Ivan, daughter-in-law Jolene and grandson Jte attended the project and saw for themselves the impact the school is sure to have. “You would see kids sitting on the ground cross-legged in the dirt studying,” remembers Jolene. “You could see the importance of education for them.” Some village people even told her they had attended the school in Guntur years before.

12, local teachers, conference officials and families joined the international team of volunteers to pray and celebrate God’s care in Guntur. They asked for a blessing on the immaculate rows of desks that will soon hold as many as 300 boys and girls – children who might have stayed sitting in the dust without the opportunity this school will provide. Classes will begin on schedule in June, 2012. “It was a big blessing overall in lots of ways. I see things differently now. I put things in a different perspective,” reflects Danilo. The Juhl Adventist School campus in Guntur is the first of many One‑Day School campuses to begin making a huge impact in India, and on volunteers, for years to come. Photo by Debbie Thompson Kippel

The dedication ceremony at the Juhl Adventist School was a special day for many. In the middle of suburban Guntur, the quiet campus is a refuge. Mature palm trees tower above the 12 completed classroom buildings. On November

“Almost half of the kids are not going to school because they don’t have a chance,” says Maranatha volunteer Danilo Poljak. The new One-Day School campus will change that for many children. Photo by Laura Noble

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Photo by Maria Molleda

It’s official! The newest “top” destination for Maranatha volunteers is the Central American nation of Nicaragua. Hundreds of volunteers will travel to Nicaragua during 2012 to serve, learn and grow.

Maranatha has returned to Nicaragua! Volunteers started by revamping the Education and Evangelism Center built by Maranatha in 2001.

Maranatha has been in Nicaragua before – with amazing results. In 1975 Maranatha volunteers built ten churches there. Those ten congregations grew so large that each of them created several “daughter” churches. Maranatha returned to the country in 2000 to build 20 more churches, and seven schools. Pastor Juan Angel Guevara is the Director of the Central Mission of the Adventist Church in Nicaragua. He watched the astounding effect of new churches on the neighborhoods. “In the time since

then, those churches also grew, multiplied, and divided. From one church, four churches were born. From another church came forth three new churches, from another five new churches. The advance in the church growth has been greatly aided by Maranatha. “In 2005, leadership divided many full churches and planted members in other places,” Pastor Guevara recounts. “Our church has grown a lot in the short time since then. Five years later the new churches and the ‘old’ original churches were completely full.”


Nicaragua is ready for the next challenge! They have officially requested 80 churches, but Pastor Guevara knows they could easily utilize many more. “The real need is for about 200 temples throughout our country. But we don’t have land. Here under this tree (in the Mission parking lot) a church meets. Another meets at our radio station office. Churches are meeting in pastors’ homes, in members’ homes, because they don’t have land. So for now we will work on the ones for which we DO have land!”

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The land that they have for churches is spread around Nicaragua. The majority of church sites are on the dry western coast, because most of Nicaragua’s population is concentrated in the western Pacific lowlands, near major ports. A quarter of the entire population lives in or near the capital city of Managua. This region was settled by the Spanish centuries ago, and their ancient architecture is on display here – most colorfully in the beautiful cities of Granada and León. The other two regions of Nicaragua, the cooler central highlands, and the Caribbean lowlands provide a very distinct experience. Some isolated segments of the population speak only creole-style English, others have conserved ancient cultural languages and traditions. A large segment of the population are afro‑caribbeans who settled in eastern Nicaragua generations ago. Nicaraguans of all colors, speaking a variety of languages and each keeping their own traditions are waiting to welcome volunteers to their communities. “Our dream is to have a church in every neighborhood. A church in each community, in each city, in each housing development. We dream of filling Nicaragua with churches and with schools - and to always have a school connected with a church. We cannot do it because sometimes, the resources we have are limited. But we are sure that with the help of the volunteers of Maranatha that we can do it together,” says Pastor Guevara. Consider Nicaragua as a destination for a mission project in 2012. Whether you join our summer family project, send a teen on the Ultimate Workout, or volunteer on one of our friendly open team projects, Nicaragua will be the place to make memories this year.

There are volunteer opportunities for all ages in towns and cities all over Nicaragua.

Children gratefully receive gifts from volunteers. Those who serve almost always say they receive more blessings than they give.

One-Day Schools and Churches will make a dramatic change for people all over Nicaragua during the next year, and for many years to come. Photos by Leah Goad

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The original “emergency” buildings provided after Haiti’s earthquake in 2010 helped thousands of young people get back on track with their education, and their lives in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. A more permanent solution has now arrived – the One-Day School classroom – complete with permanent walls, ventilated windows, desks, and hurricane reinforced roofs. Maranatha recently erected the first One-Day School on the Adventist University Campus in Haiti. Adventist World Church President, Ted Wilson attended the dedication and rejoiced alongside hundreds of Haitians. The anxiously awaited One‑Day Schools are a partnership between Maranatha Volunteers International, ASI and ADRA.

Photos by Laura Noble

The Haitian Adventist University Campus has 2,500 students from Kindergarten through college. The quake damaged or destroyed most of their classrooms. After the January earthquake the government announced that classes would


resume in April – and gave them six tents to replace the 40 classrooms that had been destroyed. “I can tell you that it would be a very, very, big, big challenge for us. Really it would (have been) impossible to start classes without those One‑Day Schools,” says University President, JJ Pierre. The University Campus will have 28 One-Day School classroom buildings, and more classrooms will be built in other areas around Port‑au-Prince for a total of 100 new buildings. The original One‑Day frames will be repurposed for other needs in the country.

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Photo by Dick Duerksen

Since the very first One-Day Church built in Malawi in April, 2011, crews have erected 605 church structures in villages, towns and seemingly empty bush locations around the country. Tens of thousands of overjoyed local people are meeting in the new churches, and making them their own. Bruce LaPorte recently spent two years in Mozambique and Malawi providing mechanical support for the Maranatha team, and helping build churches. “We did 254 churches in 12 weeks,” he explains. “It’s pretty amazing what the Lord can do with the right people in the right situation.” “The congregations are really putting the walls up,” he reports. “I see the excitement that they have for their new churches. They are so happy!” Bruce saw for himself many of the previous places of worship. “Some of them didn’t even have churches. They were just meeting under a big tree. Others were these broken down block buildings, with

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mud bricks and a thatch roof. Sometimes they were caved in when we got there.” Most of the structures in Malawi have been built by Maranatha crews. Two groups of volunteers also went in to assist. Over the last few months political turmoil has increased in Malawi and one of the consequences is that there is almost no fuel available for purchase anywhere in the country. Without fuel to power the trucks, it is difficult for Maranatha crews to continue. To keep progressing forward, we are moving the One‑Day Church team into Zimbabwe to start work there. We’ll return to Malawi to finish the requested buildings when fuel is flowing once again.

Photo by Maranatha Field Team

Photo by Tom Lloyd



Nosoca Pines Ranch Open Team

Camp Yavapines Open Team

New Albany Open Team

Liberty Hill, South Carolina

Prescott, Arizona

New Albany, Mississippi

LEADERS: Pattie Bishop & Roger Hatch

LEADER: Sadie Torrez

LEADERS: Pattie Bishop & Roger Hatch

April 18 - May 8, 2012

May 6 - 16, 2012

June 6 - 21, 2012

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

Ultimate Workout 22

Collegiate Project

Young Adult Project




LEADER: Steve Case

LEADER: Rebekah Widmer

LEADER: Claudio Japas

July 17 - 30, 2012

July 17 - 30, 2012

August 1 - 14, 2012

High School students ages 14-18

Ages 18-24

Ages 18-35


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Summer Family Project

Lodi Fairmont Church Team

Verde Valley Mission Team


Monterey, California


LEADER: Steve Case

LEADER: Tracy Baerg

LEADER: Judy Leeper

June 14 - 24, 2012

June 15 - 24, 2012

June 27 - July 9, 2012

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 up with a group of soon-to-be-friends, or taking your family along for the ride, we are happy to help you find just the right project to join. 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.

Painting Open Team

Fjarli Family and Friends Open Team

Nicaragua LEADER: Sadie Torrez


October 18 - 30, 2012

LEADER: Bruce Fjarli

Fall 2012 Photo by Tom Lloyd

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Group Projects October - December 2011

Honduras Abundant Life Adventist Church (Washington) Berkshire Mission (Massachusetts) Kingman Adventist Church (Arizona)


The Ephesus Adventist Church in New York City started experiencing changes before they even left on their first mission project. Alicia Bibbs was a young professional who had recently moved to the area. Her interest was piqued when friends told her about Ephesus stepping out in faith to do a mission project. “I had been dying to go on a mission trip,” she says. “I started getting involved right away.” “This was a vision, a dream of our pastor to do a mission trip,” says long-time church member Vivian Laurent. “He wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but he led the way, nonetheless.” The result was a project described as “life changing, impactful, a huge success” by volunteers. Before they left, the congregation organized a drive for clothing and school supplies. They arrived with bulging suitcases, and left with empty bags. Feeling convicted to reach out and help as much as they could, the group took on an additional project, outside of the construction on the school

Photos by Alicia Bibbs

site where they were working in Choluteca, Honduras. They met a man from a village high up in the mountains, whose church needed a solid floor. “They were worshipping on gravel, kneeling on stones for 6 years,” reports Vivian. The group decided to help this small congregation, and planned it on the day the group was to take an excursion and see the sites. A few people signed up to be part of that job, instead of the group’s planned activity. After making it up the mountain they worked hard, but were frequently interrupted with gifts of coconuts, star fruit juice and big ripe mangos. “I did go on the extra mission trip project that day,” says Alicia. “And for everyone who did go, that was the highlight of the trip!

SAGE (Washington)

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.

“There were 22 of us on the project, and six of them were teenagers. They are still on fire! One of them just became the AYS leader. That is a big deal for our church!”

3. Begin recruiting participants and leadership.

The Ephesus Church step of faith turned out to be bigger and better than they had even hoped.

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


4. Work with Maranatha to set a budget.

Photo opposite page by Tom Lloyd

More Than Expected

Beth-El Shalom Open Team Duncan and Gayle Terry have been active Maranatha missionaries for years now. “Dunc has been on a lot more than I have!” says Gayle, though she has been on quite a few herself. The couple mixes up their volunteer experience by participating on both international and stateside projects. Duncan remembers the most impactful project he has been on, in Nepal. The group built an 8 foot wall to keep Bengal tigers from entering the hospital grounds and taking children. “Every year they were losing half a dozen kids to Bengal tigers,” he remembers. “When you go to third world countries, you always come home grateful.” The Terrys’ latest project was much closer to home – in Saint Petersburg, Florida. The couple helped to refurbish one of two Adventist Jewish synagogues– part of a conference sponsored outreach project in the area. One highlight was attending the Friday evening service to welcome in the Sabbath. “Their music was quite different than we are used to,” says Duncan, “But the people were extremely nice, as most people are when you get to know them! “The Maranatha projects in the U.S., and the international projects are quite different. But this one – for a U.S. project was somewhat different from what you normally expect, which was a great change.” “We love small projects!” says Duncan. On this project, volunteers were particularly keen on getting together to play games in the evenings. “When you get a group that works together during the day, and plays together at night, you get to know them pretty well on both sides. You make some pretty great friendships.”


Guidance for 2012

Read The Volunteer Online The governing Board of Directors for Maranatha Volunteers International met on January 9 to begin 2012 with purpose. Much of the discussion this session focused on the financial goals and needs of an organization that is growing to meet requests in increasingly widespread regions. The goals of a non-profit organization like Maranatha can be more complicated than a for-profit company. “A lot of organizations have one simple goal – to meet the bottom line,” says Maranatha President, Don Noble. “But we have many bottom lines. Our goals are not only to fund the many, many projects needed around the world, but to meet the needs of local churches, and conferences in the areas where we work, follow God’s guidance, as well as to provide for the needs of volunteers. We act on faith when we commit to these projects, and depend on God to work with His unending resources to fill in the gaps.” Maranatha has more than one hundred thousand project

requests waiting for response, and more coming in all the time. The board has purposed to think bigger, and raise funds for even greater results moving forward.

Visit maranatha.org

“I really felt that coming away the board was unified and God is blessing us. It’s going to be a good year,” says Don Noble.

Board Members: Maranatha Volunteers International • • • • • • • • • • •

Kenneth Casper Julius Garner, M.D. Roger Hatch Monty Jacobs Don Kirkman Calvin Krueger Don Noble Paul Stokstad Ron Stretter Vickie Wiedmann Claremore Fenderson Emeritus • Van Vanden Heuvel Emeritus


2012 Maranatha Convention SAVE THE DATE Join us for the 2012 Maranatha Convention September 21 & 22, 2012 Adventure Christian Church in Roseville, CA

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Holiday Fun for Families Adventurous families paved the way into Nicaragua over the new year by serving on Maranatha’s Christmas Family Project. The 60 volunteers worked on a school campus in Chinandega, Nicaragua, a port city near the northern border.

Mothers and fathers, children and grandparents worked to build walls and paint the campus, as well as hold children’s meetings and celebrate Christmas with the local orphanage.

The family project is popular with families of all shapes and sizes. Volunteer Rachel Massey says, “Before leaving on this trip I was having second thoughts about it. I kept asking myself what I was thinking by planning it. I couldn’t feel more different now. I am so happy to have gone and I’m ready to begin planning the next trip!”

“Meeting and working with others from different places and backgrounds was a big plus for me. Our team worked exceptionally well together,” says volunteer Clark Cowan.

“I loved being there with all the families and I felt like I gained many new family members in them,” says Rachel. “Also the people in Nicaragua were very kind and it was heartwarming ... ”

Many families find a mission project to have special significance around the holidays. The consistent and purposeful focus on service and interaction with people whose needs are greater than their own has had a big impact on volunteers. “I now truly see other nationalities as God’s people and my brother/sister,” says volunteer Maria Martin. “It was necessary for me to get out of my comfort zone.

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The next family project will be in Nicaragua, June 14-24, 2012.

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.

Young Volunteer Opportunities for the Summer Young volunteers should start planning now for a mission project this summer. Maranatha’s popular Ultimate Workout for high school age teens is already accepting online applications for an amazing adventure. Those who have left High School behind can consider The Collegiate Project for ages 18-24, or The Young Adult Project for ages 18-35. Each project has it’s

This trip helped do that. I am a lot more appreciative and content with what I have. This trip helped me realize that ‘giving’ or ‘service’ comes in many forms!”

Kyle Fiess, Editor kfiess@maranatha.org Carrie Purkeypile, Managing Editor cpurkeypile@maranatha.org Heather Bergren, Designer hbergren@maranatha.org

own charms, and provides a special camaraderie with peers that only a mission project can offer! Check out Maranatha’s project calendar online for more information, or send us an email at volunteer@maranatha.org.

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 45175 Wells Road, Unit 20 Chilliwack, B.C. V2R 3K7 CANADA

Non-Profit U.S. Postage


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

A Chance for Change BY DICK DUERKSEN

Thumbs up. In America it means affirmation and encouragement. In Malawi it means “I saw some strangers do it and then smile – and since I kind of like you I’m giving you a thumbs up too!” He was sitting on a hillside in Malawi, in the family village of Namatunu. There is a brand new shiny steel One-Day Church just up the path from his mud and straw playground. He lives with grandmother, sisters, a couple brothers, and two aunties. He works every day in the family maize and calabasa field, hoeing weeds and sprinkling precious water in hopes of a happy harvest. If he stays healthy he may someday learn to milk the cow, ride a bike, and carry Photo by Dick Duerksen the milk can the 12 kilometers down the hill to the milk His chances of becoming a co‑op. His chances of going to Seventh‑day Adventist, going to school beyond third grade are school at Malamulo, and becoming less than 20%. His chances of one of God’s voices in Malawi are living beyond 30 are even less. excellent! One of the church elders His chances of ever wearing new is reaching out and taking the boy clothes he has bought with his own under his wing. money are just above zip. Cover Photo taken by Tom Lloyd at the Beth-El Shalom project in Florida.

Maranatha Mission Stories is a weekly half-hour show featuring mission stories from around the world. The program highlights inspiring stories from communities that have been changed and personal testimonies from volunteers who have been touched by Maranatha.

W AY S T O W AT C H : • • • • •

Hope Channel 3ABN maranatha.org iTunes Maranatha’s iPad App

Profile for Maranatha Volunteers International

The Volunteer Winter/Spring 2012  

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

The Volunteer Winter/Spring 2012  

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