Series Code: MMS
Program Code: MMS009112A
00:01 Hi, I'm Hilary Macias with the Maranatha Minute.
00:03 People know that Maranatha does construction
00:05 in places like South America, Asia and Africa.
00:08 But did you know that Maranatha
00:10 is also quite active in North America.
00:13 Each year volunteers participate
00:14 in about two dozen projects
00:16 in the United States or Canada.
00:18 Recently, 41 volunteers
00:20 gathered in Washington State to help with renovations
00:23 at the Castle Rock Seventh-day Adventist Church.
00:26 In just a matter of weeks,
00:28 the team helped with numerous tasks,
00:30 including installing siding and new windows on the church.
00:33 They also re-roof the church's community services building.
00:37 Even with all that work,
00:39 the volunteers finished a few days early.
00:41 Already in 2019,
00:43 Maranatha has completed six mission trips
00:45 in the United States.
00:46 These North America projects provide
00:48 greatly needed maintenance
00:50 and construction assistance
00:51 to churches, schools and campgrounds
00:53 at a fraction of the cost.
00:55 To learn more about
00:56 how Maranatha can help your organization,
00:58 visit our website.
01:27 Tens of thousands of volunteers mobilized.
01:32 Eleven thousand structures built.
01:36 Nearly 90 countries impacted.
01:41 These numbers represent the breadth of Maranatha's work
01:44 over the last 50 years.
01:57 Maranatha has grown to become a leading resource
01:59 for Adventist Church leaders around the world,
02:02 needing help building 10, 100 or even 1,000 churches,
02:06 schools, or water wells.
02:12 While such a broad scope of projects
02:14 is not unusual for Maranatha's work today.
02:17 Fifty years ago,
02:19 the numbers would have been daunting
02:20 to the fledgling group of lay people
02:22 who are embarking on a relatively new concept
02:25 of short term mission trips with Maranatha.
02:31 In today's episode, we'll learn about a watershed moment
02:34 in the organization's history,
02:35 where we were challenged to take a leap of faith
02:38 that would make a difference for eternity.
02:58 As the 21st century approached,
03:00 incredible change was taking place
03:02 in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
03:07 The seeds of faith that had been sown
03:08 by missionaries
03:10 during the previous decades were sprouting and multiplying.
03:13 The Adventist faith community was growing faster
03:16 than churches could be built.
03:19 Maranatha Flights International
03:21 known for its short-term mission projects
03:24 to build churches and schools was changing too.
03:28 After 12 years of steady growth and increasing activity,
03:31 founder John Freeman still working full-time
03:34 in his photography business
03:36 encouraged Maranatha's board to hire a staff.
03:40 The search began
03:42 and John called a young professional
03:44 working in Denver, Colorado,
03:46 who also happened to be a former Air Force pilot.
03:50 He said, "We've received your resume
03:51 and we want to interview you."
03:53 I said,
03:55 "Okay, well, that's interesting.
03:57 I live in Denver, Colorado, so you know, I'm available."
04:01 He said, "No, I would like you to come to Michigan.
04:04 That's where our headquarters is,
04:05 so if you could come to Michigan."
04:08 I said, "Well, I can work
04:09 with the president of my company
04:11 and try to get some time off.
04:12 You just send me a ticket."
04:14 He says, "Oh, no."
04:16 He said, "We're a volunteer organization,
04:18 you'll need to pay your way."
04:20 Well, I wasn't familiar with this approach to life
04:24 at that point.
04:25 So I said, "Well,
04:27 I don't ever go to Michigan
04:29 at this particular point in time."
04:32 I said, but I tell you what?
04:34 I says, "If I ever
04:37 have opportunity to be in Michigan,
04:38 I'll give you a call.
04:40 Thank you very much."
04:41 End of conversation.
04:44 Well, now here's the interesting thing
04:47 from my view.
04:49 I went to my office that day,
04:52 and the president of the company
04:53 called me in and says,
04:54 "I need you to go to Michigan."
04:57 No, that had never happened.
04:59 And that's when I started to think,
05:01 okay, what's going on here?
05:03 Don Noble was one of several candidates
05:05 who interviewed and the job was offered to him.
05:08 Don has to meet with the board
05:10 so he could be certain he fully understood Maranatha
05:13 and whether this was God's calling.
05:15 A couple of the board members took me aside and said,
05:18 "If I was a young man like you,"
05:20 because at that time I was a young man.
05:23 "If I was a young man like you,
05:25 then I wanted to make a difference
05:27 in the world."
05:29 He said, "We can tell you that this is a place
05:31 that you could be used by God
05:33 to make a difference in the world,"
05:35 and I like that.
05:38 Calvin Krueger was one of those board members.
05:41 He has been volunteering with Maranatha
05:43 for more than 40 of its 50 years
05:45 and serving on the board for just as long.
05:48 Something happened there.
05:50 There's a compulsion there
05:53 and that's why Maranatha is where it is,
05:56 with the help of the Holy Spirit.
05:59 Don Noble became
06:01 the president of Maranatha Flights International
06:03 in 1983.
06:05 Those that hire Don
06:06 told him his job description was essentially this,
06:10 make Maranatha fly and he did.
06:14 It wasn't long before Don moved to the Maranatha office
06:16 from John Freeman's basement
06:18 onto the main street in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
06:22 Another change was happening.
06:24 More often, the projects were further away
06:26 from the United States,
06:28 requiring volunteers to use commercial airliners.
06:31 And too often, the name Maranatha Flights International
06:35 caused people to mistake it for a travel agency.
06:39 A very interesting thing started to happen.
06:41 We started doing some projects with an organization
06:43 called Volunteers International.
06:46 That was started by a gentleman
06:49 who became a friend of mine, still is,
06:51 Robert Bainum,
06:52 and we did quite a few projects together
06:55 until finally we came to the point we said,
06:57 "Why don't we just merge operations."
07:01 We're each paying for different expenses
07:03 that are getting doubled up, so let's just combine them.
07:06 In 1989, Maranatha Flights International
07:10 and Volunteers International
07:12 became Maranatha Volunteers International.
07:16 One of the best compliments
07:17 I think I've ever had from Maranatha
07:20 was it they call me a founder
07:22 because I gave part
07:24 of my Volunteers International name,
07:30 which I really wanted.
07:32 And, so I've been flattered really.
07:37 Even before the organizations merged,
07:39 Robert Bainum volunteered regularly with Maranatha.
07:43 He was also a board member.
07:46 He would travel with Don
07:47 from time to time to evaluate projects.
07:50 In 1991,
07:52 Don and Robert traveled to the Dominican Republic,
07:54 at the invitation of church letters
07:57 would come to trust Maranatha.
07:59 The visit would be a game changer
08:01 for the 23 year old organization.
08:05 They went through the needs,
08:09 for about two hours
08:10 they showed the slides
08:12 of congregations meeting in shacks,
08:16 under trees.
08:18 There was a great need,
08:20 and convinced me
08:22 they needed churches really badly.
08:25 And they said, you know,
08:26 we need 25, 30 projects.
08:30 And, you know, you hear these numbers,
08:32 that's, those are big numbers, right?
08:36 And so we looked at a few of them
08:39 and we went back to the airport.
08:42 We go to the airport, and Robert turned to me,
08:45 he says, "So, Don, what are you gonna do?"
08:50 And I says, "What do you mean, what am I gonna do?"
08:53 Well, how many churches you're gonna build?
08:59 And Don says...
09:02 Well, they asked for, say 25 projects.
09:05 And I said, "Well, you know,
09:07 we'll probably do what we usually do."
09:09 You know, we do a few projects in one place,
09:11 and a few projects in another place...
09:12 And then we, next year,
09:14 we'll build them a church or two.
09:15 And I shoot,
09:19 "Hey, you didn't listen to what they said."
09:21 And he says,
09:22 "You're not listening to them,
09:25 you're not listening."
09:26 He says, "They asked for 25 and they need 25.
09:30 Why don't you do all 25? Why don't you do more?
09:32 What's stopping you from doing them all?"
09:36 I wasn't thinking that big.
09:38 I wasn't thinking it was possible.
09:41 But ding, ding, ding,
09:43 the thought came to me,
09:45 maybe that's what we're supposed to do.
09:47 Don brought the idea to the staff.
09:50 Now six people who caught the vision
09:53 and then he brought it to the board who agreed.
09:56 It was time to take a leap of faith
09:59 and Santo Domingo 92 was launched.
10:02 We did not know what we voted.
10:05 We had no idea
10:07 what it meant to do something like that.
10:08 It was more complicated and difficult than we realized.
10:11 We thought, "Oh, how bad, how tough can this be?"
10:14 We've done these projects before
10:16 but when you bring 1,200 volunteers,
10:19 and you run this thing for 10 weeks,
10:23 and you're doing 25 churches
10:26 scattered all over a large area,
10:28 the logistics start getting away from you
10:30 real quick.
10:32 He had to stretch himself,
10:34 and you stretch the organization.
10:37 There were plenty of roadblocks along the way.
10:40 But the Goliath of Santo Domingo 92
10:43 was put into the hands of God
10:45 and the small David of Maranatha
10:48 with its tiny staff,
10:49 bullied by 1,200 volunteers prevailed.
10:54 Fast forward, at the end of that 10 weeks,
10:57 on the last Friday afternoon,
11:00 we finished the 25th church.
11:02 And the next day we dedicated the whole thing
11:05 and they had a big baptism.
11:07 And the General Conference president was there
11:08 and the Division president was there and they baptized.
11:10 I don't know a few thousand people
11:12 and they had 15,000, 20,000 people in a big stadium
11:14 and I'm suddenly going, wow,
11:17 what just happened here?
11:19 What happened?
11:20 Well, quite a few things happened
11:22 for the Maranatha organization.
11:25 Everybody's looking at us differently.
11:27 The next week,
11:29 we get a request for 50 projects in Mexico.
11:32 Well, if they can do 25,
11:34 pretty sure they can do 50 over here.
11:36 So that's the numbers started changing.
11:39 The expectations started changing.
11:43 The volunteers started to trust us,
11:45 the relationship with the church
11:47 improved dramatically.
11:50 And what did it do for the church
11:51 in Dominican Republic?
11:53 Totally changed the way
11:54 they were viewed by their country,
11:57 by the press,
11:59 by the leadership of the government,
12:01 by the people,
12:02 and all of a sudden they started growing massively.
12:05 And I can't say it was all that project,
12:08 but I believe God used that project
12:12 at least in a major way toward that.
12:15 That was a whole new day for Maranatha,
12:18 to even dream that way
12:20 was not possible prior to that moment.
12:25 And from there,
12:27 it has just been a multiplier.
12:30 Maranatha discovered can do that and then it is...
12:36 Well, it's pretty well been vertical growth
12:40 for many years.
12:44 From a big view, those churches,
12:47 almost every one of them
12:49 spawned a number of other churches,
12:51 one of them was it
12:53 like 24 churches have come out of that one church.
12:57 And I can remember it was a church
12:58 that I almost said no.
13:00 Well, they took us to it.
13:01 And so I know and here's the thread
13:05 that runs through it all.
13:08 I'm fully and 100% confident
13:10 that God is guiding it
13:11 even when He doesn't sky ride it.
13:14 He doesn't send you an email or a text,
13:16 but He's guiding this thing
13:18 and even down to which church you build,
13:23 which school you construct,
13:27 which volunteers get together on a site,
13:29 He's in charge of all that.
13:31 And that's why it works
13:33 because we just aren't smart enough
13:35 to put all that stuff together.
13:37 But looking back at Santo Domingo
13:39 and seeing from 20 some years later,
13:44 the impact is huge.
13:46 There, it's had a big impact on the volunteers,
13:49 and it's changed the organization too.
13:55 Today, it is normal for Maranatha
13:57 to commit to 50, 100, or even 1,000 churches
14:01 in regions of the world
14:03 where the faith community is growing rapidly.
14:06 And it is the Ministry
14:07 of Maranatha Volunteers International
14:10 that Adventist leadership comes
14:11 to when it needs to improve church
14:14 and school infrastructure.
14:17 Please pray for Maranatha
14:19 as we continue to move forward in faith
14:22 anticipating Jesus' soon return.
14:27 I believe that Maranatha has provided more than schools
14:33 and more than churches,
14:35 they provided
14:37 the development of thousands of individuals
14:42 that went on these projects
14:45 and that changed their life
14:47 and their witness for God
14:50 everywhere they went after that.
14:53 The best is yet to come.
15:00 Unbelievable growth,
15:02 that's the only way to describe
15:04 what has happened to Maranatha
15:05 since the Santo Domingo 92 project.
15:08 This movement is continuing to grow
15:10 and we need your help
15:12 to meet an increasing demand for churches,
15:14 schools and water wells.
15:17 Visit our website to make a financial contribution
15:20 or to see a list of all our upcoming projects.
15:24 When we come back,
15:25 we'll head to an aging school in India
15:28 and see how Maranatha
15:29 is breathing new life into their campus.
15:45 For more than a decade
15:47 Maranatha Mission Stories has taken you around the world,
15:50 showing you the need
15:51 and challenging you to get involved.
15:55 Now, we're introducing new ways for you to stay informed
15:58 and inspired about the mission.
16:01 Watch your favorite episode of Maranatha Mission Stories
16:04 as well as other Maranatha videos
16:06 on your Apple TV.
16:09 Visit the App Store,
16:10 search for the Maranatha channel and hit install.
16:16 You'll have access to all of our latest video content,
16:19 and you can watch anytime.
16:21 Our videos are available on demand 24 hours a day.
16:25 Our content can also be viewed on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
16:31 The Maranatha Channel bringing mission adventures
16:34 to your living room.
16:42 For more than 20 years
16:44 Maranatha has been working in India,
16:46 constructing more than 1,700 churches
16:49 all over the country.
16:51 But beyond providing places of worship,
16:53 building schools is also a major part of our work.
17:03 For more than 80 years,
17:05 thousands of students have passed
17:06 through the campus of the Khunti Adventist School,
17:11 located in eastern India,
17:13 which started out as a thatched roof mud hut
17:15 has grown to an expansive 37 acre campus
17:18 with multiple buildings
17:20 and more than 1,300 students.
17:24 Yet Khunti isn't only for Adventist children.
17:28 The school draws students
17:29 from all religious and secular backgrounds.
17:32 Reaching people with the gospel in this part of India
17:35 is especially challenging.
17:38 The area includes
17:39 some of the most sacred sites of the Hindu faith,
17:42 including what is considered the holiest city, Varanasi.
17:48 An effective method of spreading the gospel
17:50 in this region
17:51 includes offering quality education
17:53 in Adventist schools.
17:55 The majority of students
17:57 who attend the Khunti School are not Adventist.
18:00 Parents send their children
18:01 because of the quality education they receive
18:04 and the moral values that are conveyed
18:06 in and out of the classroom.
18:10 Over the years, more and more families
18:12 were choosing Khunti for their children.
18:15 But as enrollment grew,
18:17 it became difficult for the school
18:18 to keep up with the demand.
18:20 To ease overcrowding,
18:21 the school converted old staff housing
18:24 into additional classrooms,
18:26 but the move scattered elementary students
18:28 all over campus.
18:30 What's more,
18:32 the infrastructure was showing its age.
18:36 When I used to enter this school,
18:37 I used to see all those old structures,
18:40 windows falling down, doors falling down,
18:43 walls crumbling down
18:45 and gave a very pathetic picture of the whole school.
18:50 And I could guess
18:52 how children must be feeling sitting in old,
18:56 means, all broken, floor broken,
18:59 roof falling and that kind of classroom,
19:01 so whether their morale is lifted up or brought down.
19:07 And that's why I felt that these buildings in this school
19:11 has to be removed
19:13 and new ones have to come in their places
19:16 but then resources are always limited.
19:20 They don't have proper place to sit
19:23 because during rainy season roof leaks,
19:26 so we have to push their desk this side, that side,
19:29 so they find very difficult.
19:31 During summer season roofs are very low.
19:35 It is tin roof so they feel very hot,
19:39 so they are uncomfortable.
19:42 The student population soon outgrew
19:45 all of the meeting places on campus.
19:48 They held assemblies in the cafeteria
19:50 but there wasn't enough space for everyone to sit,
19:52 forcing latecomers to stand in the back.
19:56 Students and staff began praying
19:58 that God would provide a solution
20:00 and they reached out to Maranatha for help.
20:03 After evaluating the needs,
20:05 Maranatha committed to building
20:06 a large Elementary Education Center
20:08 on the Khunti campus.
20:11 In April of 2018,
20:13 a small group of school staff, Maranatha staff,
20:16 and community leaders met to pray
20:18 and conduct a ceremonial ground breaking of the new building.
20:23 Work of the site began immediately.
20:26 The Christmas Family Project
20:27 was the first of several volunteer groups
20:29 to work on the large structure.
20:32 When they arrived on campus,
20:33 volunteers immediately recognized
20:35 the dire need for new classrooms.
20:39 Here learning environment right now
20:41 is not as good as it could be.
20:44 And I think that the fact that some Christians
20:48 and followers of Christ decided to come and do this for them,
20:50 shows how much Jesus actually loves them.
20:55 And I think that will make an amazing impact on them
20:57 and not just on this generation,
20:59 but on future generations to come.
21:01 In mere months, an empty plot on the campus
21:04 was transformed into a beautiful structure
21:07 and the building was ready to dedicate.
21:10 Adventist Church leaders from all over India,
21:12 as well as Maranatha leadership attended the opening ceremony.
21:17 Along with students and guests,
21:19 more than a 1,000 people gathered
21:21 for the ribbon cutting.
21:23 We are very much impressed
21:26 with the Maranatha building
21:28 that has been just today inaugurated.
21:31 And today, it was excited moment
21:35 that the students are so happy
21:37 to receive this building and we praise God.
21:41 And we have got 12 rooms
21:44 and its beautiful auditorium.
21:47 And we know that these students
21:52 who are eager
21:53 and they long to see this building.
21:56 They didn't have enough classrooms
22:00 and didn't have the auditorium
22:03 and it will be a history for the church
22:07 to have such a beautiful building
22:10 that has been given by Maranatha,
22:12 and we are happy of these volunteers
22:14 and the donors
22:15 who have given this beautiful building.
22:21 The new building has also gained the interest
22:23 of passersby
22:24 who were curious about the construction
22:25 of the large facility.
22:28 The community here,
22:29 they have been first wondering
22:31 as to what this building is,
22:33 but when they saw lately the sign it is written,
22:36 Sue Krueger Elementary Education Center.
22:40 They knew that this is something great.
22:42 And we told them that this is the elementary section
22:45 where your children are going to study here
22:48 and they were so excited and said
22:49 and they are going to send more of their...
22:51 And now this will be from the community
22:53 from far when they look at it.
22:55 There is an elementary education center in our school
22:58 and more students of the little ones
23:00 will be here with us.
23:04 The new structure contains 12 classrooms,
23:06 allowing elementary grades to be housed together.
23:10 In the center of the building is a large open area
23:13 that can accommodate assemblies and chapels.
23:15 On Sabbath, the space can be used for church.
23:20 With more space, the school will be able
23:22 to accept more children next year.
23:25 That's one of the only English speaking schools in the area.
23:28 Families are eager for their children
23:29 to attend Khunti
23:31 where they also learn about Jesus and the Bible.
23:34 Overall the goal for the students
23:37 is that they learn about Jesus.
23:41 We have been talking about to them in the class,
23:44 and in turn, few of them, you know, at the end,
23:48 as they rise up from one class to the another,
23:53 they will see the glory of God from the teachers coming out.
23:58 And the goal is to prepare them for the heavenly kingdom.
24:04 We are so much thankful for the Maranatha donors,
24:08 the volunteers,
24:10 those who have been coming
24:11 and visiting our campus and working, you know,
24:14 and they have a great impact on our children.
24:17 And we like to thank all the volunteers
24:20 those who came all the way
24:22 from different parts of the country
24:25 and to the world and to this place
24:27 to just to serve our school and the students of our school.
24:32 Thank you so much.
24:34 Thanks to the generous support of Maranatha donors
24:37 as well as the hard work of more than 100 volunteers,
24:40 students at the Khunti Adventist School
24:42 have beautiful new classrooms.
24:45 Maranatha needs your continued support
24:47 to provide more opportunities
24:49 for Christian education in India.
24:51 Consider making a gift
24:53 to help us build more schools in India.
24:55 To give, visit maranatha.org
24:58 or call the number on your screen.
25:11 Need summer plans?
25:12 Why not volunteer for a project
25:14 at Union Springs Academy in western New York.
25:17 From July 19 to 28,
25:19 we need your help in renovating the boys' dormitory.
25:22 We'll be removing and installing flooring,
25:25 painting, replacing light fixtures
25:27 and re-finishing furniture.
25:29 There will also be opportunities
25:30 to help with landscaping, painting, and more.
25:33 Food and lodging will be provided
25:35 in exchange for your volunteer service.
25:37 Just be sure to register first.
25:39 If your summer is booked,
25:41 join us in the fall for a mission trip to Bolivia.
25:44 From October 16 to 27,
25:46 we need your help in constructing classrooms
25:48 at the Entre Rios School near the city of Santa Cruz.
25:51 This primary school used to be a thriving campus
25:54 with more than 400 students,
25:56 but an old infrastructure has made the school
25:58 less attractive to families.
26:00 The renovations will make a big difference
26:02 in drawing students back to campus.
26:04 There'll also be opportunities
26:06 for outreach and children's ministries.
26:08 Learn more about these mission trips
26:09 on our website.
26:20 The numbers may be bigger,
26:22 the impact may have increased but one thing remains constant.
26:27 God guides our work.
26:38 He guides us to every congregation
26:40 who has been praying for a new place of worship,
26:49 to every father hoping for their children
26:51 to have a better future,
26:56 to every mother looking for clean water for their family,
27:03 to every volunteer searching for transformation
27:06 through service.
27:28 This is our mission
27:32 and through Christ,
27:33 we will continue to think big for the kingdom.