When you arrive in Tijuana, you see a bustling modern city. Hidden in its corners are many small neighborhoods where people live in abject poverty. It is in these areas where we worked with the poor in their desperate circumstances. In spite of their problems, they welcomed us with smiles and hugs. Hermana Lily opened her humble dwelling to us so that we could conduct Bible school for the children in the area known as Jumanji. One little girl asked for a blue crayon in English. She had obviously attended the English classes that Nichole, the intern at Centro Shalom, conducts in the neighborhood. The children happily memorized a verse from Psalms as part of our VBS program. Our construction team built a house for a widow named Vicki, working alongside some men who are now productive believers, having been rehabilitated from some difficulties in their past.
An especially touching event was the testimony presentation prior to our piñata party at the mission. Several of the young people who are now leaders in the church talked about their experiences. Many of them do not have a family structure for support. Some of them arrived in Tijuana after their family was deported from the United States. They have become strong Christians who now participate in the ministry of Centro Shalom. They talked about their plans for their future, and they expressed thanks for the sponsorship program so they can attend school. On Sunday, during the worship service, we sang praise songs in Spanish. A man sitting behind me sang loudly and beautifully. I remembered that he had many problems years ago with alcoholism and unemployment. Now he helps with construction and is a blessing to his extended family, for whom we constructed a house several years ago. His son attends college and seminary, and his granddaughters are growing up in the ministry of Centro Shalom. God is truly at work in Tijuana and it was a blessing for our team to be a part of this ministry.
Tijuana Mission Team, July 18-25, 2015