‘March Madness’ Brings Flurry of Service across the World

Maranatha volunteer projects support repair, construction, and outreach initiatives.

Maranatha Volunteers International, and Adventist Review
<strong>‘March Madness’ Brings Flurry of Service across the World</strong>
A group of Maranatha volunteers get ready to leave on a mission project in early March. [Photo: Maranatha Volunteers International]

In the United States, “March Madness” is the season of a nationwide men’s basketball tournament that energizes 68 college teams each spring. They compete in a single-elimination tournament in search of a national champion.

For Maranatha Volunteers International, a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, March this year once again brought a different kind of “madness,” as the month sparked a flurry of initiatives by volunteer teams across the globe.

Ministry leaders recently reported that by the end of March, it is expected that more than 700 volunteers will serve in countries across several continents.

During the March 15-17 weekend alone, 451 volunteers were serving simultaneously in various places as mission trip dates overlap, leaders reported. In the Dominican Republic, Maranatha hosted groups from schools like Chisholm Trail Academy in Texas, Burton Adventist Academy in Texas, and Walla Walla Valley Academy in Washington. Church groups serving there include Spencerville in Maryland, Chehalis in Washington, Fort Myers in Florida, and a team from the Northern California Conference, based in the city of Sacramento.

Two volunteer groups served in India — one at the Pola Adventist School and another at the Binjipali Adventist School. Two school groups are volunteering in Kenya — Bass Memorial Academy from Mississippi and Pacific Union College Preparatory School from California. At the end of the month, the Grand Rapids Central church in Michigan is scheduled to head to Peru.

Closer to home, volunteers in the United States worked at the Indian Creek summer camp in Tennessee, the Uchee Pines Institute in Alabama, and at a dinosaur research center in rural Wyoming. In Canada, volunteers returned to help with repairs and renovations at Camp Hope in British Columbia.

Maranatha’s vice president of volunteer services, Lisandro Staut, has been closely involved with getting this large number of people into the mission field.

“To be able to provide service opportunities simultaneously for so many people in so many places is an inspiring, rewarding, and humbling experience for me,” Staut said. “As these volunteers help to build classrooms, churches, and other structures, they are not only impacting the lives of the community, but they are also being transformed themselves,” he explained.

Maranatha Volunteers International, a nonprofit, Christian organization, mobilizes volunteers to build churches, schools, water wells, and other urgently needed structures around the world. Since 1969, the Seventh-day Adventist supporting ministry has constructed more than 14,000 structures and more than 2,700 water wells in nearly 90 countries around the world.

The original version of this story was posted by Maranatha Volunteers International.

Maranatha Volunteers International, and Adventist Review