Each year, Maranatha Volunteers International offers at least two projects specifically for families of all kinds, usually in the summer and over the Christmas holiday. One of these mission trips recently wrapped up in the Dominican Republic with 92 volunteers serving near the capital city of Santo Domingo. Each day, two groups worked in construction at separate sites, in extreme heat and humidity, laying block walls for the Caleta 4 Seventh-day Adventist Church and pouring the slab foundation of the Hacienda Estrella Church.
A third team provided a fresh coat of paint to the La Caleta 2 Church. Another volunteer team provided medical clinics in the community, seeing around 200 patients each day. Others led Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs for community children and health education in various neighborhoods.
One of the special aspects of Maranatha’s Family Projects is the unique day camp that volunteer children take part in, allowing them to experience construction, local culture, and outreach activities throughout the mission trip. Ten volunteer kids took part in day camp on this project, working hard to lay block walls, paint, and help with kitchen duties. They participated in community outreach by grocery shopping and distributing food to those in need, entertaining neighborhood children who were waiting with their parents at the medical clinic, and assisting with VBS. Kids also experienced local culture and had fun by visiting a chocolate factory, a cave with three lakes, a zoo, a water park, and a park at the beach.
“It was very satisfying to watch the kids do these things for other people, not complaining about the heat,” day camp coordinator Chris Duckett said. “You could see they weren’t afraid to make friends, step out of their comfort zone, and do their best to speak some Spanish.”
About Maranatha Volunteers International
Maranatha Volunteers International, a nonprofit Christian organization that is a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, mobilizes volunteers to build churches, schools, water wells, and other urgently needed structures around the world. The organization fulfills requests for construction assistance. Each project is carefully considered for need, overall impact on the community, and resources for long-term maintenance and support.
Since 1969, Maranatha has constructed more than 11,000 structures and 1,500 water wells in nearly 90 countries around the world.
Maranatha in the Dominican Republic
In 2022, Maranatha began working in the Dominican Republic to provide urgently needed Seventh-day Adventist church buildings in that Caribbean country. It is the fifth time Maranatha is working in the country. In 1980, after the destruction of Hurricane David, Maranatha constructed 160 houses there. In 1992, the Dominican Republic was the site of a watershed moment of growth for Maranatha, when the organization coordinated the construction of 25 church buildings over a three-month period. Dubbed “Santo Domingo ’92,” it was the first time Maranatha concentrated on one place for multiple volunteer projects. Later efforts occurred in 2003 and 2013.