Local people were joined by 17 Maranatha volunteers as they built extra rooms and added a steeple to the building.
“We wanted to add two classrooms and make our space more accessible,” said Pastor David Hamilton. “Our second goal was to make it look obvious that this is a church. A lot of people look across from Walmart and see the building but don’t recognize it as a church.”
The steeple is now in place and new windows, siding and a shed are being added.
“The volunteers have a real positive, can-do attitude,” said Hamilton, who was a civil engineer before going into ministry. “Some of them are carpenters and plumbers so they have a lot of knowledge needed for something like this, but everyone can help. My wife and children were helping too.”
The Maranatha volunteers have been travelling around North America, helping in several communities, and when they leave local volunteers will continue working on the building. The project isn’t expected to be complete until spring of 2018.
Maranatha Volunteers International (MVI) specializes in building churches, schools, and hospitals around the world for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Since 1969, the organization has had more than 65,000 volunteers work on projects in 80 countries. More information on Maranatha can be found at https://maranatha.org/
Hamilton explained that the church is called Seventh-day Adventist because members keep the seventh day of each week (Saturday) as a day to study God’s word and to worship (from 3-4 p.m.). ‘Adventist’ means they believe Christ will soon return.