Seventh-day Adventist church leaders and members recently inaugurated a new Social Assistance Center (CAS) in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, to cater to the needs of the community. Regional government officials attended the June 8, 2021, official ceremony, including Nuevo León Health Department director Manuel De la O Cavazos and Religious Affairs director Gregorio Treviño.
The initiative, a project by the Northeast Mexican Conference and Las Lomas Seventh-day Adventist Church, seeks to get more church members involved in outreach as they spend time meeting the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of people, leaders said.
“This is the first Social Assistance Center of this quality and size in our conference territory and the metropolitan area of Monterrey,” said Pastor Joel González, president of the Northeast Mexico Conference. “We haven’t heard of another local church which has invested so much in reaching out the community and offering a variety of health services.” The new center is now another Adventist-managed healthcare facility in the territory of the North Mexican Union Conference.During his special address to those attending the ceremony, De la O Cavazos commended the Adventist Church for the assistance they provide the community in health matters. He then addressed his audience, encouraging them to get involved in promoting healthy living habits.
He also drew a spiritual lesson from Jesus’s example while he lived among humanity. “Just like Jesus lived on this earth, accomplishing his mission of teaching, preaching, and healing [Matthew 4:23], now it’s time for society to help each other,” De la O Cavazos said, and added, “We must all work together, helping our fellow officers so they can make sound decisions. We must all join them doing good deeds,” he said.
Treviño added that government officers have high hopes about the management and day-to-day operations of the new center. “We know that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is committed to God and society, will keep providing assistance in these moments of such great need,” he said. “I ask the Creator of the universe to bless your efforts.”About the Center
The initiative of having a Social Assistance Center in Monterrey was born as a dream in January 2018 and has become a reality after more than three years of extensive planning, regional church leaders said. The center will offer volunteer opportunities for health professionals, besides two part-time physicians. Expenses will be funded by the church and private donors. The center seeks to promote the “I Want to Live Healthy” initiative which consists of the eight steps to living a healthy lifestyle such as drinking water, keeping a positive attitude, eating salads, exercising, resting, avoiding poor foods, eating a better breakfast, less dinners and promoting happiness, with neighbors and offer preventive health talks and courses on Bible topics, church leaders said. It will also offer free medical consultations and medicines to those who cannot afford them.
Local church members participated with funds to buy the plot of land and the construction of the 170 square meters (1830 square feet) facility. They want to make sure services in the center will be free of charge, and caters to the needs of the local Colonia Ladrillera, a neighborhood with a population of more than 1,100, including members of several Adventist congregations in the area and beyond. The center will also provide first-aid services to students of Vicente Suárez Institute, one of the two Adventist schools in Monterrey.
A Strategic Location
González shared that the center was built close to the Las Lomas Church, according to him, in a strategic location. “The idea is to connect the church building with the center so as to fulfill our mission of preaching, teaching, and healing,” he said. There are other similar centers in the region, including one in Montemorelos, which provides social assistance but without medical care, he explained.Church leaders shared that the center will be managed by a committee under the oversight of the local church board. It is a temporary arrangement, they explained, as the new entity applies to become a Private Charity Association. Leaders said that achieving its new status will make easier for the center to get donations for their projects. The same church board, however, will eventually vote on the composition of the new board, González explained.
He added that the church is hopeful the center will live up to the dreams of its supporters. “The local and the regional church have made a significant investment,” González said. “Now we hope the center provides high-quality and useful services to the residents.”
Beyond the health services, however, church leaders acknowledged that the center will be mission-driven. Among those leaders was Pastor Arturo King, president of the Adventist Church in the North Mexican Union Conference. “I know that this center will project rays of light which will light up the lives of many,” he said.