Mexican Church Builds Life Size Noah's Ark as Symbol of Hope for Community

An evangelical church in Mexico built their own rendition of Noah's Ark using the exact dimensions recorded in the Bible as a way to get the attention of nonbelievers in their city.

Iglesia Palabra de Vida in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico repurposed a timeworn building for the project that had been sitting alongside a busy city street for 13 years.  It took volunteers of the 130-member congregation 21 days and nights to complete.

"We wanted to remodel the old building, and one day we went outside and saw the facade and we discovered that it was similar to the shape of Noah's Ark and that's how the idea was born," Pastor Israel García Pérez said, according to Norte Digital.

At times, Perez said the ark's completion seemed unlikely since it was funded by the church's own members as the project progressed. However, two architects and a few others who attend Palabra de Vida helped bring the pastor's vision to life.

"Painting was a lot of work. No one really knows about carpentry but we built it using wood scraps and sometimes when we ran out of wood, someone with money would come and support us," Perez said.

Since the creation of the ark, attendance at the church has increased by over 50 percent, prompting the need for additional services three times a week. In addition, the project has helped the community become receptive to the church's outreach efforts including the work they are doing with street gangsters.

"The flood was the destruction of the world, and the ark was the lifeline," said Perez. "This Ark has its doors open to anyone who is looking for a solution to their life, this is a place to reconnect with God."

However, not all feel the makeshift ark has a purpose.

"Really? And when is the flood coming?" wrote a reader on the Norte Digital article page. "These churches just don't know what else to invent to get attention."

Currently, the church is planning to create life-size animals for the ark to bring their project to a complete closure.