Maranatha Mission Stories

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: MMS

Program Code: MMS009122A

00:01 Hi, I'm Hillary Macias with the Maranatha Minute.
00:03 It's been four months since Maranatha completed
00:06 the Beryl Seventh-day Adventist Church in Dominica,
00:08 and the congregation has been busy
00:10 sharing the mission with their community
00:12 through home visitations and Bible studies.
00:15 As a result of much outreach,
00:17 they have already had 14 baptisms at the church.
00:21 The original Beryl Church was destroyed
00:23 during 2017 hurricane Maria,
00:26 the category five storm wiped out
00:28 most of the structures on the island,
00:30 including 28 of the 34 Adventist Churches.
00:33 Beryl was among the places
00:34 that Maranatha helped to rebuild.
00:37 Maranatha is also constructing
00:38 a new community center in Wesley
00:40 and a new church for the Bottega congregation.
00:43 All of this is only possible with your support.
00:46 As a nonprofit organization, we rely on your generosity
00:50 to respond to these types of needs.
00:53 Help fulfill the mission by making a donation,
00:56 go to our website,
00:57 or call the number on your screen.
01:31 At first glance, the small campus
01:34 looks like a typical boarding school in Kenya.
01:37 There are kids in uniform attending assembly,
01:40 class and eating in the dining commons.
01:44 There are kids living in dormitories,
01:46 doing their laundry and chores
01:48 and playing outdoors.
01:51 But the Kajiado Adventist School
01:53 and Rescue Center is no ordinary campus.
01:57 Kajiado is home to 150 girls
01:59 who have endured or escaped
02:01 female genital mutilation or FGM.
02:05 This is an illegal ritual done to girls
02:08 as young as six years old
02:09 in preparation for their arranged marriage
02:12 at the age of nine.
02:15 Kajiado was established nearly 20 years ago
02:17 as a ministry
02:19 of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
02:23 It is a haven for Maasai girls
02:25 who have run away from their families
02:27 in search of safety and education.
02:30 Sarah Daniel is the school director.
02:33 She has been working at Kajiado for the past 10 years
02:36 and she has personally helped to rescue many girls
02:38 from abusive situations
02:40 and watch them grow into strong,
02:42 healthy, educated women of faith.
02:47 More than 2000 gals have been assisted through this center.
02:52 And we thank God for their beautiful future.
02:55 We have 20 who are in colleges and universities
02:59 and one them graduated last year.
03:01 And we are happy for that.
03:03 When I walk around
03:04 and I look at within their community,
03:07 I have teachers, I have people who are working in the offices.
03:11 And they are testimony of these
03:13 because they went through these
03:15 and now they are living a better life
03:20 after being assisted.
03:22 So we are really happy for that.
03:24 And we are not ready to stop this.
03:26 Until we see that every gal will be safe
03:30 and every gal will be given an opportunity.
03:35 It is a worthy goal.
03:37 Yet at Kajiado, the momentum is being thwarted
03:39 by a simple problem, space.
03:43 Because of the growing number
03:45 the dormitory that we have
03:48 is only supposed to handle a capacity
03:50 of not more than 80 gals.
03:55 But currently, as we speak,
03:57 the population in our dormitory is 150 gals.
04:03 Girls have to sleep two or three to a mattress.
04:06 Sometimes they push two bunks together
04:08 to create a larger space,
04:10 but not necessarily more comfort.
04:13 The cramped quarters means
04:14 that Sarah is unable to accept more girls in need of help.
04:19 Beyond the sleeping situation,
04:20 the school is in need of upgrades.
04:23 These are the only toilets available
04:25 for the 150 girls at Kajiado.
04:28 As for showers,
04:30 most of the students bathe outside
04:31 using buckets of water and darkness for privacy.
04:36 In addition to the girls,
04:37 there are about two dozen boys
04:39 who board at the school.
04:41 The coed atmosphere helps the girls
04:43 to develop a healthy relationship
04:44 with males.
04:46 The boys stay in the old school library,
04:48 which means that books had to be shoved
04:50 into a small nook.
04:53 The dedicated staff also need better housing.
04:56 It's so small in term of space.
05:00 And it cannot accommodate more than one person
05:02 and even a high we sleeping there,
05:04 it is not spacious for me.
05:07 So we need a spacious room
05:10 for us to live in comfortably.
05:15 And finally, the school needs a new well.
05:18 The current well is not producing enough
05:20 and the school is having to spend precious resources
05:23 on buying water.
05:26 Since learning of Kajiado's needs
05:28 Maranatha has agreed to help
05:30 with a number of projects on campus,
05:32 including the construction of new dormitories,
05:35 bathrooms, and showers, administrative offices,
05:39 and the drilling of a new well.
05:43 The work is being completed in part by volunteers.
05:46 Two previous groups completed one dormitory
05:49 and bathroom block.
05:50 And in March, Maranatha organized
05:52 a mission trip to Kajiado
05:54 for a team to build a second girls' dormitory.
05:58 The opportunity drew a small
05:59 but motivated group of 26 volunteers,
06:02 each with a different reason for joining the project.
06:06 Kristi Richardson was in the category
06:08 of first time volunteers.
06:10 It was a strange label to have considering her background.
06:14 Her parents Carl and Sue Kruger
06:16 had been part of the organization
06:17 for more than 40 years as board members,
06:20 donors, and volunteers.
06:22 I was an educator, I was a teacher.
06:25 And because I was on academic calendar
06:27 and I was given these are the times
06:29 when you've had vacation,
06:30 it never quite lined up.
06:31 I mean, I would have loved to it.
06:33 It would take Kristi's retirement
06:34 from teaching
06:35 to open the door to volunteering with Maranatha.
06:38 The Kruger family organized a mission trip
06:40 to work at the Gucha School in Kenya.
06:44 Sadly, neither Kristi or Sue ever made it to Kenya.
06:48 Kristi's husband had a major health issue,
06:50 forcing her to cancel her trip.
06:52 And her mother Sue had cancer
06:54 which kept her from the project.
06:56 Sue passed away shortly after.
06:59 Less than a year later,
07:00 Kristi heard about the Kajiado mission trip.
07:02 I still had tickets from the project
07:05 I was unable to go on.
07:07 And when my mother passed away,
07:10 as a memorial, we specified this project.
07:13 So I thought that would be really good
07:14 to come to honor her memory.
07:18 While Kristi's reasons
07:20 for going were specifically rooted in personal history,
07:23 Eddie and Dwanna Falconer were drawn
07:25 by a more vague calling to the mission field.
07:28 Well, my wife and I, we have one thing in common
07:31 and it is travel.
07:33 Several things in common,
07:34 but travel is one of those things
07:35 that we have in common.
07:37 And so we took a trip last year,
07:40 as part of our vacation and we traveled to Europe.
07:44 But it was mostly leisure.
07:46 We felt somewhat guilty
07:47 when we got back even though it was,
07:50 we enjoyed it, but something was missing.
07:52 The last time we went away,
07:53 we just felt like it was great.
07:56 But something was missing.
07:57 And we felt that was because it was just all about us.
08:00 We needed to do something
08:02 where we combined service and travel.
08:05 And we thought of Maranatha.
08:07 This is my first mission trip and my first time
08:11 laboring with brick and mortar.
08:15 I chose the Kenya mission trip
08:18 because the Rescue Center
08:20 and the Kajiado School just really struck me
08:22 in a really deep and personal place
08:24 and I just want to serve
08:26 and do whatever was needed
08:28 for the young ladies that go to the school.
08:32 But while Dwanna was certain of her choice,
08:34 Eddie was apprehensive.
08:36 As a self-employed businessman,
08:38 Eddie was worried.
08:41 There's always that fear
08:43 of finance come into the question
08:45 where you figure, okay, three weeks off the job.
08:47 I'm self-employed,
08:49 how much money am I gonna lose?
08:51 And then you realize, well,
08:54 God can take care of us.
08:56 And that's where we made a decision
08:58 and she began to make the plans and everything
09:00 just kind of fell in place from there.
09:02 Kristi, Dwanna, and Eddie
09:04 were joined by 23 other volunteers
09:06 with a diversity of backgrounds.
09:09 Volunteers who grew up in the mission field
09:12 and consider it home.
09:13 Volunteers who have found purpose in service
09:16 and now make Maranatha a regular part of their lives.
09:19 Volunteers who came seeking a new experience,
09:22 adventure, and purpose in their lives
09:25 regardless of their background and missions,
09:28 no one could anticipate the highly emotional experience
09:31 of serving such a special group of students
09:33 at such a special place.
09:37 When we come back,
09:39 watch a very special mission trip unfold
09:41 through the eyes of the volunteers.
10:04 Anyone can build a church,
10:06 simply give just $10 each month
10:08 and your donation along with thousands of others
10:11 will fund a new place of worship every month.
10:16 The potential for change is all around you.
10:19 All you have to do is look.
10:28 On the first day
10:29 of the Maranatha Kenya Project in Kajiado,
10:32 the campus was buzzing in preparation
10:34 for the volunteers arrival
10:35 as welcomes are a big deal in Kenya.
10:39 The first morning we arrived on our buses
10:42 the students were lined up,
10:44 the gates opened
10:45 and here's hundreds of girls
10:47 and a few boys in their matching outfits
10:50 and they were marching in time up
10:52 to make two lines to welcome us in.
10:55 Their hearts just full of joy and singing
10:58 and so happy to see us.
11:29 When we first got here that first day,
11:32 and I saw all of those children lined up,
11:36 and they seem so excited,
11:38 I felt we're in for a real treat at this place.
11:44 I wanted to cry,
11:45 where there was so much mixed emotion
11:46 when I saw the kids singing,
11:48 then I saw everybody just kind of lined up,
11:51 I felt very small.
11:53 'Cause this was way bigger than I am, you know,
11:56 so I was just grateful when I got here,
11:58 you know, all the emotions were there.
12:08 And that was just the first few minutes.
12:10 Little that Eddie know,
12:12 it was only the beginning
12:13 of what would be a transformational week
12:15 in many ways.
12:18 First, there was the work.
12:20 While many of the volunteers were veterans at laying block,
12:23 for others, the construction site
12:25 was a brand new experience.
12:27 And so laying brick is actually my first time doing this.
12:33 Not going very well so far,
12:35 I'm having a hard time getting the hang of it.
12:37 But I'll get it.
12:50 The trick is to get just the right amount of mortar
12:54 without it all falling off the sides like that.
13:04 If we just lay very still,
13:07 very quietly.
13:12 For those who would prefer work other than masonry,
13:14 there were plenty of other tasks
13:18 like teaching a health class.
13:19 Everybody like you, you're such a nice one.
13:22 Now look at you. You got germs all over you.
13:27 Painting,
13:30 organizing,
13:34 cleaning,
13:39 even shopping.
13:43 Renee Harry is a first time volunteer from New York.
13:47 On the day she wasn't on the construction site,
13:49 she helped with one of the outreach activities
13:51 on campus.
13:53 Maranatha, and I think just on the strength
13:56 of people wanting to help,
13:58 everyone sort of collected items
14:01 and clothing, shoes, anything they think
14:05 that would be beneficial to the girls and the boys here,
14:09 they collected all those items before they came.
14:12 And we sort of set up a little shopping area for them,
14:16 where they, the girls could come in
14:18 and choose items that they liked.
14:21 And then, you know, they would be able
14:22 to walk away with an item.
14:23 Thank you.
14:25 Thank you for bringing for us these gifts
14:27 and come back again.
14:29 May God bless you.
14:31 The clothing outreach was just one of the ways
14:33 the volunteers got to interact with the girls
14:36 and hear their stories.
14:38 Over the week, what they found were young women
14:40 seeking mentorship and friendship.
14:43 Once the girls leave home,
14:45 and the tradition of childhood marriage,
14:47 they're rejected by their parents.
14:49 Often they can never go back to their villages.
14:52 So what the girls want,
14:54 what they crave is genuine connection.
15:00 Jane Sines is a longtime volunteer
15:02 who recently returned to Maranatha mission trips
15:04 after a bit of a break.
15:07 In the last couple projects,
15:08 she'd been little worried
15:09 about how she'd fit into the bigger picture
15:11 as an older participant.
15:14 But with each experience,
15:15 she's found a way to be long and fulfill a need
15:18 that she would have never imagined.
15:21 I first started interacting with the girls here,
15:24 they were really kind of hesitant,
15:26 but the more I put my arms around them
15:28 and just hugged them,
15:30 and just stood by them and held their hands,
15:33 they just seem to start glowing,
15:36 and just more and more.
15:37 And now when I would come more recently to the campus,
15:41 they would just come running and wanting to hug me
15:45 and, you know, I just
15:47 and they started call me,
15:49 "Grandma, grandma, grandma come here, grandma, grandma,"
15:53 and it was just a thrill.
15:57 On the first Saturday night,
15:58 the school organized a social for everyone.
16:00 The event immediately broke down any walls
16:03 that existed between the girls and the volunteers.
16:07 We, you know, celebrated the end of Sabbath,
16:09 sang some songs.
16:10 And then we got into the activity songs,
16:13 action songs,
16:15 and they were singing a song in which they came
16:16 and got us again out.
16:18 And were teaching us to do their Maasai,
16:21 think, I can't do it too well yet.
16:25 And so they had a fabulous time,
16:26 we had a fabulous time.
16:30 And that's why things like Saturday night,
16:32 to model the behavior, and to show them
16:34 that we in Christian love can have a really great time,
16:37 and laugh, and sing, and jump around
16:41 was really a wonderful thing to do.
17:21 When I got here,
17:23 I was not quite sure what the real story was.
17:26 But after about the second day,
17:29 especially the night
17:31 when they had that get together,
17:32 I had a chance to really speak
17:35 with some of the girls one-on-one.
17:36 And they were sharing
17:37 a little bit of their experience.
17:40 But one of the most profound thing
17:41 that happened to me, me and my wife,
17:45 two girls were just walking past hand in hand.
17:49 And I waved to them and they smiled back at me.
17:51 When they smiled, the other one tug
17:52 then the other one shirt and say,
17:54 "Come on, let's go over there."
17:55 They came over and we want to take pictures of them.
17:59 Within about 15 minutes,
18:01 they were calling us mom and dad.
18:05 And...
18:11 that took my heart.
18:13 That really did because here is,
18:17 they've never seen me before.
18:20 And I don't know what all the experiences
18:24 in their young life
18:25 that they have been through,
18:27 but they were so already to identify with us
18:30 as part of their own family
18:31 and to accommodate us and calling us mom and dad.
18:35 It really melted my heart,
18:38 it really did.
18:41 When we come back,
18:42 volunteers witness a miracle for Kajiado and more.
18:56 In less than two months Maranatha will have
18:59 our Annual Mission Maranatha Weekend,
19:01 September 19 to 21 in Northern California.
19:05 In honor of our 50th Anniversary,
19:07 we're offering three projects in the area
19:09 prior to the convention,
19:11 and a special anniversary dinner
19:13 on September 19.
19:14 First up, we need volunteers to help with tasks
19:17 at Pacific Union College from August 19 September 6,
19:21 come enjoy the beauty of a Napa Valley
19:24 while renovating Newton Hall PUCs men's dormitory.
19:28 After PUC, you can head on over to a project
19:31 at Leoni Meadows Camp or Rio Lindo Academy.
19:34 From September 8 to 19.
19:36 You're invited to help with painting, construction,
19:39 landscaping, and more at either of those locations.
19:42 All of these projects and the dinner
19:45 are free of cost with your registration.
19:48 Learn more about these opportunities and others
19:50 by going to our website
19:59 Maranatha is committed to helping
20:01 the Kajiado Adventist School and Rescue Center
20:04 by providing new dormitories,
20:06 staff housing, and more.
20:08 But a crucial element of campus success
20:11 is dependent on water,
20:13 new bathrooms, showers,
20:15 and thriving gardens require a strong water source.
20:19 Something that the campus currently does not have.
20:22 The existing well is failing.
20:24 And the school has had to purchase water
20:26 for basic needs.
20:28 Unfortunately, hydrogeology reports reveal
20:31 that the chances of finding a good water source
20:34 on campus is dismal.
20:36 The decision was made
20:37 to drill a well over by the church
20:40 where based on geographic studies,
20:45 it was determined to be the best location
20:47 even though there was an awful lot of reason
20:51 to be skeptical.
20:53 It was determined that if there was gonna be water
20:56 on this property,
20:58 that's the location where we would find it.
21:04 The day actually of the drilling,
21:08 all of the children came out as well as volunteers
21:11 and all staff came out to the drilling site.
21:15 And we had sort of a worship experience.
21:19 And a lot of prayer
21:20 before we actually kind of started everything up.
21:34 The crew anticipated they would be drilling for days
21:37 as any water would be deep in the ground
21:39 if there was water at all.
21:42 But the next day,
21:43 the entire campus was met with a miracle.
21:47 Just around 11 am, there came the operator, Gerald
21:52 came running over to where we were working,
21:55 you could tell he was beside himself.
21:58 He was, he couldn't believe it.
22:00 He was just like, "I can't believe it.
22:03 I just had to come tell you people, we got water."
22:07 When I first heard that there was water.
22:12 And we were all running to the well.
22:15 My heart was just beating.
22:18 And my whole soul was just rejoicing
22:21 that we had water at this school,
22:24 they needed it so badly.
22:27 And it was just an overwhelming experience
22:30 to know that God hears you,
22:33 hears these kids
22:35 and knows what their needs are.
22:39 And as just provided it so abundantly.
22:44 I've never seen this done.
22:46 I've read about this,
22:48 but to be an eye-witness
22:51 to see this happen before your eyes,
22:53 to be able to experience the emotions
22:57 and to experience a miracle,
23:00 it took my breath away.
23:02 It was profound, it was amazing.
23:20 The miracle of water
23:21 felt like the pinnacle of the mission trip.
23:24 Yet just a couple days later,
23:26 the volunteers had another climactic event,
23:29 the dormitory.
23:32 After six days of construction
23:34 with a relatively small team of volunteers,
23:36 the Kajiado Adventist School and Rescue Center
23:39 celebrated the opening of a new dormitory.
23:45 Probably, the highlight is the girls coming
23:48 to get us out of chairs
23:50 and bring us up to the dorm.
23:53 And going in with us and we walk into the dorm.
23:58 I had two girls with me
23:59 and they said, "This is my bunk.
24:01 This is my bunk."
24:03 That was kind of special.
24:06 Oh, they were so excited
24:09 that they were gonna have a bed of their own.
24:13 I had to jump up and down with my gals
24:16 during the dedication
24:18 of our second dormitory.
24:21 Having in mind now that all my gals
24:24 will be occupied in the new dormitory,
24:27 they will have the new beddings,
24:29 the new mattresses,
24:31 their wears, and some of them were telling me,
24:33 you know, in my life,
24:34 I've never covered myself with this.
24:36 I'm just used to a blanket.
24:39 The heart was so filled, and I just thought wow,
24:41 I wish I could be here the first night
24:43 that they are able to lay in the beds
24:44 and just be here is to my heart like a girl slumber party
24:47 in the dorms because it's so amazing,
24:50 so amazing.
24:52 When the dorm was finished,
24:53 the objective of the mission trip
24:55 was completed too,
24:56 new building, new dorm, new beds,
25:00 the physical goals had been met.
25:03 As for the spiritual goals,
25:05 the transformational experience with the volunteers.
25:08 The blessings were as ample as the water
25:11 that rushed from the new well.
25:15 For Jane, her time at Kajiado has been surprising
25:18 given her long history in the mission field.
25:21 For years, she and her husband
25:23 were long and short term missionaries
25:25 that served in 40 different countries.
25:28 After her husband died,
25:29 Jane never thought she'd returned to the field.
25:32 But now she's been on two Maranatha mission trips.
25:35 And she says they have changed her life.
25:38 I don't know if it's because I know the story
25:42 of why the school was started,
25:45 and how it's saving these young girls' lives
25:49 and just giving them life.
25:52 But this has been absolutely
25:55 the most incredible mission experience
25:57 of my entire 80 plus years.
26:01 Kristi's first mission trip
26:03 has been a wonderful way
26:04 to connect with a cause
26:05 that was close to her mother's heart
26:07 and understand why her parents
26:09 not only supported Maranatha financially,
26:11 but also served on mission trips.
26:15 What we get back from giving on the ground
26:18 is huge.
26:20 And then I think that enables us
26:21 then as people to go back into our community
26:23 and share with them the needs
26:25 and what goes on here.
26:27 This is a form of worship.
26:29 It's not enough to just, I can write a check anytime.
26:32 That would be fine.
26:33 And that would help other people.
26:34 But for me to come
26:36 and really give an experience that
26:37 is that true Christian in action.
26:41 Dwanna and Eddie came in search of vacations
26:43 with a purpose,
26:44 a way to see and serve the world.
26:47 What they found was transformative.
26:50 It was a transformation that started
26:51 on the very first day.
26:53 Eddie recalls the first night.
26:55 And my wife kind of heard me sobbing that night,
26:58 which is, you know, you just got me,
27:01 you got me right here, really did,
27:02 and to see what Maranatha is doing.
27:08 It changed my perspective as a Christian.
27:10 It really did.
27:12 But I remember something very profound.
27:14 And as I'm contemplating it, Jesus had said at one point,
27:19 "Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."
27:23 So now, I'm understanding that to me,
27:26 what we can do now for His kingdom
27:29 is far more important
27:31 than just watching for Him to come.
27:35 Thank you Maranatha for the new dorm.
27:40 You have done a good work to us.
27:43 May God bless you.


Revised 2019-07-22