After decades of civil war, Angola has been working toward rebuilding the country’s infrastructure. This task includes providing new schools for a generation of children who have not had opportunity for education.
Before the war, the Adventist Church ran about 200 schools; it was among the largest school systems in the country. But all of the facilities were destroyed, and now children meet in makeshift classrooms wherever there is space.
As for churches, there are more than 400,000 baptized members in Angola. But there is a shortage of places to worship. In Luanda, the country’s crowded capital, hundreds of people cram under trees or sit in an open lot, using umbrellas for protection from the sun.
In 2012, the Adventist Church in Angola requested Maranatha’s assistance in building churches and schools, primarily in and around Luanda, and the first One-Day Church kits were built in mid 2013. But construction materials in the country are expensive, as are most things in Angola. The booming oil industry has attracted investors from around the world, creating new wealth and a high cost of living. But the majority of the population lives in poverty.
Yet the people of Angola are finding hope in their faith communities, and Adventist membership continues to grow. It is critical that we help to provide church buildings and Christian schools so that they may be places of recovery and restoration.
In 2014, Maranatha began also building churches in southern Angola, where there is extreme poverty.
Maranatha is planning to wrap up church projects in Angola in early 2017, and the rest of the year will be focused on the construction of school classrooms.
Population: 19 million
Adventist membership: 430,171
In late 1906, a missionary named Arthur Carscallen arrived in eastern Africa to share the Adventist message with the people of Kenya. In the next two decades, Carscallen established several mission stations in the country.
More than a century since Carscallen’s pioneering work, the Adventist Church in Kenya is thriving with more than 800,000 members. Now, church leadership is requesting Maranatha’s help in providing churches, schools, and water wells for this growing population. In 2016, Maranatha is planning to construct 70 churches and 15 school classrooms.
In 2016, Maranatha kicked off the first volunteer project in Kenya in July, with a second following in August. Projects focused on building One-Day Churches for congregations and dormitories at existing schools. Crews also began drilling wells in communities without access to clean water.
Volunteers and crews will continue working in Kenya in 2017, with focus on churches, schools, and wells.
Population: 45.9 million
Adventist membership: 824,185
São Tomé and Príncipe
Located about 150 miles off the western coast of central Africa, São Tomé and Príncipe is a small country of islands. But this tiny tiny place is home to a thriving population of Seventh-day Adventists. However, they need more churches. Out of 70 congregations and groups, 50 need a permanent and more appropriate place of worship. Starting in 2018, Maranatha will be mobilzing volunteers to build churches and school classrooms in the capital city of São Tomé.
Capital: São Tomé
Adventist membership: 7,012
According to Adventist Church records, Zambia has approximately 1.1 million members. But according to a recent census, more than three million people identified themselves as Adventist!
The need for more churches and schools in Zambia is huge. There are many stories of people walking miles to church, many times in bare feet. Some of the areas needing churches are so remote that a One-Day Church structure is the only solution that could work. Maranatha worked in Zambia in 2013, completing hundreds of projects. In 2018, Maranatha will be returning to Zambia in response to a request for more churches.
Population: 16 million
Adventist membership: 1.1 million