|Maranatha Volunteers International Teaches Benevolence as Group Builds New Grand Junction Church » At first glance, the construction crew framing the new Seventh-day Adventist Church on 25 1/2 Road looks like any other.
But when they pause to wipe the sweat from their brows, there’s a glimpse of gray hair matted underneath their hard hats.
Their pace is slower, lacking any sense of urgency. Some stop to pat a dog named Uglie, who is lounging in the shade on the newly poured concrete.
And they’re smiling.
The average age of the crew is 73. Most are retired professionals, both men and women, with very little construction experience. Yet they have decided to give their time to Maranatha Volunteers International to help build a new church in Grand Junction.
“Volunteerism is never about you,” said Grand Junction resident Bernie Hartnell, who is a Maranatha volunteer and the building project manager.
Hartnell and his wife, Marti, have volunteered at least once a year for the past four years to help build churches in other locations. Volunteering to build their own church is a unique experience for them.
“It’s about transformation of character rather than putting one board next to the other,” Bernie Hartnell said.
For nearly two months, they have coordinated the teams of volunteers that have arrived from across the country to help build the new church. Each team has 30 to 40 people who work in two-week increments. They’ve come from Florida, Maine, Arizona and Missouri. Some have journeyed from as far away as Canada. So far, more than 120 volunteers have come to help.
Their day begins with breakfast served at the old church location at 730 Mesa Ave. They work until noon, gather again at the church for lunch and prayer, then continue to build until 5 p.m. A dinner is served in the evening, but often the exhausted volunteers are too tired to come, Hartnell said.
They work every day of the week, except Sabbath Saturday.
Many live in their own RVs while others are invited to stay in the homes of local Seventh-day Adventist Church members.
Volunteers work for food and shelter. It’s the only compensation they get.
Despite their lack of experience, the volunteers listen carefully to the crew foreman, driving nails in just the right spots for true craftsmanship. Their work is exemplary, Hartnell said.
“The building inspector came out and said he’d never seen a better framing job,” Pastor Randy Mills said.
Mills said he is most impressed with the selflessness of the volunteers. “They are looking for real meaning and purpose here. It is a tremendous experience,” he said.
As Hartnell and the crew guide trusses onto the new roof of the Little Lambs Learning Center, one of several buildings at the new complex, he said he likes to imagine it full of young children learning about God.
It gives him a sense of satisfaction to know that he is leaving a legacy for others.
“It’s going to make a real difference in a child’s life in this untethered world,” he said.
Construction began in January on the new $7 million Seventh-day Adventist Church complex, located on 10 acres at 550 25 1/2 Road. The old church on Mesa Avenue has been sold to Colorado Mesa University.
This was a good opportunity for the church to upgrade and modernize, Mills said. “We have always been interested in expanding,” he said. “Now we’ll have more visibility, brand new beautiful buildings, classrooms, a library, a gym and music room. It’s just really going to be nice,” he said.
Construction is planned to be completed in three phases, Hartnell said. The new Intermountain Adventist Academy is their first priority. The school portion should be completed by the end of September. The Little Lambs Learning Center will be completed by the end of December, while the church’s sanctuary and Sabbath school rooms will be finished in March. However, construction is ahead of schedule and Hartnell optimistically guesses the entire complex will be completed by Thanksgiving.
Maranatha volunteers will save the church $300,000 in labor costs, Hartnell said.
“That’s huge when you’re looking for donations to build a new church,” he said.
Mills is thankful for the help Maranatha volunteers have given to the church.
“It’s a building with eternal implications. We are really blessed,” he said.
Although it’s a Seventh-day Adventist organization, Maranatha Volunteers International accepts volunteers from all backgrounds and religious affiliations. Those who have volunteered in Grand Junction have come from a variety of religious backgrounds, Hartnell said.
The organization has more than 2,000 volunteers who have completed projects across the United States as well as internationally in places like Angola, Cuba, India, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
After completion of the Grand Junction project, Hartnell and his wife plan to pay it forward again and continue to volunteer for more Maranatha projects. “The whole motivation is service to others,” he said. “It really is Christianity in action.”
[Richie Ann Ashcraft; used by permission of The Daily Sentinel; arial photos by David Brillhart/MVI]
Craig Carr Honored For Contribution to RMC as He Transitions to Washington Conference » Good bye, Craig and Carisa! After ten years in RMC, Craig Carr, ministerial director, and his wife, Carisa, vice principal and teacher at Vista Ridge Academy, are moving to serve the church in the Washington Conference, Craig serving as vice-president for administration, and Carisa, as the principal at Northwest Christian School in Puyallup.
Their son Christian will be a junior at Auburn Adventist Academy and daughter Cassie is heading to Southern Adventist University.
RMC president Ed Barnett and the office staff presented them with Michael Morss' photograph of the Wyoming Tetons, one of Craig's favorite photo spots. Michael is Craig's pastor-colleague from Cortez, Colorado. Blessings to you, Craig and Carisa!
[RMCNews; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski]
Prayer is Just a Phone Call (or an App) Away » After the recent death of a dear friend, DeeAnn Bragaw heard this touching anecdote from her friend’s husband: While she was very sick, he explains, he heard her phone ding. Picking it up, he realized the ding was from her ECHO app reminding her to pray for their son and for him.
DeeAnn was so moved by this story, she decided to check out the app. She discovered that it allows her to set reminders for anyone at anytime so that she can pray daily, weekly, monthly, whenever she chooses. Now, when people ask her to pray for them, she adds their request to her app. Then, when the app reminds her, she pauses to pray for specific needs for specific people. She can also record answers to prayer and review them whenever she needs encouragement.
The ECHO app can help remove obstacles that keep us from praying. It can help us to stay connected to God in the midst of the pressures of daily life. You can check it out here:
DeeAnn invites you to meet by phone at 6:30 a.m. every Wednesday morning to pray for personal needs as well as the needs of our Rocky Mountain Conference. To join, call 605-468-8026 and enter the Access Code 1010801. The next prayer conference is Wednesday, July 12.
"If you look for answers, you won’t find them, but if you look for God, the answers will find you." Mark Batterson in Circle Makers [RMCNews]
Wyoming Camp Meeting » Held at Mills Spring Ranch July 11-15, Wyoming Camp Meeting will feature Philip Samaan for both the afternoon series, "Dare to be a Daniel" and the evening series, "Jesus is Still the Way." Rocky Mountain president and vice-president, Ed Barnett and Eric Nelson, will present the morning meetings followed by Olivia Gold, teacher at Forest Lake Education Center, who will present "Catching Kids for Christ: Reaching Every Age with the Age-old Truth." To reserve a cabin or RV/tent space, call Jodie Gage at 307-259-5301. Mills Spring Ranch is located at 8000 Tower Hill Road, Casper WY 82601.
Western Slope Camp Meeting » From August 2-6, at Mountaintop Retreat near Montrose, Colorado. Contact: Fritz Krieger at 970-497-6175 for more information.
Hispanic Camp Meeting » From September 1-3, Glacier View Ranch will host Hispanic Camp Meeting with the theme Small Groups. Guest speakers include Omar Grieve and Nessy Pittau-Grieve, both from the Hispanic Voice of Prophecy, and Julio Chazarreta from Pacific Press. Lourdes Chazarreta will present music through voice. Worship and activities will be held for the children. Glacier View Ranch is located at 8748 Overland Road, Ward CO 80481. For more information, contact Ruben Rivera at 303-910-1614.
Summer Camp » Glacier View Ranch and Mills Spring Ranch camp sessions are filling up. Spots go quickly, so sign up today at rmccamps.
GLACIER VIEW RANCH
Wyoming: Seaside Escape–a study of Sarah and Hagar
Gadgets & Gizmos at Boulder Adventist Church » "Gadgets & Gizmos” is a weekly Sabbath morning program for children aged 4-18 (older kids serve as staff). It started Saturday, June 3 and will run through to the end of July (nine weeks in total). Check-in is at 10:45 a.m. For more information, contact Pastor Elia ([email protected]) or Pastor Jessyka ([email protected]).
See What All the Buzz is About at VBS » Vacation Bible School at Aurora First Church is a fun-filled, one-week program that connects with the children of the church and neighborhood and builds a lifetime of memories, friendships and a religious foundation. Few other events offer the potential to reach out to children and adults in the community the way VBS can. The program will run from July 17 through July 22 at the Aurora Seventh-day Adventist Church. For more information, contact VBS director Heather Sellers at 720-422-1941.
Women's Ministry Retreats 2017 » RMC Women’s Ministries is excited to announce the Area Women’s Retreats for 2017:
Mills Spring Ranch on Casper Mountain
August 26, 27
Contact: Rhonda McDonald: 307-259-8147
Colorado Western Slope: Falling in Love Again
Speaker: Darla Sherman
Mountain Top Retreat (15 miles from Montrose)
Contact: Linda Johnson: 970-245-2294
Colorado Metro, NE/SE: The Best Is Yet To Come
Speaker and Musician: Jaclynn Huse along with
her daughter Shelby, age 16
Begins Saturday night
with free concert
at Greeley Adventist Church
Everyone is invited! -- not just for women.
Followed by one-day Women's Retreat
Sunday, September 17
at Pinehurst Country Club in Littleton
Contact: Ginger Bell: 720-980-9006
The Heritage Singers » will be Live in Concert on Saturday, August 12 at 7 p.m. at LifeSource Adventist Fellowship at 6200 West Hampden Avenue in Denver. Admission is FREE.
Full Solar Eclipse Coming in August » Come join us for an epic view of the full solar eclipse at Mills Spring Ranch in Casper, Wyoming! Casper is right in the middle of the solar eclipse path and you can get the best view on top of the mountain at Mills Spring Ranch.
Who: All churches, Pathfinders, and schools are welcome!
Journey Through the Holy Land » You are invited on the trip of a lifetime! Join others from the RMC on September 3-11 as we explore the land where Jesus walked. This is a spiritual pilgrimage that is guaranteed to be deeply impactful to your faith. A 4-day extension trip to Eilat and Petra is also being offered. The trip is limited to 30 people, so don’t wait. For more information, CLICK HERE, or email [email protected].
When: August 18-22, 2017
Where: Mills Spring Ranch in Casper, Wyoming
Family Cabin of 4: $50/night
Bunk House: $10/person per night
RV Space (includes electricity): $25/night
Tent Camping: $15/night
Space is limited, so call to reserve your space!
Call or email Matt Moreland, 661-805-6797 [email protected]
La Vida Mission » is in need of a missionary teacher/principal combination for grades 5-8. Please contact [email protected]
Vista Ridge Academy » is looking for a full-time preschool teacher for its preschool program and a qualified teacher for grades 1-2. If you would like more information about either of these positions, contact Sandy Hodgson at [email protected] or Diane Harris at [email protected]
NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
NewsNuggets Archive Now Online » The NewsNuggets archive is now online, and can be found at https://www-rmcsda-org.netadvent.org/newsnuggets-archive.
FROM THE EDITOR
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Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known