top of page

Student Volunteers from Sonora, California, Build and Bond with a School in Kenya

A group of students and parents from Sonora, California, recently embarked on an exciting service adventure with Maranatha Volunteers International, a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The team spent ten days laying the block walls of a girls dormitory at the Kimogoro Adventist Boarding Primary School in hilly western Kenya. This project is part of Maranatha’s campus-wide transformation of Kimogoro. Its buildings were dilapidated and overcrowded, but thanks to volunteers, including those from Sonora, the school’s 300 students will have beautiful new spaces in which to live and learn.

The 46-member team came from various churches and schools in Sonora, and included some of Maranatha's youngest volunteers to lay block at a construction site. Fifth

through eighth graders worked right alongside highschoolers and parents, tackling hard manual labor with energetic determination. “We have a lot of strong-willed kids,” remarked project coordinator Jennifer Neufeld-Trujillo. These kids rose above and

beyond the task at hand. Not only did the group reach their goal of completing the girls dorm, but also 80 percent of its bathroom block.

After days of physically-demanding labor, volunteers still had the energy to lead a six-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) program for Kimogoro students. They shared their love for Jesus through songs, crafts, health talks, and Bible story skits. They also shared their love for sports. “We took sports equipment with us because that’s what our students love,” remarked Neufeld-Trujillo. Sonora kids were thrilled to discover that Kimogoro students love sports too. The groups bonded during games like soccer, volleyball, kickball, and jump rope. A surprise aspect of this trip was the medical assistance Sonora volunteers provided. This need became apparent to Neufeld-Trujillo during the first couple days at the campus. “I saw a little girl sitting down and crying,” she recalled. “She was holding her knee, and I thought she must have fallen during one of the games. Her knee was infected. She couldn’t bend it. She was limping.” Neufeld-Trujillo and a couple other parent volunteers are healthcare providers. After treating the little girl’s leg, school staff brought more and more students to them for care. “It was an impromptu clinic we thought would last a couple hours, and it ended up lasting the rest of the day,” said Neufeld-Trujillo. By the clinic’s close, they had treated roughly 70 patients with medicine donated by the Adventist Health Sonora. They had brought it with them in case volunteers became ill or injured. “It was such a blessing because we had medicine that we could use to treat them,” said Neufeld-Trujillo.

Neufeld-Trujillo believes her team proved what is possible with God’s guidance and support. “Our team was phenomenal!” she remarked. “They were enthusiastic and positive, and strong in attitude and body. They are the ones who made the project successful. They allowed God to use them to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.”

Maranatha 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 3,000 water wells in nearly 90 countries.


bottom of page