Adventist Review Online | ‘At 60, for the First Time, I Have Drunk Clean Water From a Well’

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Maranatha Volunteers International shares some of the blessings received in Kenya during 2020.

he year 2020 was going to be a big year for Maranatha Volunteers International in Kenya. The organization had planned to build 100 One-Day Churches, drill 10 water wells, construct school campuses, and mobilize four volunteer groups to serve in that country.

So in March, when the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 had become a pandemic, it seemed logical to lower expectations for the year. After all, travel in and out of Kenya was shut down almost immediately for an indeterminate amount of time, and all scheduled volunteer projects were canceled. In the capital city of Nairobi, where the Maranatha staff is based, everyone and everything was on strict lockdown. 

Fortunately, in the more rural parts of Kenya, Maranatha’s crews were able to keep working on select projects. One team finished construction work and landscaping at the Kiutine Adventist School. At the Kajiado Adventist School and Rescue Center, another team steadily continued work on expanding the campus. At both school sites, the campus had been emptied of students, and crews were able to shelter in place on-site. 

But One-Day Church construction and water-well drilling had come to a halt. It wasn’t until May that Kenya began slowly opening up again. Restrictions remained in some parts of the country, but Maranatha sought out regions that were open to travel. One such place was a remote area in central Kenya, east of Nairobi, called Ukambani. There is little Adventist presence in the area, and it is a new mission field for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Already, the crew had constructed 20 churches in Ukambani before the beginning of the year, pre-COVID. But the plans for Ukambani had always been much greater. 

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