Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Serving the Poor; Tecate, Mexico

About 12 years my friend Glenda Moreno had a desire to serve the poor, but more specifically orphans. Her friend +dominic luu Encouraged her to go after it. I don't think she thought he was serious about pursuing her dream. Before you knew it they took their first trip to Tecate, Mexico. In the past 12 years they have served a boy's orphanage, a girl's orphanage, a village and an elderly home.  We go every month and it fluctuates on how many people come with us. Sometimes 12 other times there's almost 30 volunteers.
We went this past weekend and there were about 25 volunteers. We meet in Irvine, buy food before we leave and make the drive to Tecate. Let me share with you a little about the different places we go. We don't visit all the sites the same day due to time. However, we do attempts to visit 2-3 sites.

The Girl's Orphanage
The number of girls fluctuates because some end up going back to live with family. All of these girls have a relative or parents who see them every weekend. The government is trying to have the children stay connected with family. You may think this may be a good thing, but I am not too sure if it's the safest thing for some of these girls. They were taken away for a reason. I understand that we all need the motherly love, but some of these girls who have gone through abuse, it's not the best solution. One girl who went back with her mom was then murdered by her brother who was on drugs and when the mother came home, he also killed her. This is the kind of trauma these children have lived through. Our mission is to LOVE. We have such a great time playing with them, doing arts and crafts, and painting their nails. We have even helped out making their dream quinseaƱera come true. Here are some pictures.

The Boy's Orphanage
The boy's are a little different because they love to be rough and are a lot more active. They like to play soccer, basketball and Angry Birds. As soon as we get there they want to use our phones to play games. There are about 47 boys and about 5 or so of them are orphans, without any extended families who have claimed them. The mission there is the same, to LOVE them, play with them and sometimes we will share a meal together. 

The Village
There are about 25 families who live in a very poor area on the outskirts of Tecate. However, there's about 45 families total who show up, sometimes more. They live next to the city dump and they dig through the trash to collect metal to sell and be able to buy food and other necessities. We bring them food, clothes, toys for the children and other donations. In February a woman donated 35 blankets. One for each family. We try to be attentive to each need. For example, one of the ladies was pregnant and she needed baby boy clothes and a stroller. We cannot provide specific needs for every single family, but we at least give the basic necessity which is food. We have seen a lot of their children grow, some families have moved away and the ones who move in and have not even pots and pans, by the grace of God, that trip someone had donated what was needed. Each family come with a bucket and we fill it up with the food that was donated or that we bought that morning.

 You can never go wrong with beans and rice with Mexicans ;)

Elderly Home
We make a drive about 45 minutes from Tecate to a town called La Rumorosa. We visit a home where there are about 50 men, of which the majority of them are disabled and abandoned. they love it when we come. We talk to them, sing worship songs, and we have even helped clean the walls. It's in the middle of a high desert so the weather is HOT in the summer and super COLD in the winter. Here is a clip of us singing.

We end the day with some Tacos. We get home late and exhausted, but it's all worth it! It's all for the glory of God, because it's only through Him that we do this and because of the example that Christ has given us.