Maranatha Volunteers International supporters from Brazil recently returned to the mission field for the first time in more than two years. The volunteers served on two continents. In Peru, 22 volunteers served at the Los Milagros Seventh-day Adventist Church, helping to pour a concrete foundation and erect the building’s steel structure. They also worked at another church called Mi Peru C, installing the roofing. Besides construction, volunteers conducted community outreach through an interactive health program.
“This project was highly anticipated by the local members who were originally set to receive a Maranatha church in 2020,” Maranatha Volunteers International leaders explained. “However, when COVID shut down Peru, [we] were forced to wait. With conditions now improved, volunteer groups have returned, and members are excited to see the progress being made.”
In Kenya, 11 volunteers from Manaus, the capital city of the state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil, just finished their work at the Kajiado Adventist School and Rescue Center. Most of these volunteers are not Seventh-day Adventist members but attend the same church back home in Brazil. “Volunteers helped finish a third primary girls’ dorm by working on the bathroom,” Maranatha leaders said. “They also conducted children’s programs for the students at the school and a nearby Maasai village called Olomayiama.” Leaders reported that one volunteer, a physician, provided medical screenings for the Kajiado students.
“COVID hit Brazil really hard, affecting not only the health of the people but also the economy,” Maranatha’s Director of Volunteer Services Lisandro Staut said. “International travel for Brazilians is now at least 50 percent more expensive than before the pandemic, and for more than two years, many people just couldn’t travel.”
Staut said that thanks to God’s blessings, which have enabled Maranatha to send two groups from Brazil. “They are 33 volunteers altogether, going to two different countries to serve the Lord’s children,” he said. “We are already discussing where the next groups from Brazil could go to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”