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 people’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
“This is the first Social Assistance Center of this quality and size in our conference territory and the metropolitan area of Monterrey,” Joel González, president of the Northeast Mexico Conference of the Adventist Church, said. “We haven’t heard of another local church which has invested so much in reaching out to the community and offering a variety of health services.” The new center is now an added Adventist-managed health-care 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 encouraged the audience to get involved in promoting healthy living habits.
He also drew a spiritual lesson from Jesus’ 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. He 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 assisting in these moments of such great need,” he said. “I ask the Creator of the universe to bless your efforts.”
About the Center
The dream of having a Social Assistance Center in Monterrey was born in January 2018 and became 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. It includes drinking water, keeping a positive attitude, eating salads, exercising, resting, avoiding poor foods, eating a better breakfast but less at dinnertime, and promoting happiness with neighbors. The center will also offer preventive health talks and courses on Bible topics, church leaders said. It will provide 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-meter (1,830 square-foot) facility. They want to make sure services in the center will be free of charge and cater to the needs of 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 attending Vicente Suárez Sur Institute, one of the two Adventist schools in Monterrey.la
A Strategic Location
González shared that the center was built close to the Las Lomas church, in a strategic location. “The idea is to connect the church building with the center to fulfill our mission of preaching, teaching, and healing,” he said. Other similar centers in the region, including one in Montemorelos, provide social assistance but without medical care, he explained.
Church leaders shared that a committee will manage the center under the oversight of the local church board. It is a temporary arrangement, they explained, while the new entity applies to become a registered Private Charity Association. Leaders said that achieving this new status will make it easier for the center to get donations for projects. The same church board 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, church leaders acknowledged, the center will be mission-driven. Among those leaders was Luis 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.