Maranatha Volunteers International is preparing to begin an effort in Paraguay in response to requests from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America. Current plans include the construction of new church buildings for 18 congregations in need, but this number is likely to grow as projects develop. Volunteer opportunities will also become available in Paraguay to supplement the work of local crews. “The main draw to bring us in is that the Adventist Church in Paraguay lacks the resources necessary to upgrade their infrastructure,” explained Maranatha’s chief operating officer, Kenneth Weiss. “It’s a major and important need there.”

Paraguay’s capital city, AsunciĆ³n, is home to several modern Adventist churches. But venture into the country’s rural areas, and the situation is bleak. Most smaller congregations rent houses to meet in because they can’t afford to construct church buildings of their own. But these rental homes are hot. Oftentimes, members flee their stuffy meeting rooms to worship in the breeze outdoors. Maranatha’s structures will relieve church budgets of a rent bill. But they will also have better ventilation and roofs designed to insulate against the sun’s rays.

Maranatha renovated a church building in Paraguay from 1988 to 1989 and built more church structures and classrooms from 2001 to 2002. This work helped lay the foundation for Paraguay’s Adventist Church expansion in recent years. The Church now has 15,000 members, but will struggle to grow further without reliable places of worship.

The Adventist Church in Brazil also identified Paraguay as a place of promising Church growth and has focused evangelism efforts in the country. They’ve sent missionaries here for years and will partner with Maranatha by providing volunteers and funding for several church construction projects.

Maranatha’s President, Don Noble, believes this effort in Paraguay will be an amazing opportunity for God to work. “There’s no way you can walk into a project and know completely how God’s going to orchestrate it,” said Noble. “We’re responding to a great need in this country, and I’m looking forward to watching God do incredible things here.”

Maranatha Volunteers International, a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, mobilizes volunteers to build churches, schools, water wells, and other urgently needed structures around the world. Since 1969, Maranatha has constructed more than 14,000 structures and more than 3,000 water wells in nearly 90 countries.