Maranatha Volunteers International’s volunteer numbers are looking up. There have been a total of 1,926 volunteers year-to-date, indicating that Maranatha is on track to meet its year-end projection of 2,300. Eighteen of these have been acquired through Brazil, and 918 have been first-time volunteers. Maranatha enjoys a fairly standard first-timer rate of around 50%, meaning that projects are consistently graced with new faces.
Volunteer engagement took a hit during the global pandemic. International and domestic travel was ill-advised and severely restricted, drastically limiting group and open-team trip capabilities. Numbers have been on a slow incline since 2020. For example, 2022 saw a total of 28 volunteer trips. In contrast, 2023 has already seen 43 trips, with 13 more scheduled before year’s end. These figures mark a joyous return to pre-pandemic norms and is evidence of Maranatha’s enthusiastically resilient volunteer base.
Volunteers are the beating heart of Maranatha’s service. “Our mission is to build people, and that includes those who serve the communities in need–in other words, our volunteers,” said Maranatha’s vice president for volunteer services, Lisandro Staut.
“To see volunteers finally coming back to the field in large numbers in 2023 was really exciting because our mission is fully accomplished only with them and through each of them.” Volunteers have also expressed their appreciation for opportunities to serve. Robinson Massey recently went on Maranatha’s mission trip for collegiates, Catalyst, and shared the significance of his experience. “It’s important to get involved in things like missions and service to understand what it’s like to love people how Jesus loves us and understand what it looks like to take care of His people, fulfill the great commission and follow God’s calling.”
Maranatha Volunteers International, a non-profit, Christian organization, 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 2,200 water wells in nearly 90 countries around the world.