Robbery at Maranatha-rented Warehouse
Leaves Guard Dead
Lay organization readdressing security concerns
Seventh-day Adventist security guard was killed December 30 when thieves broke into a Maputo, Mozambique warehouse rented by Maranatha Volunteers International, a Christian lay organization that builds churches and schools for the Adventist Church worldwide.
MOZAMBIQUAN CHURCH: Church members stand outside one of the planned 1,001 permanent churches built by Maranatha volunteers in Mozambique. Robbers killed a security guard who was guarding a warehouse packed with construction materials for the four-year initiative. [Photo: Rajmund Dabrowski/ANN]
The guard, Adrian Chissano, a member of the Ximadjane Seventh-day Adventist Church in Maputo, leaves a wife and six children.
"We are deeply saddened by this terrible act and pray for the family of Mr. Chissano," said Don Noble, president of Sacramento, California-based Maranatha.
Maranatha volunteers in Mozambique said construction tools and a truck were stolen during the incident. The thieves, all of whom remain unidentified, have not yet been apprehended, but Maranatha officials are cooperating with an ongoing police investigation.
"The robbery will not hinder Maranatha's progress in Mozambique in any way," said Kyle Fiess, Maranatha vice president of marketing. "We'll definitely keep moving forward." Fiess added that the non-profit organization is reassessing its security needs and would make "necessary changes," including hiring an outside security company to protect Maranatha property and volunteers in Maputo.
Maranatha is working with the Adventist Church to provide urgently needed infrastructure in Mozambique. A four-year, $30 million initiative is expected to result in 1,001 church buildings and eight schools across the country. Plans also include the drilling of a deep-water well to supply each newly constructed church and its surrounding village.
Paul Ratsara, president of the Adventist Church in the southern Africa region, said the initiative would bring lasting change to a country that has been crippled by 30 years of war.
-- Reported by Maranatha Volunteers International and Adventist News Network