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Volunteers from Armona Union Academy Lay a Church Building Foundation in the Dominican Republic 

By Sidney Needles

Photos taken by Barbra Tabura


In March, 13 volunteers from Armona Union Academy spent ten days on a project with Maranatha Volunteers International, a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The group laid a foundation for the La Nueva Barquita congregation in the Dominican Republic. This group of 40 worshipers sprouted from a nearby mother church and needed a solid structure to accommodate its growing membership. 


Roughly 80 percent of the volunteer team had never been on a mission trip before, including both adult leaders. “It was a learning experience for all of us,” said Project Coordinator Barbra Tabura. The first-timers had a challenging task before them: pouring concrete by hand in sweltering tropical humidity. “We didn’t have a truck come out and deliver all that concrete,” remarked Tabura. Instead, students hauled, mixed, and poured the foundation by hand. “It was a learning experience. It did not come easy, and that’s what we wanted,” said Barbra. 


In addition to construction work, volunteers led a four-day Vacation Bible School program for families in a complex of government housing. The first night of the series saw roughly 35 attendees–a number that consistently grew each night. Armona students enjoyed connecting with local children while singing songs, sharing Bible stories, and teaching crafts. 


Logan Avila is a junior at Armona Academy and discovered the infectious joy of helping others while doing so on this trip. “Part of our mission as Christians was revealed to me in a somewhat plain and simple light,” he said. “There are real people in the world, both kids and adults … And it is part of our mission to reach out a hand to them in one way or another.”


Maranatha mobilizes volunteers to build churches, schools, water wells, and other urgently needed structures around the world. In addition to projects open to the public, Maranatha helps church and school groups organize their own mission trips at no additional cost. Since 1969, Maranatha volunteers and crews have constructed more than 14,000 structures and more than 2,200 water wells in nearly 90 countries.









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