Bolivia first received the Seventh-day Adventist message in 1897, when a literature evangelist entered the country with copies of Patriarchs and Prophets and Steps to Christ. But it wasn’t until 1907 that Adventist missionaries, Edward W. Thomann and his wife Flora, were assigned to Bolivia.
Today, Bolivia is home to over 120,000 Seventh-day Adventists. Many congregations are meeting in rented spaces or in churches that are too small or run-down. This often creates problems when trying to evangelize and invite community members to church services.
In response to a request from the Adventist church in Bolivia, Maranatha will begin mobilizing volunteers to build churches in Cochabamba, located in central Bolivia. Eventually, Maranatha will branch out to serve other parts of the country, including La Paz.
Capital: La Paz
Population: 11 million
Adventist membership: 123,837
Watch: The Mission in Bolivia
Brazil has the second largest Seventh-day Adventist membership in the world with more than one million members. But this number is about to grow and Brazil Adventist leadership is embarking on a massive effort to plant 1,000 new congregations in the eastern part of the country. The plan is to mobilize lay-missionaries to towns where there is no Adventist presence and then establish a congregation. As part of the big push, Brazil has asked for Maranatha’s help in building churches.
In April 2015, Maranatha launched a Portuguese-language version of Maranatha Mission Stories, Maranatha’s weekly television program focused on service and missions. Maranatha Histórias de Missão is broadcast on Novo Tempo, a Christian television and radio network headquartered in Brazil. The show has introduced a new audience to Maranatha’s work, generating national interest in mission trips. In August 2015, the first team of volunteers from Brazil went on a Maranatha mission trip. Since then, several more Brazilian teams have served on projects.
In 2015, Maranatha completed work on a large Education and Evangelism Center in northeastern Brazil. Today, Maranatha has continued to build One-Day Churches and recently drilled a water well in the very dry state of Bahia.
Population: 202.6 million
Adventist membership: 1,240,880
Twelve years after an effort in Peru that saw nearly 100 churches and schools constructed, Maranatha is going back. For years, Seventh-day Adventist leadership in Peru has been asking Maranatha to return. The initial effort in Peru was a success and helped to grow Adventist membership country-wide. With the influx of members, there has been a new need for more places of worship, as well as schools.
In this next effort, Maranatha’s initial plan includes the construction of more churches and schools in the greater Lima area.
Adventist membership: 402,081
Watch: Maranatha Heads Back to Peru