Maranatha Mission Stories

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: MMS

Program Code: MMS009027A

00:01 Union College's school song
00:02 may be about slinging the ink and push in the pen.
00:04 But this week is all about swinging the hammer.
00:07 About 90 Maranatha Volunteers
00:09 are on campus in Lincoln, Nebraska
00:11 to renovate the women's dormitory.
00:13 The work includes demolition, painting, and carpentry.
00:16 The project will also require much electrical work.
00:19 And fortunately, this team has plenty of skilled workers.
00:23 Among the volunteers is Larry Road Sr.
00:25 He was the electrician who wired this same dorm
00:28 when it was first built.
00:29 Now he is almost 90 years old and back to help.
00:33 Another Maranatha volunteer Mick Ray
00:35 owns Empire Electric in Lincoln.
00:38 He has encouraged his staff of trained electricians
00:40 to join the project for as many days as possible.
00:43 It's the generosity of volunteers like
00:45 Larry and Mick
00:47 who make each Maranatha mission trip
00:48 a success and a blessing to everyone involved.
00:51 Hear more about our projects in North America
00:54 at our Annual Mission Maranatha Event
00:55 in Sacramento, California, September 19 to 21.
00:58 Check out our website.
01:29 Every year Maranatha coordinates
01:32 approximately 16 mission trips for more than 2,000 volunteers.
01:39 The goal of each project is to fulfill a practical need
01:42 in a local community,
01:44 such as providing a structure or critical outreach.
01:51 Each project also aims to create an experience
01:54 that is transformative
01:55 in the lives of everyone involved.
02:01 When it comes to this goal, Maranatha has seen
02:04 the biggest impact in the youngest volunteers.
02:23 Ultimate workout is a mission trip
02:25 specially designed for teenagers in high school.
02:36 You think the basic living conditions
02:38 and the challenging work
02:39 would be a deterrent for young people.
02:42 But it is one of Maranatha's most popular projects.
02:50 Since 1990, more than 3,800 volunteers
02:53 have participated in this mission experience.
03:06 The summer of 2018 was no different,
03:08 as nearly 100 teens gathered in Entre Rios, Bolivia
03:12 ready to tackle several projects
03:14 in the community.
03:20 One of their major focus areas
03:21 was the Entre Rios Adventist School.
03:24 The school is well regarded,
03:26 but has outgrown their facilities
03:28 and their existing classrooms were in need of renovation.
03:33 The team's worked to build new classrooms for the school
03:36 as well as helping to update the existing ones.
03:46 Another group focused on helping
03:48 the Rio Blanco congregation.
03:51 Each week 50 people meet in this church.
03:55 But the structure was showing some exterior wear and tear.
03:59 The teens attacked the project with gusto,
04:02 cleaning and repainting the outside of the church
04:04 as well as constructing retaining wall on the property.
04:12 Outside of construction, finding other ways
04:15 to make a difference in the community
04:16 was a large part of the volunteers' work.
04:19 Teens served in a variety of ways
04:21 including community cleanup and children's programs.
04:29 The medical team traveled around the local community.
04:32 This outreach also enabled the teams
04:34 to work alongside medical professionals
04:36 and gain invaluable experience.
04:45 Yet the physical work is only one part of the experience.
04:49 Perhaps more than any other Maranatha project,
04:51 ultimate workout emphasizes
04:53 spiritual growth in its volunteers.
04:55 Adult leaders are carefully selected
04:57 and a program is prayerfully planned
05:00 to nurture and atmosphere holy focused
05:02 on a closer walk with God.
05:05 Pastor Brandon Westgate
05:07 has served as the spiritual coordinator
05:09 for Ultimate Workout for several years,
05:11 leading the teenagers through morning
05:13 and evening worships.
05:14 This year, he used small group discussions
05:17 to build trust among the volunteers.
05:20 He encouraged them to share their stories with each other
05:22 in the context of faith and with the goal
05:25 of strengthening their relationship with God.
05:29 The results were powerful.
05:32 It's nice to know that I'm not alone
05:34 in those situations.
05:36 And it's been really cool how we've been able to bond
05:41 and relate to each other and help each other through it.
05:44 And how we've been able to develop trust enough
05:48 with each other in this short amount of time,
05:51 in order to tell each other things like this
05:53 and trust the other person
05:55 to not mock you but to help you.
05:58 The whole community idea has been
06:02 overwhelming, honestly.
06:04 For Noah Wenberg, the worships didn't just grow his faith,
06:08 it brought him back to God
06:10 after a period of disbelief and disconnect.
06:13 When I was 12, I became atheist
06:15 because of some stuff that happened to my family
06:18 and we lost my older brother
06:20 and I didn't feel that right.
06:24 Because everybody said God was a loving God and caring
06:28 and so I got angry at Him and I threw it against Him.
06:31 And I'd decided it would be easier
06:33 not to believe in Him at all.
06:35 And I fell in a dark path and coming here,
06:37 as I saw the community and the grace
06:39 and the teens that came and the staff,
06:43 and it reminded me and God showed me that
06:47 He's there and He cares.
06:48 I felt like I was the only person
06:50 that had that struggle because everybody here
06:53 is an Adventist himself and I opened
06:55 because when I got to know my team better,
06:58 I learned that I wasn't the only one
07:01 struggling with it.
07:02 And I wasn't different
07:03 and that people coming back to Christ just like I was.
07:10 This has got to be the easiest place
07:13 to build relationship with people
07:14 because you have people who think like you,
07:17 who believe like you,
07:18 and even those who don't believe like you
07:20 start to believe because of how close we got.
07:23 I feel like now like I'm part of like a community
07:26 because there is people of my age
07:28 who felt the same way I did when I first got here.
07:31 And like we've all formed like a connection like I feel like
07:34 after this I'll know so many more
07:37 Adventist young adults and young people
07:40 and we only get stronger from here.
07:44 The whole group in general
07:47 has been awesome with,
07:49 you know, sharing experiences.
07:50 It would be wonderful to get together in heaven.
07:55 But not all of the teams arrive as willing participants.
07:58 Last year, Josh Gayle's first ultimate workout experience
08:02 had a rocky start.
08:04 I flew down to Panama and Dina
08:08 was picking out the participants that day
08:12 and she picked me up.
08:13 And the first words I said to her was
08:15 I don't want to be here and my mom made me come here.
08:20 And she looked at me and said, well, you have two options,
08:25 you can make this the best two weeks of your life
08:27 or the worst two weeks of your life.
08:30 It wasn't long before Josh began making connections
08:33 with other teams during work and worship.
08:35 Ten days later, not only did he return home changed,
08:38 but the positive experience brought him back the next year
08:41 to serve in Bolivia.
08:43 Like many of the teams,
08:45 worship is still his favorite part
08:46 of the project.
08:48 I am on cloud nine.
08:50 When I'm behind my instrument
08:52 and everyone's singing their heart out
08:55 and like the spirit moves with the music.
08:59 And I feel that and I just like,
09:01 I think I'm almost cheered up while playing.
09:06 It's such a powerful experience being able to be about,
09:10 I'd be behind Isaac and beside all of,
09:12 all my colleagues,
09:14 we're making a joyful noise together.
09:18 It's a great thing.
09:23 In Bolivia, by the close of the project,
09:25 the volunteers were able
09:26 to help with quite a bit of transformation
09:28 in the local community.
09:31 They successfully built a classroom.
09:40 Renovated a church.
09:45 Served 550 patients
09:50 and shared the love of Jesus all around.
09:59 Yet the biggest change was within themselves.
10:08 At the end of the project
10:09 18 teams made the decision
10:11 to commit or recommit their lives to Christ.
10:14 I think the part that's changed my life the most was like
10:19 seeing God again in the small things
10:22 and I had the opportunity to get me baptized.
10:27 I struggled most with Christ,
10:29 a good eight months before I got here.
10:31 And so my heart was still little hard.
10:33 And throughout the week, it just softened.
10:36 And I had this like mountaintop experience,
10:40 where eventually I was baptized this week
10:43 which was just an amazing decision
10:45 and the best decision of my life.
10:47 And so it's just... It's been incredible.
10:54 This is the power of missions.
11:01 When we answer the call to grow faith
11:03 and hope in each other and in ourselves,
11:06 there is no limit to what God will provide.
11:11 I think that being able to serve
11:13 and impact other people really helped me change my own life,
11:16 and that's something I'll never forget.
11:25 Experience ultimate workout next year in Kenya.
11:29 Go to to learn more.
11:33 Next, we'll take a look at how the actual buildings
11:35 Maranatha constructs
11:37 are making an impact on young people in Angola.
11:55 For more than a decade Maranatha Mission Stories
11:58 has taken you around the world, showing you the need
12:01 and challenging you to get involved.
12:05 Now, we're introducing new ways for you to stay informed
12:08 and inspired about the mission.
12:11 Watch your favorite episode of Maranatha Mission Stories
12:14 as well as other Maranatha videos
12:16 on your Apple TV.
12:19 Visit the App Store, search for the Maranatha Channel
12:22 and hit install.
12:26 You'll have access to all of our latest video content,
12:29 and you can watch anytime.
12:31 Our videos are available on demand 24 hours a day.
12:35 Our content can also be viewed on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
12:40 The Maranatha Channel bringing mission adventures
12:43 to your living room.
12:54 In 1969, while we send humans to the moon,
12:58 a group of people launched what is known today
13:00 as Maranatha Volunteers International.
13:04 Flying private planes to volunteer around the world
13:07 a community was formed.
13:10 Missionaries connected through service who became like family.
13:14 This fall, set a flight plan for Sacramento, California.
13:18 Join us at Mission Maranatha, our annual convention event.
13:23 September 19 to 21 celebrate 50 years of mission.
13:27 Reconnect with old friends and fellow volunteers
13:31 as we remember the projects, the places,
13:34 and the people who helped form Maranatha.
13:38 Enjoy inspiring testimonies from around the world,
13:41 as well as music from the acclaimed men's chorus
13:44 Christian Edition.
13:46 Admission is free, but make sure to register
13:48 at
13:54 According to the United Nations,
13:56 the fertility rate in Angola is 5.7 births per woman.
14:00 In rural areas,
14:02 the number jumps to eight children per woman.
14:04 The result is a young population
14:06 with almost half of the country under the age of 14.
14:10 As Angola emerges from 27 years of civil war,
14:14 the country is looking to this younger generation
14:16 to help rebuild the nation.
14:19 A critical component of the recovery process
14:21 is education,
14:23 but many of the schools
14:24 were destroyed during the conflict.
14:27 And the country lacks the infrastructure
14:29 and resources to rebuild.
14:32 So many people are in need of a quality education.
14:36 Where can they find hope for a better future?
14:39 With the help of Maranatha Volunteers International
14:42 the Seventh-day Adventist Church
14:43 is slowly rebuilding its educational system,
14:47 providing an alternative for families
14:49 who are seeking more than
14:50 what is currently offered in government schools.
14:53 Recently, we returned to Angola to see
14:55 how the buildings constructed by Maranatha
14:57 are affecting the local communities.
15:02 Luanda, Angola's capital has many of the trappings
15:05 of a cutting edge metropolis.
15:09 The city is experiencing a renaissance
15:11 as the discovery of oil and diamonds
15:13 has brought an influx of money into the country.
15:18 But much of the progress is isolated to a select few.
15:24 The landscape changes
15:25 as you enter the many neighborhoods
15:27 that extend beyond the city skyline.
15:30 Pavement turns to dirt and time slows.
15:35 The neighborhood of Alegria is west of the city.
15:38 In Portuguese, the language spoken in Angola,
15:41 alegria means happiness.
15:44 And in spite of the many challenges
15:45 people face, happiness can be found,
15:49 especially on the faces of the children like Amelia.
15:54 She moved to the area four years ago
15:56 when she was 12 years old.
16:22 The unstable circumstances of Amelia's home life
16:25 left her struggling.
16:27 One day she ended up
16:29 on her aunt's doorstep distraught.
16:46 Her aunt, a Seventh-day Adventist
16:48 invited Amelia to live with her
16:50 and immediately found a way to place her
16:52 in the Alegria Adventist School
16:54 located a few blocks from their home.
16:58 The Alegria School started in a pastor's yard
17:01 and later moved into the Alegria church.
17:05 Little by little members managed to build
17:07 five classrooms.
17:09 At the new school, Amelia was learning many things.
17:13 Yet the conditions of the old buildings
17:15 left much to be desired.
17:26 And like many in Angola,
17:28 Amelia's family could barely afford
17:30 to keep her in private school.
18:12 The Alegria School charges
18:13 between $5 and $10 per month per student.
18:17 Even this is a struggle,
18:20 as about half of the population lives below the poverty line,
18:23 earning around $3 a day.
18:26 The life conditions of people around
18:29 in this community is not that so good.
18:31 Because of the social problems
18:33 we have these kinds of problems also within the church setting
18:36 and the people here, they are not that rich.
18:41 And we really face a lot of difficulties here
18:45 and this difficulties they are brought also
18:47 within the church because the church
18:49 are made up of people who made up the society,
18:52 so we don't have that much here in the church.
18:56 And we tried to do with what we have.
19:29 Despite the poor infrastructure of the school,
19:32 and the financial sacrifice required of parents,
19:35 the quality Christian education
19:37 had the school operating above capacity.
19:40 But expansion was out of the realm of possibility.
19:44 The school struggled to build the existing classrooms
19:47 and had no additional funding.
19:49 When Maranatha began working in Angola in 2013,
19:53 new classrooms for the Alegria School
19:55 were a priority.
19:57 In May 2017, Maranatha cruise began pouring floors
20:01 and assembling frames for 12
20:03 one day school classrooms at Alegria.
20:06 Today, Amelia and her fellow students
20:08 are learning in bright new classrooms.
20:13 Alegria is just one of the places
20:15 where Maranatha is promoting change.
20:17 For years to come, hundreds of churches,
20:20 classrooms, and a large education
20:22 and evangelism center will change
20:24 not only the landscape,
20:25 but the lives of thousands of people in Angola.
20:52 This mission is already being fulfilled at Alegria.
20:55 Amelia's journey is evidence
20:57 of how a Christ centered education
20:58 can change your life in more ways than one.
21:56 When Amelia decided to come to Luanda and find her family,
21:59 she was just looking for a better life.
22:03 What God had in store for her was much more.
22:07 She found hope.
22:29 Now, Amelia wants to become a teacher
22:31 and lead other children to Christ.
22:51 Maranatha donors and volunteers will forever have a place
22:54 in the heart of the people in Angola.
22:59 Now, their desire is that other parts of the world
23:01 may also be blessed
23:03 by the construction of structures
23:05 where the gospel can be taught
23:07 and shared with young people like Amelia.
24:09 From July 19 to 28, join Maranatha
24:12 in rural New York at Union Springs Academy.
24:15 We need your help in renovating the boys' dorm.
24:18 Work will include removing old floors
24:20 and installing new flooring, replacing light fixtures,
24:23 refurbishing furniture, landscaping and more.
24:26 Everyone is welcome to join this mission experience
24:29 and in exchange for your help,
24:30 you'll receive free room and board,
24:32 just be sure to register first.
24:34 Then from October 16 to 27,
24:36 we urgently need more volunteers
24:38 for our mission trip to Bolivia,
24:40 where we'll be constructing classrooms
24:42 at the Entre Rios School.
24:43 We'll also need help with roofing
24:45 and pouring sidewalks.
24:47 Depending on the size of the volunteer team,
24:48 we may also organize outreach activities
24:50 in the surrounding community.
24:52 The Entre Rios School was once a thriving campus
24:55 with more than 400 students.
24:56 Now, competition from government schools
24:58 has caused enrollment to decline.
25:00 Updated facilities will go a long way
25:02 in drawing more students
25:04 to the Seventh-day Adventist campus.
25:05 Learn more about these projects
25:07 and others by visiting our website.
25:14 Bolivia,
25:16 located in the heart of South America
25:19 is a captivating country
25:20 brimming with breathtaking landscapes,
25:24 colorful culture and welcoming people.
25:28 Here everyone is a missionary, inviting neighbors to church
25:32 and creating community for people to belong.
25:35 Their primary challenge, churches.
25:38 There are not enough churches in Bolivia
25:41 and people are meeting in broken buildings,
25:43 people's homes and dusty sheds.
25:49 Starting in 2018,
25:50 we'll be taking the mission of Maranatha
25:52 to every part of Bolivia.
25:57 Join the movement, make a donation
26:00 or volunteer on an upcoming project.
26:25 Maranatha Mission trips make a broad impact
26:28 on everyone involved.
26:35 From the volunteer taking the leap of faith,
26:40 to the recipient of a brand new building,
26:45 to the donor who makes it all possible.
26:51 Change overflows and blesses many lives.
26:58 For the young people affected by missions,
27:00 the impact occurs at a pivotal time.
27:03 A revelation of faith or a solid education can alter
27:06 the course of their lives in significant ways.
27:18 For Makayla, Noah and others,
27:20 Ultimate Workout revealed the courage, strength,
27:22 and grace found in community.
27:30 For Amelia, a classroom created a second chance of life.
27:40 For all, the mission's experience
27:43 leaves them changed.


Revised 2019-07-29