Date: May 18, 2006
The Division of Architecture, in collaboration with its alumni, has created a building missions organization entitled Architecture Missions Group (AMG). For over a decade the Division of Architecture has been involved with many off-campus community service mission projects, most notably CERENID, a center for at-risk street children in Bolivia. Over the years, the requests for assistance in building missions that the Division of Architecture has received are far greater than its capacity to respond. It is because of this ever growing need, along with the Division's focus and sense of mission that has helped students and faculty work together, grow professionally, socially, and spiritually, that the idea of a structured building missions group has been pursued.
Under the Architecture Missions Group program, the Andrews University Division of Architecture will function as a clearing house for mission projects, with one faculty member serving as director. Architecture alumni and other interested professionals will be responsible for a given project, and an architecture student or students will be assigned to work with them in the design of the project. They will then team up with other members of the AMG to organize a trip or multiple trips, and ultimately build the project.
The AMG will function in the manner of Maranatha Volunteers International--a non-profit Christian organization that organizes and implements urgently-needed building projects around the world--but will take projects that Maranatha does not accept. These are typically projects that are too small, too complex, or too unique, because the stock plans that Maranatha uses are not appropriate for the context. The demand for this type of assistance is difficult to assess accurately, but all indications are that it is enormous.
Currently plans are underway to assist with the following needs.
Bolivia: Since 1995 the CEntro de REcuperacion para NInos en riesgo de Drogas (CERENID Center for the Rehabilitation of Children at Risk of Drugs) has been in development. Each summer a group of architecture students and faculty spend two weeks in Bolivia working to construct the various buildings on the CERENID campus.
Liberia: After many years of civil unrest, this country offers little sanctuary for its citizens. Plans are underway to send an evaluation team consisting of an A.U. Architecture alum and a current architecture student to inventory the current conditions and develop a master plan for assistance.
Mexico: Because of its vicinity, Mexico represents an easily accessible mission opportunity. Currently AMG has established a relationship with both the North East Mexican Conference and the Mexican Baja California Conference. Projects currently scheduled are:
Acuna, SDA Church - Plans are being developed, church slated to be constructed October 15-30, 2006.
Monterrey, Monte Crystal SDA Church Expansion - Plans are being developed, church addition slated to be constructed Christmas 2006.
Monterrey, Vincente Suarez School (San Nicholas) Elem. School - Construction of three additional classrooms slated for Christmas 2006.
Philippines: AMG is working with Adventist World Aviation to facilitate the development of an airbase on Palawan. This summer, AMG hopes to send an evaluation team consisting of an Andrews architecture professor and alum, to develop a master plan for infrastructure and building needs.
AMG currently operates on a volunteer basis. All monies earmarked for construction projects are used only for the purchasing of materials for the construction projects. Participants are responsible to cover the costs of transportation, food and lodging. This cost is often mitigated by local assistance.
Volunteers fulfill many roles from manual construction labor to meal preparations and evangelistic outreach. Those interested in volunteering, whether they are skilled in the building trades or not, are urged to consider participating in AMG upcoming projects. Anyone wishing to participate individually or as a family in an upcoming project may contact the Division of Architecture at 269-471-6003 and speak with Denise Collard, or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations may be made to Architecture Missions Group via:
* Check made out to Andrews University Div. of Arch. (AMG).
* Credit card by calling the A.U. Development Department at 269-471-3124 ask for Mary Nell Rosenboom.