The Ultimate Workout, Maranatha Volunteers International’s annual mission trip for high school teenagers, recently returned internationally after a three-year hiatus from the overseas mission field. One hundred and forty-eight volunteers from six countries landed in Tacna, Peru, where teams of young people served in different communities.
Three teams focused primarily on construction, building two churches, applying a new coat of paint to an existing Maranatha church, rebuilding a community member’s home, and building a bathroom facility for an elderly person. A fourth team focused on health, seeing 468 medical patients, providing 62 dental consultations and giving away 270 pairs of reading glasses. Other outreach activities included door-to-door food distribution, garbage collection, book distribution, and helping to advertise upcoming evangelistic campaigns for local Seventh-day Adventist churches.
Although the large group accomplished a considerable amount of work, the project was not without significant challenges. Key volunteer leadership positions had to be filled at the last minute, and cases of COVID prompted adjustments in housing and other logistics. But for Maranatha manager Rebekah Widmer, dealing with unexpected obstacles on these projects is par for the course.
“Ultimate Workout is always one of our most challenging projects, with a lot of moving parts, but it’s also one of our most rewarding,” said Widmer. “This year was no different. We had to move and adapt several times. But through it all I saw God working to provide the right person at the right time for growth opportunities and to allow us to continue to move forward.”
The challenges only caused a greater dependence on God, strengthening the volunteers’ faith, Widmer said. The trip ended with 12 baptisms.
“We strongly believe that God has this project in His hands and at the end of the day God’s will was fulfilled. The teenagers found a connection with Christ, each other and the adults who care for them,” added Widmer.
About Ultimate Workout
For more than three decades, the Ultimate Workout has offered high school-aged teenagers the opportunity to flex their physical and mental muscles. Stripped of electronics, parents, and other familiar comforts, volunteers enter the mission field in search of a new perspective on the world, on relationships, and on God. During the project, volunteers live in spartan conditions while building a church or school, coordinating contact with the local community and strengthening their personal connection with Jesus Christ.
of the original version of this story was posted by Maranatha Volunteers International.