Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

Maranatha Volunteers XLIV

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Maranatha Volunteers
Last week we looked at an organization within the Adventist Church called ADRA. This organization assists the world wherever and whenever needs arise. Today we will look at another organization within the church called Maranatha.
Maranatha does the same kinds of work as ADRA but they take on bigger projects. ADRA would build a school in a remote village where Maranatha would build a church in the city where there are a lot more people.
They are involved in orphanages where in parts of the world there are large numbers of orphaned and homeless children. Some of these places are surrounded by fences to keep out predators and problem causers. In these places children find shelter, education, love, healthy surroundings and security as they grow in a good, normal lifestyle.
Our church, at present, is raising $1000.00 for a well in Africa through ADRA. Maranatha is now looking for financial help to build a $25,000.00 church in another part of Africa. This money does not include the labour to build these projects. These projects bring together people from all walks of life that believe in the church and its message.
There are people who have no particular skills but want to help in some way. There are those who build and those who help with the food preparation for the builders, people who clean up, or paint or do whatever there is to do. These projects are planned in a way so they can be completed in a short period of time so people can fit them into their vacation time.
At these functions there are always crowds of people and there are those who tell the audience of the project and who makes these things possible as well as why they have come. The reason for these projects is to teach people of Jesus. Some of these people worshiped all kinds of gods of which were made of wood or stone but now they see a different kind of God. A God who works in the hearts and minds of people. Some people even leave their homes, travel long distances (paying their own way) and go to people whom they don't know just to help them. All of this for the simple reason that ALL people are God's children no matter where they live. These people are willing to disrupt their own lives just to bring others a better way of life now and hope for the future when Jesus comes.
There are always children around. Some helpers go just to be able to work with the children. A lady in the organization has gone on these types of trips 13 times. She is now a retired school teacher but she picks fruit, bakes bread and does what ever she can to make enough money to pay her fare so she can go and bring the knowledge of Jesus to the children. These children and adults too, love to hear of someone who cares about them.
How thrilling to know that someone cares that much about you! Our Creator God of Heaven and Earth loves them and you too even more than the helpers do. It is such a wonderfully special feeling to be loved that much!
All the work and donations gofar deeper than the people who get fresh water or have a church to worship in or have a school for their children. This work does something for the church itself. For the people, it brings the one who receives and the one who gives together as part of the church family. It also creates a feeling of unity and gives the volunteers a sense of accomplishment and joy to know they have helped someone less fortunate than they.
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. So, the giver gets the greater reward for there is nothing better for our health and well being than to be genuinely happy about some good thing you've done to enrich someone's life.
The church has all kinds of projects going on all the time all over the world. People are being blessed as they participate in different ways. The best will come when Jesus comes and says to all who have been faithful to Him, having participated in bringing the knowledge of the gospel and of a better life to others. To the givers and receivers, “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
And, Heaven will be cheering enough when we see what has been prepared for those who love and serve Him.