II n 1998, the Indian state of Haryana did not have much of a Seventh-day Adventist presence. There were no church members, and only a few Adventist pastors were stationed in the entire region. Spreading God’s love here would be a challenge, but it was an important priority for the Adventist Church. In partnership with the world church’s Global Mission office, Maranatha Volunteers International constructed 37 churches in a two-year period, 1998-1999. These buildings would eventually become the base for future growth in this area unfamiliar with Adventism.
Over the years, these churches facilitated the sharing of God’s love, and the Adventist Church here has begun to draw members, not an easy task in a majority non-Christian area. By 2003, church membership grew to 2,575. Today, there are 7,751 Adventists in Haryana, an impressive sum considering the humble beginnings in an unknown territory from which the Church grew. Maranatha’s initial effort of 37 churches in 1998-1999 eventually led to the establishment of 96 additional congregations throughout the state.
“[We] would like to thank Maranatha for their initial effort in Haryana, and today we are reaping the benefits,” says Pastor Rajiv Gill, director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Haryana. “When we look at it today, we could not have even dreamed of having tripled the growth of the Church here. The impact of the growth shows that the Lord was always in control even when we were hopeless.”
Maranatha has had a continuous presence in India since 1998, establishing an office while building places of worship and education throughout the country. In 2019, Maranatha started drilling water wells in areas in need of clean water. Maranatha has constructed more than 2,400 structures in India.