Whether they wielded a hammer or a saw or brought thirsty workers a drink of water, hundreds of volunteers worked together last weekend to help build a new place of worship in Los Lunas.
It was a modern-day barn-raising of sorts when Jehovah’s Witnesses from throughout the state joined forces to build a new Kingdom Hall on North Los Lentes Road. Witnesses began showing up last Thursday to raise the walls on the new 5,000-square-foot building.
Each day, between 200 and 300 people assembled together to perform their specific tasks. Before the project became a reality, the local and regional planning committees had assigned every person to a specific task.
“The planning can take up to a year before we even start building,” said Minister Danny Griego. “We arrange each department to come at a certain time, and, this way, it goes up very quickly.”
Every department leader is a certified professional who guides the volunteers through their assigned tasks. Once one department was done with their work, another crew would go in to tackle their job.
Griego said Jehovah’s Witnesses in each state will join together two or three times a year to build a new kingdom hall. Usually, it takes the volunteers about four days to build a new hall, but this one is taking a little bit longer.
The reason for the extra time is because an 850-square-foot apartment, for a traveling minister, is being built adjacent to the hall, Griego said.
“The reason why we can do so much in such a short amount of time is because of our religious background and close-knit organization,” Griego said. “We work together and take care of each other. It’s all about the Holy Spirit.”
Along with security, first aid and a trailer-city filled with accounting services and general planning, a full kitchen had been set up to feed the hundreds of volunteers. The volunteers are fed three hot meals a day, from scrambled eggs in the morning to meatloaf for lunch to posole for dinner.
Griego said volunteers will work 24 hours a day next weekend to get the building finished for their first planned meeting on Sunday afternoon.
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.