RMCNews with Linda Benningfield-Hashman – Cañon City, Colorado … A great kitchen is what sells a home, but what sells God’s house?

Recently, Maranatha Volunteers International arrived at the Cañon City Adventist church to assist members with much-needed renovations to the fellowship hall and kitchen. The church regularly hosts cooking classes, Financial Peace University, Nedley Depression and Recovery programs, evangelistic outreach, and other community events. It has been many years since updates were done to allow for more efficient and attractive service areas.

When he reviewed the scale of the work to be completed, John Davidson, Cañon City pastor, knew the congregation could not do the job alone. In early 2020, Davidson contacted Maranatha and asked for assistance. Earlier this year, they sent a representative to evaluate the site. The request was approved, and plans began to be made to complete the project.

Volunteers arrived in the middle of August in their “covered wagons” and set up camp by the church for two weeks. They came from across the country, including Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Oklahoma, New York, Missouri, and Arizona. Every day, the group of 23 individuals began their activities at Four-Mile Christian Academy for worship, prayer, and to review the day’s schedule.

Reflecting on Maranatha’s involvement in projects worldwide, Danny Poljak, project coordinator, explained that the beauty of Maranatha is that it is a proven system that works. It is not a relief project or a first-responder ministry to help in disasters. They have very specific goals and guidelines in place for their niche in serving the world, leading to the continued success of Maranatha.

The group completed many projects in the two-week time frame, including remodeling the kitchen, installing new cabinets and appliances, laying 3,000 square feet of new flooring, hanging drywall, texturing and painting, installing new doors, renovating the bathroom attached to the kitchen, installing a shower, painting the hallways, painting and repairing the library, creating a new sign for the food pantry, scrubbing scuff marks from the gymnasium walls, and landscaping by laying down tons of rock.

“As I volunteered serving meals, I watched members bring in meals to share. Every day I got to see the volunteers working hard and faithfully in the 90-degree weather, in dust and dirt, on cement floors, or outside in the hot sun,” Linda Benningfield-Hashman, Cañon City church communication leader, commented.

She added, “The volunteers’ kindness, faith, and determination were a testimony to everyone watching. At the end of the day, they were exhausted but remained positive, pressing forward with determination to complete the task. God doesn’t fool around when He pulls a team together for Maranatha!”

To answer the question about what sells God’s house—it’s not a kitchen that sells God’s house. Love does. Can the church still offer the community what it needs if the cabinets are outdated and falling apart, and the stove has only some burners working? Of course, it can.  God works in all circumstances no matter the surroundings; however, it is a blessing to have a beautiful, efficient area to greet and serve the community, offering love.

Would you like to be a Maranatha volunteer? Do you have a project that could benefit your church that might fit Maranatha’s goals? For more information, go to their website www.Maranatha.org or call 916-774-7700.

— RMCNews with Linda Benningfield-Hashman. communication leader at Cañon City Adventist church; photos supplied