Looking to connect with and minister to dozens of people in need in a small community on the outskirts of the city of Monterrey, Mexico, members of the Vértice Seventh-day Adventist Church began distributing food baskets and school supplies from the moment the pandemic lockdown started in April 2020.
Nearly a year later, church leaders and members continue to provide outreach activities that promote Christ-like values in children, strengthen families, and encourage a better lifestyle.
Nestled between four main streets, the La Realidad Community, with nearly 400 inhabitants, was the target locality that drew young-adult church members to get out of their church walls to help many in need.
The first phase of the “Padrinos” project, as it was named, began with distributing 10 food baskets to families affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which drew more attention to the community’s needs, Nilce Coronel, director of the project, said. In the months that followed, the food distribution grew to 80 families, thanks to the contributions and donations of the church members.
“One of the goals of the Vértice church is to establish a friendship that can show the love of God toward children and the community at large,” Coronel said. “The congregation is passionate about having an integral worship experience and living to share the gospel of Christ in a practical way, getting out of their comfort zones to reach others, following the method of Jesus.”
The pandemic brought challenges to the members wishing to commit to the Padrinos project. It included lockdown restrictions and risks of contamination, Coronel said, but the point was to look beyond and be on the lookout for those in greater need. “The message was very clear that we must be prepared in difficult times to serve beyond the four walls and trust that God is present in these months and will provide the necessary resources to cover all the needs,” she added. Members and their friends from outside the church collaborated with contributions and purchased materials, and they assembled the school kits and food packages.
The Padrinos project was divided into four phases, which included providing school supplies to 60 boys and girls in the community and meeting the community residents to learn about and connect more with them and find out specific family needs. It also included holding bi-monthly meetings to involve parents and their children with various activities to help establish emotional ties and establishing friendly relationships with the residents and their children.
“This participation among the members of Vértice during this time of crisis has been such a great blessing for so many families and an example for other members to be part of,” Vértice lead pastor Jorge Dzul said. “Following the example of Jesus to extend a hand to help those in need brings a lot of satisfaction.”
The next part of the Padrinos project will focus on providing for the more specific health needs of the residents, holding health brigades, teaching values to children, and additional recreational activities.
Vértice Adventist church has about 120 members between the ages of 20 and 45 and is operated by the Northeast Conference in Monterrey, Mexico.