At the end of April, a group of volunteers from Maranatha Volunteers International wrapped up a project at Monterey Bay Academy, in La Selva Beach, California. This Seventh-day Adventist boarding high school is home to roughly 150 students each year. It sits on a beautiful 380-acre campus, which includes one mile of private beach. This much land requires a lot of upkeep, so Monterey Bay staff greatly appreciate this team’s helping hand.

The volunteer group spent much of their two-week project painting a 9,700 square-foot industrial building and repairing 1,000 feet of wooden fencing. They also did other maintenance tasks for the campus, like painting crosswalks and landscaping. By the project’s close, the group had removed and hauled away 18 loads of brush.

Team members came together from all over the United States. Even though few knew each other previously, they soon formed lasting friendships while serving side by side. During morning worships and fireside vespers on the beach, volunteers shared their testimonies and described how they saw Jesus work on the project. Because the boarding academy was still in session, the group was also able to connect with students while eating together in the school’s cafeteria.

Maranatha volunteers have served off and on at Monterey Bay Academy for 31 years. The first team arrived in 1993 to reroof several campus buildings. The next group, which had 162 members, served in 1994 and completed numerous maintenance projects. These were followed by projects in 2012, 2016, and the most recent one in 2024.

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.