The Lord has been blessing us by sending more and more trainees to the FTTMX according to our prayers. The number has increased from the low 30’s three years ago to 68 this semester including 8 middle-age saints. There is only one open seat for sisters and six for brothers. The blessing might have been due to the prayer of the churches and the shepherding of the campus teams. Praise and thank the Lord. We have been praying and seeking the Lord concerning a larger facility for the training.
At the same time, the churches in the Mexico City Metro area have grown from approximately 500 to over 2,000 in the past 15 years. We really do not have a proper and adequate meeting hall that is presentable to the public inside Mexico City. The largest meeting room we have in Mexico City is good for only 150 saints maximum.
There are two possibilities that we are praying for:
First possibility: We could build a five story building on the land that we own in Tlalnepantla which is 10,000 square feet valued at $600,000. The cost for building will be about $4.3M to provide 50,000 square feet and will take two years to build. There are three major problems with this place: 1) It is far away from the closest subway station; therefore, it is not convenient to most saints in the metro area to come to blending meetings. 2) It takes at least 90 minutes round trip for the trainees to go to the national university with 100,000 students, the best university for the perfecting of the trainees. 3) This area was safe 15 years ago when we bought it but no more. During the past 15 years, within one block of the front door of this piece of property, five cars were carjacking at gun point, one truck was stolen, numerous vehicles were broken into, two businesses were robbed at gun point, three sister trainees were assaulted, many houses were burgled, and even a man was murdered when he struggled during car jacking. These are only the cases that we know of. After hearing of these security problems, some parents would not let their children to come to FTTMX for training.
Second possibility: We found a piece of property 20 minutes walk to the national university and 3 minutes walk to a subway station. The land is 9,000 square feet and the construction now present is 24,000 square feet. The largest room could hold 800 saints for meeting or 200 trainees for dining. An adjacent room could hold 400 for meeting or 200 trainees for classes. Because the connecting corridor is very wide, the second hall could be used as an overflow room with direct view of the main hall. There is a store front for a bookstore. The cost is $3M and it is in near move-in condition. Remodeling cost to fit our immediate use for the training center is approximately $500,000 and will take less than four months to accomplish. (We have not yet done an official evaluation of our vacant property in San Lucas (across the street from the training center), but about $600,000. USD should be able to be obtained from it toward the purchase of the building, if we sell it.) There is a potential of adding construction of up to 50,000 square feet. There is an apartment complex about a 100 yards from this property. It is very large, about 5-6 stories high, with hundreds of apartment units within it. This area has been reputed to be one of the safest areas in Mexico City Metro. This facility will be good for up to 200 trainees with unlimited apartments nearby or we could add apartments on this property for 120 trainees. Perhaps the only negative point regarding this building is that it is in a very busy, heavy traffic area with much commercial centers across the street. This will certainly be a different atmosphere than the quieter area where the training center is presently. (Is the possibility of greater distraction for the trainees a consideration?)
Many of the coworkers in Mexico feel that having the training center close to the largest campus is best but are open to fellowship. Without preparing a new facility for the training center in the very near future will bring a limitation to its growth, and not having a facility for large meetings for the church in Mexico city will definitely cause a limitation to the proper expression of the church here.
We hope to have some fellowship during next week in Taiwan since the churches in Taiwan had fellowship with us concerning the present training center.