During the month of May, Maranatha volunteers refreshed two properties in the state of Idaho. From May 1-8, 75 people served at Camp MiVoden in northern Idaho, and 10 days later, volunteers arrived at Project Patch, a center for at-risk youth about 50 miles north of Boise. The work started at Patch on May 18 and finished on June 2. Maranatha has worked at each place numerous times over the years, and veteran project coordinator for both projects, Melody Wheeler, knows how important the annual events are to each of these sites. “There’s always something to do,” said Wheeler. “They can’t wait until we get there so they can accomplish things that they don’t have a chance to do. At Patch, the [resident] kids are inspired to see us older people around the property, doing things that they know their staff don’t have time to do.”

During the MiVoden project, volunteers completed a number of tasks, including cabin porch repair, interior and exterior painting, staff house retaining wall replacement, landscaping, general cleaning, and sealing the lake dock. One volunteer, a mechanic, spent his time fixing up camp vehicles. At Patch, 34 volunteers finished up a small amount of siding installation left over from the previous project, caulked all of the siding, prefabricated jam wraps, installed windows, and applied paint to the siding.

Eighty-five year old Dean Whybark has supported Maranatha for decades, but never had a chance to officially serve as a Maranatha volunteer until this most recent stint at Project Patch. “The people I’m working with are just wonderful—that is the best part of the whole thing,” said Whybark. “The camaraderie, everyone takes an interest in each other, and they have more talent than you can imagine.”

Though admittedly tired at the end of each day, Whybark found that God provided him with the power to work each day. “I think the Lord strengthens us for what we need to, and I am pretty sure the Lord is helping me to keep going [here]. I think the Lord gives us the strength for what we need for each day.”

Each year, Maranatha works with organizations in the United States and Canada to provide volunteer labor for various construction or renovation projects at summer camps and retreat centers, schools, and churches. Work ranges from renovations of existing buildings to new construction, and saves thousands of dollars in labor costs.