7 February 2024 |
Maranatha Volunteers International has announced the completed construction of a new church and school complex in a Zambian community, replacing the Bethsaida Seventh-day Adventist Church destroyed in a devastating storm in January 2022. The calamity, which claimed five lives and left many injured, prompted the Adventist Church in Zambia to seek assistance from Maranatha, a gesture that culminated in the construction of the Bethsaida Seventh-day Adventist Memorial Church and Primary School.
Over the past eighteen months, Maranatha volunteers, alongside local crews, have worked diligently to erect a large sanctuary capable of accommodating up to 500 worshippers. The comprehensive campus does not only serve as a place of worship but also addresses educational needs with the inclusion of six Sabbath School classrooms that double as classrooms for a new elementary school during the week. Additional facilities include restrooms, a water well, and essential infrastructure that supports the community’s well-being.
David Woods, Maranatha’s country director for Zambia, pointed out the dire situation in the area. “The nearest primary school has 1,204 students in five classrooms, running two shifts a day,” Woods stated, underscoring the importance of the new school in providing quality Christian education to the children in the vicinity.
The dedication ceremony last summer saw the convergence of Maranatha leaders, donors, regional officials of the Adventist Church in Zambia, and the community, all of whom celebrated the fruition of this monumental project. The transformation from tragedy to triumph has left church members both amazed and grateful, marking a new chapter in the community’s resilience and growth.
Maranatha’s involvement in Zambia is not new; the organization worked in the country from 2009 to 2015, completing hundreds of projects. They returned in 2018 at the behest of the local church for more infrastructure projects, including churches, schools, and water wells, to support the community’s development. The dedication of the Bethsaida Seventh-day Adventist Memorial Church and Primary School stands as a testament to Maranatha’s continued commitment to aiding communities in need.