L NEW BEGINNINGS: The first Sabbath at Lakeview Adventist School is a day of celebration and hope for the future.ake Kariba, Zimbabwe, then the world’s largest human-made reservoir, was completed in 1960. The first Seventh-day Adventists arrived in Kariba around 1962, when four BaTonga tribesmen moved from Malamulo Mission Station in Malawi to work in the lake’s growing tourism and fishing industries.
Of course, they started a church beneath a large mango tree, meeting Wednesday evenings and Sabbaths. The church grew. They rented worship space wherever they could find it, and even chopped out hillsides in hopes of constructing a real church building. Unfortunately, 53 years later the church members were still renting, chopping, and hoping.
The Lake Kariba Seventh-day Adventists become known as “the small people with no buildings.”
“We are OK with being small groups of Christians,” said Kariba pastor Benevolence Shonhiwa, “but we continue to work and pray for solid, permanent buildings.”
When Zimbabwe’s church leaders visited the lake in 2011, they asked a crucial question. “If you could only have one, would you prefer a church or a school?”
“If we have a church building, we will fill it,” members answered. “But if we have a school, we will need many church buildings to hold our new members.”
FULFILLING A DREAM: Local and guest workers for Maranatha Volunteers International take a break to pose for a photo in front of one of the new buildings.The leaders listened, helped the members secure a six-acre plot of land, and asked Maranatha Volunteers International to build a One-Day School campus at Lake Kariba.
Volunteers arrived on April 12, and a week later had completed nearly all of the 12 buildings overlooking Lake Kariba. Every concrete slab, every truss, and every wall was raised with prayer. The new campus includes space for more than 400 students—and a double-size multipurpose building to serve as a church!
“These buildings are a giant evangelism center,” says Enock Chifamba, executive secretary of the Zimbabwe Union. “No one will ever again call these members ‘the small people with no buildings’!”
Lakeview Adventist School began classes on May 7, 2013.
More than 600 communities in Brazil are with- out any Seventh-day Adventist presence. But thanks to the dedication of Adventist churches throughout the country, that is rapidly changing. And the One-Day Church is part of the solution.
Adventist congregations throughout Brazil are sponsor-ing families to go to unentered towns as church-planting missionaries.
One of those communities, Montadas, has been adopted by the Women’s Ministries Department of the North Brazil Union. One year ago it spon-sored Patricio and Cristina Silva, a lay couple, to move to Montadas and begin making friends. The Silvas quickly discovered that no one in Montadas had ever even heard the name Seventh-day Adventist!
The Silvas began a small prayer meeting and offered Bible studies to their new friends. Interest grew, but the need for a church building became obvious.
On August 10, 2011, a team of builders from Maranatha Volunteers International put up a steel One-Day Church frame. Church members and volunteers from women’s ministries immediately began adding walls, ceilings, pews, even an addition for children’s Sabbath school rooms.
The new Montadas church was dedicated free of debt on October 25, 2011. Already the church has 53 members, and more than 50 people have requested baptism.
“Come back in a year,” the Silvas say, “and the church will have grown so fast that we will be ready to become two congregations!”
A One -Day Church Raymond Memorial Higher Secondary School OLD AND NEW: Mani Kerketta (above), one of the first students at Raymond Memorial, remembers the primitive conditions under which its first classes were held. Those memories were mostly eclipsed when the new buildings were dedicated earlier this year.
The Raymond Memorial Higher Secondary School provides Seventh-day Adventist education for more than 1,200 students in the town of Falakata, West Bengal, India.
Raymond Memorial, the first Adventist secondary school in India, opened in 1949 with most of the students living in tents on the edge of the school’s 600 acres of virgin jungle.
“They paid us to go to school,” remembers Mani Kerketta, a member of the “first batch” of students. “Then we spent the rest of the day pulling up the jungle.”
Maranatha Volunteers International first came to Raymond Memorial in 1999, building churches in the area and helping with construction needs at the school. In January 2013 a team of Maranatha volunteers from six different nations united there to build the first eight of 16 “One-Day Schoolrooms” for the primary school at Raymond Memorial.
Dedication day for these eight classrooms brought all the students—and many local Hindu and Moslem families—to the Raymond Memorial campus for a celebration of education and hope. More than 80 percent of the community businessmen send their children to Raymond Memorial.
“Of course our children go to Raymond,” the local electrical supplier says. “It’s the best education around. They teach real values.”