In February 2020, a group of Maranatha volunteers worked in the Indian state of Meghalaya, building classrooms at the Jingshai Mihngi Adventist School, not knowing that they would be the last volunteers to work in India for quite some time. The COVID pandemic prevented Maranatha from hosting any volunteer mission trips in India for the next two and a half years. But on October 20, 2022, volunteers returned to this Asian subcontinent once more, this time to construct the walls of a cafeteria building at the Pola Adventist School. Maranatha has been working on this campus since 2017, building a church, dormitories, bathrooms, and classroom blocks, and drilling a water well. Besides laying bricks for the new cafeteria, which will include a kitchen, volunteers on this project have also led out in children’s programs with local students.
Although Maranatha’s in-country team successfully pushed the mission forward throughout the pandemic, there was a sense of isolation from the greater mission of Maranatha. Now, with volunteers from around the world coming back, Maranatha’s crew in India feels reconnected. “To have volunteers, it adds so much perspective to our work now,” said Vinish Wilson, Maranatha’s country director for India. “There’s something special about getting volunteers back in the country. I saw the joy on the faces of the children when the volunteers entered the school gate. Now, they can relate these buildings with the sacrifice and efforts of people making their dream a reality.”
Maranatha has had a continuous presence in India since 1998, establishing an office while building places of worship and education throughout the country. In 2019, Maranatha started drilling water wells in areas in need of clean water. Maranatha has constructed more than 2,400 structures in India.