Building churches over spring break

This coming spring break, about 50 PLNU students will have a lot of work ahead of them on the annual Spring Break Build which will be happening this year from March 9 through 15. Students, staff, faculty and alumni are all encouraged to go and build a church sanctuary in Tijuana, Mexico.

The trip will be led for the first time by Estaban Trujillo, the Associate Director of International Ministries. The intended goal of Spring Break Build is to construct a church expansion for the Tijuana Central Church of the Nazarene by the end of the week. According to Trujillo, some of the main construction jobs will include a cement team, a wall building team, an insulation team, an electricity team, and many more. Trujillo says the most famous job is building trusses, the wooden beams that support the building structure.

“Dr. Brower typically specializes in this part,” he says.

And it’s true, Dr. Bob Brower will be joining the trip for the fourth year in a row with his wife Linda. “I’ve primarily worked on building the trusses. We’ve built between 35 and 60 depending on the building size, and then we get them set them in place for the roof,” Brower said in an email interview.

“It’s really a project where everyone jumps in to do whatever is necessary to complete the church. It’s a great example of team work by everyone on the build!”

The cost of Spring Break Build is $250 per person. This includes transportation, housing, food and even health insurance. Students, staff, and alumni who choose to attend the build will stay at the Hacienda del Mar, a hotel in Las Playas de Tijuana for the week. Each morning they will have breakfast and a morning devotional together, receive work instructions for the day, build until lunch and continue building and working until dinner. Depending on the day, they may even be working more after dinner. At night, there will be a worship service, games, a pool, hangout and rest time.

PLNU will be partnering with Lazarian World Homes, a nonprofit organization. “They have an interesting method of building by using styrofoam blocks,” says Trujillo “It’s a great way to not only build a massive home in a week, but it’s cost-effective, it helps the church to have this building, and it’s very sturdy.” Trujillo compares the stacking of these styrofoam blocks to Legos,“We use chicken wire and stucco on the outside, and it’s pretty solid.”

At the end of the trip, students have an opportunity to stay until Sunday to see the building be dedicated. Trujillo says that leaders from Lazarian World Homes will be there as well. “They are excited to receive us and I’m excited to have our students experience this specific church.”

Kyla Sabado, a junior, has been on the past two Spring Break Builds and definitely recommends it.

“It’s one of the best opportunities Point Loma has to offer, and the people that come are always some of the best Loma has to offer,” she says.

Sabado has contributed in many areas of the build including gable building, foundation/cement pouring, painting, rebar setting, and others. “You really get to be a part of everything,” she says.

Overall, it should be a tiring yet rewarding week spent in Tijuana. When asked what students usually take away from this experience, Brower says that not only do students get a chance to do things they’ve never done before, like see an entire building completed in a week, “but it’s also being able to be a part of another church setting and culture. I’m sure most of us value the new relationships that are developed during this week of working together.”

Spots are still available for those wishing to participate in the Spring Break trip. Students can register online at pointloma.edu