Church members at the newly completed Betel Seventh-day Adventist Church in the heart of the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, Mexico, take in the inauguration ceremony on Dec. 15, 2018. Students from Montemorelos University began building the church project in 2016.  Photo by Montemorelos University

February 4, 2019 | Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico | Laura Marrero/IAD News Staff

A new Seventh-day Adventist Church building was completed in the heart of the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, Mexico, thanks to the efforts of students from Montemorelos University in North Mexico. Construction of the building, which began three years ago, took place on the same site as the 50-year-old wooden structure where members used to gather for worship services.

The university students and volunteers who built the new facility are part of a group called Adventist Missionary Youth. They began building back in 2016 when the old wooden structure was demolished. They started with the cement walls and a sheet-metal roof.

Students and volunteers work on installing the ceiling times of the church days before the inauguration earlier in Dec. 2018. Photo by Montemorelos University

During that time while construction began, the members of the church, called Betel Adventist Church, continued to worship near the site, while students and faculty held a two-week evangelism campaign in the evenings and community outreach activities during the day.

The church project was followed up in early 2018 and after additional funds became available, they returned in early December to complete the flooring, install ceiling tiles and windows, paint the church, and put the finishing touches on the new building.

The objective was to finish the church’s construction so that it can provide a better place of worship and become a more representative testimony to the remote jungle community, said Primitivo Sánchez, human resources director of Montemorelos University and adviser for the missionary project.

“This has been a true project by faith as we have learned how to construct and do everything to the best of our abilities for what the Lord has allowed us for the cause,” said Eliezer Castellano, a construction volunteer.

Students and volunteers finish setting the floor tile in the church. Photo by Montemorelos University

Students, faculty, and employees at the university say the project has bolstered the mission-oriented message proclaimed by the university.

“Our mission here at the university is not only to instill a sense of mission in our students but ask our employees to also be an example,” said Sánchez. “If that message we give to every student stays with them when they leave this institution, we will surely be able to advance much faster in the spreading of the gospel.”

Local and regional church leaders in Chiapas witnessed the inaugural ceremony of the new church and thanked the university community and its students and employees for their efforts, resources and talents for the accomplishment.

Funds were donated by the Chiapas Mexican Union and the Inter-American Division to assist in the completion of the church building, church leaders said.

Part of the group of students and volunteers who worked to complete the new Betel Adventist Church building. Photo by Montemorelos University

In addition to helping with the completion of the construction, volunteers visited neighboring families and spoke to them about living a healthy lifestyle.

To view a photo gallery of the of the project in Lacandon Jungle, Click HERE

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