FAQs

Organizational Information

How many employees does Maranatha have?

Maranatha employs 29 people (full-time equivalent) at their headquarters in California, not including international staff.


How are projects and the organization funded?

Maranatha is a self-supporting ministry, independent of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our projects are funded by donations from private donors. We do not receive government funding, nor do we receive subsidy from the Adventist Church.

Maranatha also operates some businesses to contribute to the costs of running the organization.


How can I get a job at Maranatha?

Job opportunities for Maranatha are posted on our website when available. All postings are for openings at our headquarters in Roseville, California. For general inquiries, please complete and submit a contact form.


How do you decide what countries to work in?

Maranatha is a responsive organization, and we only work where we have been invited. Requests must come from Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership within the region. Once a request is received, Maranatha meets with the leadership to discuss scope, financial needs, logistics of doing construction in the country, and volunteer opportunities.

Donating to Maranatha

How much do the One-Day Church and One-Day School cost?

In many countries, Maranatha may adjust the size or structure of the One-Day buildings to meet the local needs. So costs can vary, depending on the situation. These are the standard costs for the One-Day program.

One-Day Church
One share $1,500
Complete Sponsorship $4,500-$9,500, depending on location

One-Day School classroom
One share $5,000
Complete Sponsorship $15,000


How can I make a donation for a water well?

A few years ago, Maranatha partnered with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Mozambique to fund and drill more than 700 wells in communities where we built churches and schools. In April 2014, Maranatha kicked off a new effort to dig wells in Zimbabwe, and in 2015, Maranatha announced a well program in Kenya.

We are actively fundraising for water wells and donations can be made to Maranatha. Full sponsorship for wells starts at $10,000. If you are interested in donating to a well, please contact Maranatha.

Volunteering with Maranatha

What is the difference between an Open Team and a Group Project?

Open Team projects are mission trips that Maranatha coordinates. Opportunities are publicized on our website and in our various publications. For Open Team projects, Maranatha arranges leadership, plans the logistics, and recruits volunteers. These trips are open to all individuals, and teams are made up of people from all over the world. Volunteers start off as strangers and become like family by the end of the trip. It is a special bonding experience that opens you up to new friendships.

Group Projects are mission trips that you can create with Maranatha’s help. You assemble a team and we match you to a project location, while sharing our expertise in mission work. We’ll help you develop a budget, introduce you to resources within the country—such as food, excursions, and lodging, provide construction materials, and even connect you with our in-country staff during your project. You will need to recruit the volunteers and the leadership. These projects are not open to the general public since they are created for your custom team.


How do I become a volunteer on an Open Team? What is the process?

The first step is to select a project that best fits your time frame and location of interest. You can see the most current list of our projects online under “Volunteer Opportunities.”

If a project interests you, click on the link to read details about the trip. You can even download an information packet. Sometimes, complete information about a project may not yet be available; in these cases, you can join an interest list and you’ll be notified when the details are uploaded.

Once you’ve found a project you want to go on, register for it online then wait for confirmation from Maranatha. Following confirmation, we’ll ask you to submit your full participation fee, airline itinerary, and a copy of your passport.

About three weeks before your project, you’ll receive a mailing with a final information packet and packing list, your Maranatha t-shirt, insurance information, and luggage tags. Then you’ll board your flight and we’ll meet you upon arrival at the airport.


How does the travel work for an Open Team? Will I be met at the airport?

Once you are confirmed for an Open Team project, you will book your flight to arrive during the time frame noted in the flight guidelines on the project detail page and information packet. These guidelines are provided so that you can fly with the airline of your choice. After booking your flight, you will send your itinerary to Maranatha, and we will make sure there are representatives to meet you at the airport at your destination. Maranatha representatives will be wearing the Maranatha project t-shirt, or they will be holding placards with the Maranatha logo. If you are delayed, be sure to communicate your new arrival time with the Maranatha office, and we send our representative your new itinerary.


Do you have to be a Seventh-day Adventist to be a Maranatha volunteer?

No. We accept volunteers from all backgrounds and religious affiliations, and Maranatha volunteers can be a diverse group with different beliefs and backgrounds.

We ask all our volunteers to remember that Maranatha is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian organization. The goal of our construction projects is to share and reflect Christ’s love with the communities where we work, while providing volunteers with a uniquely spiritual experience.

During the mission trip, all volunteers are encouraged to participate in team worship services. We also ask that volunteers respect Adventist values while on a project, on and off the construction site.


I don’t know anything about construction. Can I still go on a Maranatha mission trip?

Yes! Everyone is welcome on a mission trip with Maranatha. Our churches and schools are designed to be simple enough for volunteers to build. Each project has a volunteer construction superintendent who teaches participants how to lay block, mix mortar, or put together a One-Day School kit. There are also a number of other jobs you can take part in on a mission trip including medical clinics, children’s programs, food preparation, and other outreach activities. There is a job for everyone!


Can children join a Maranatha trip? Are there any special requirements?

Children are welcome on any Maranatha project; however, they need to be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or designated adult. We do ask for a one to three ratio of adults to children. All children under the age of 18, who are not traveling with both legal guardians, are required to submit a notarized parental consent form authorizing them to travel alone and for Maranatha to treat them in case of a medical emergency.

We offer two specific projects that are designed with children in mind. Our Family Projects, offered in the summer and at Christmas, are an opportunity for families to experience service together, and there are activities for all ages. The Ultimate Workout is a mission project just for teens, and it is the only Maranatha project where minors are allowed to travel by themselves without an accompanying adult.


I want to be a missionary for longer than two weeks. Does Maranatha offer such trips?

All Maranatha projects are short-term trips lasting anywhere from 10-14 days. Maranatha does not offer long-term service opportunities. For long-term opportunities through the Seventh-day Adventist church, we recommend that you visit www.hesaidgo.org.


How much does a Maranatha project cost?

Mission trips are a big investment of time and money. However, we believe the experience is well worth the investment! Each volunteer, on an international project, is asked to pay a participation fee plus their own airfare to the project location. Participation fees can range from $600 – $1,200 depending on the accommodations, transportation arrangements, and length of project.

While flight costs vary depending on the destination, the airport your departing from, travel dates, and when you book in relation to your departure dates, average flights to Latin America can cost anywhere from $300-1,000, and flights to Africa or India can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,400.

Most projects in the United States and Canada do not have a participation fee, but volunteers are still responsible for their transportation to and from the project location.


What does the participation fee include?

The participation fee covers your housing, food, in-country transportation, secondary accident insurance, local excursions, Maranatha t-shirt, and luggage tags. A small portion of the fee also contributes to the overall cost of project logistics and any outreach for the trip such as children’s ministry programs or medical outreach. The fee does NOT cover airfare, passport or visa expenses, vaccinations, or personal spending money.

 


Does the participation fee include the traveling costs?

No. The fee does NOT cover airfare, passport or visa expenses, or vaccinations.


Do I have to pay a participation fee for projects in the U.S. or Canada?

There is usually no participation fee for North American projects. The volunteer is only responsible for their travel expenses to and from the project location. Food, local housing, and accident insurance are provided free of charge in exchange for your volunteer labor.


How do I make a payment? Is it tax-deductible?

Your participation fee payment is considered a donation to the organization, and donors from the United States and Canada will receive a tax-deducible receipt.

U.S. volunteers and donors can make payments online, over the phone, or by checks made payable to Maranatha Volunteers International and sent to the main office in Roseville, California. Canadian volunteers and donors should send their check to the Maranatha Volunteers International Association in Vancouver in order to receive a Canadian tax-deductible receipt. Unfortunately the Association cannot accept credit card payments, and credit card payments made in the U.S. are not tax-deductible in Canada.

Volunteers and donors from other countries can make their payments via credit card, over the phone or online. Maranatha can also accept a wire transfer, although there is a small additional fee to cover the bank charges Maranatha incurs when receiving wires.

Your travel expenses can also be tax-deductible. Volunteers will receive a letter acknowledging their service on the trip. Talk with a tax-consultant for more information about your travel expenses and your tax deductions for volunteer service.


I don’t think I can afford to go on a mission trip. How do people do it?

Volunteers often save up for the occasion or fundraise for their projects. People get creative when it comes to raising money. Families have sold food items, such as pies or tamales; written letters asking friends and family for donations; or organized yard sales. The cost of a mission trip can seem daunting at first, but don’t let it stop you from having the experience of a lifetime. There are plenty of people who have found a way to serve – multiple times – in the mission field. Check out the resource section of the website for more fundraising ideas and a sample fundraising letter.


Do you give out scholarships or help with fundraising?

Maranatha is a non-profit organization, supported by donations. We do not have scholarship money available to help participants who wish to join our projects.

The one exception is for teens participating in the Ultimate Workout. Participants can apply for a scholarship from the Ultimate Workout Alumni Association, which has a small scholarship fund for volunteers. For more information or to apply, contact Maranatha.

If you would like to start a scholarship program, please contact Maranatha. We would love to help you set something up in order to help volunteers experience a mission trip.


Can I have people send donations in my name directly to Maranatha to fund my trip?

It is difficult for Maranatha to track individual small checks, so if you are fundraising or receiving donations for your trip and your donors wish to receive tax-deductible receipts, please work with your local church treasurer to collect funds in a general “Mission Fund.” Your local church can give tax-deductible receipts to your donors. Then, at the end of your fundraising effort, ask the church to send one payment to Maranatha to cover your participation fee.

If your church cannot help you with this process, please have your donors make checks out to Maranatha but send them to you. When you have collected the full amount of your participation fee, send all the checks to Maranatha in one envelope; please include a note with your name and project. The checks should equal your total participation fee. Maranatha does not typically reimburse money received in excess of the participation fee. Keep this in mind, if you are fundraising for your participation fee and flight, donations for airfare should be made out to you so that you can use this to cover travel expenses.

If your donors do not need tax-deductible receipts, they can simply make their checks out to you directly, and you can use these funds for the participation fee and travel expenses.

Please contact Maranatha with any questions regarding your fundraising process.


Wouldn’t it be more efficient for me to just donate money for a church, rather than spending the money to go build it on a mission trip?

Sure, it’s more efficient—and the mission field needs your donations. In fact, giving to Maranatha is a great way to make a big impact on the need for churches and schools. The money you donate will go toward providing education and a place of worship and outreach to communities around the world.

But Maranatha is not just a construction company. Our mission is to fulfill requests for urgently needed buildings, but more important we want to build people—and by people, we mean the communities impacted by our construction and our volunteers.

The community, where volunteers work, are benefited by the outreach volunteers provide during construction. Medical and dental clinics, along with children’s programs, are useful and meaningful in the areas where we work. It also increases interest in the Adventist Church.

Among church members, they are blessed by the gift of a new sanctuary or school. It is often a long-awaited answer to prayer. But beyond the physical building, church members appreciate the interaction with other believers, especially those from a different part of the world.

In the same way, our volunteers are blessed by the act of service. Volunteers return from mission trips changed by their interactions in a new culture and with new people. The experience can be quite profound and transformative, leading to a more positive and service-oriented life back at home and within in their communities.


How do I book my flight?

We encourage you to do some research in order to find the best airfare. There are a number of online travel sites that search for the lowest airfare such as www.kayak.com. You can also contact local travel agents to see if they can find a better deal. Be VERY careful to make sure you have the correct dates, times, and airport codes before purchasing your tickets! To see our list of recommended travel agents or for more information, see the International Travelers’ Guide.


Can I arrive early for a project or stay after the project is over?

You are more than welcome to arrive early or stay beyond our project dates to explore the country on your own. All arrangements will be your own responsibility. Please make your own hotel and transportation plans for any days outside of the Maranatha project dates.


What sort of vaccinations will I need?

The only vaccine required by Maranatha is a current tetanus vaccine. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may recommend other vaccinations for your travel destination. Common recommendations include hepatitis A, typhoid, and an antimalarial medication. More information is available in the Maranatha country packets and at www.cdc.gov. Maranatha recommends that you schedule a consultation with a travel clinic doctor, prior to travel, to talk about medical precautions for your trip. Two common travel clinic companies are Travel Clinics of America and Passport Health. You can schedule your visit online.


What if I don’t want to be immunized?

The only vaccination required by Maranatha is a current tetanus vaccination. All other immunizations are optional but often recommended for your safety. While Maranatha strongly recommends the tetanus vaccine for the safety of all volunteers, we do have a waiver form that can be used if your family does not take part in immunizations.


How do I get a visa for a Maranatha project?

Maranatha does not process visas for your trip. However, we do provide resources to help you with the process. If you join an international project and the destination country requires a visa for U.S. and Canadian citizens, you will be given a visa procedures packet that will walk you through the steps. If the country requires an invitation letter, you will be provided this as well. If you are a citizen from another country wishing to join a project in the U.S., Maranatha will not be able to send you an invitation letter, but we do provide a letter of volunteer intent that can be submitted with your visa paperwork. The letter will acknowledge the reason for which you are wishing to visit the U.S.


How safe are the locations where Maranatha is working?

Maranatha will not knowingly send volunteers to an area with elevated risk. We consistently monitor security alerts from various countries and rely on information from church leaders and in-country Maranatha staff. If we feel the risk is too great in a certain country, we will not schedule projects there and cancel projects already scheduled for that region.

However, there are always risks when you travel. We recommend volunteers take personal precautions and educate themselves about the country they are planning to visit. But even with all our research and precautions, there is nothing we can do to guarantee safety. We can only place our trust in God’s hands.


I requested project information online. Why haven’t I received anything yet?

When you sign up for information on the website, we add your name to a project interest list and send you an information packet when it becomes available. Typically, information is available three to six months in advance of the project dates.

Sometimes, information packets can be delayed, due to lack of information on various details—such as lodging or budgets. This means that you may have to wait a bit longer to receive information. But we ask for your patience, and we will send you a packet once it’s complete.

Please note that putting your name on an interest list ensures that you will be notified when registration is available, but it does not guarantee a place on the Open Team. You will still need to complete an online registration form to reserve your spot on the trip.


How do I become a project leader on an Open Team?

We recommend that you first join a couple of Maranatha Open Team projects before requesting a leadership role. Participating on an actual trip will give you perspective on the expectations of a project leader and an understanding of how a Maranatha mission trip is run. Maranatha may also have you shadow an experienced leader on a project and ask that you complete training seminars presented by Maranatha.

Once you’ve gained some experience and a recommendation from a current leader, we will add you to a prospective leadership list and consider you for future projects.

Requesting Assistance from Maranatha

How can I get Maranatha to build a church for my congregation?

For projects outside of North America, requests must go through Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership for that region. (Conference, Union, or Division offices.) We rarely accept projects from individual congregations.


What kind of assistance can I receive from Maranatha for my project in North America?

In North America, Maranatha mobilizes volunteers to work on renovation and expansion projects at retreat centers, schools, and churches. At times, Maranatha does brand new construction.

Recently, Maranatha designed a standard church to serve small congregations in North America. The design includes a sanctuary, fellowship hall, offices, bathrooms, kitchen, and Sabbath School classrooms.

Maranatha does not fundraise for projects in North America. Instead, using volunteer labor makes valuable cost savings.

Planned Giving

I’m not wealthy. How can I make an impact on Maranatha’s mission?

Maranatha’s mission is accomplished through the generosity of many people giving what they can. Anyone can make a difference! Also, you would be surprised at how much you actually have to offer—it’s often more than you think.


Can I wait to do this until I’m older?

The most effective gifts are those done early in life, where the donor can make the decision on where the gift should go. It’s never too early to begin planning for the future, especially since life is unpredictable. We never know what the future holds, and it is best to make important decisions thoughtfully and to plan ahead.


I don’t live in California where Maranatha is located. How can someone help me?

We have contacts throughout the country, and our representatives are available to assist you, no matter where you live. We can also coordinate an “area meeting” for your church to offer a seminar about Planned Giving.


I would like to help, but how much does it cost to work with the Maranatha Foundation?

The Maranatha Board of Directors decided to make services available to Maranatha supports at no cost.


What are the risks of not planning?

If you don’t plan, the government will have a plan for you.


I already have an attorney and/or CPA. Can I work with them?

Yes, but we would like to work with them in creating the best plan. They know your circumstances, and our foundation will coordinate with your experts to achieve your goals.

Sharing Maranatha

How can I invite Maranatha to do a program at my church or school?

We love talking about Maranatha, and we would love any opportunity to share our mission with your community. If you think your church or school would benefit from a Maranatha Sabbath, simply send us an invitation. We will consider the dates and talk to you about the possibilities. The most common Maranatha event is a Sabbath program, where we send a speaker or a team to your church for worship. We’ll work with you to create a program that meets your needs while sharing the mission of Maranatha.