Oblate Youth Ministry Report from Tijuana

Tijuana, Mexico

By David Rizo and Rich Reader

“Our parish thanks all those who have donated and changed lives”

Our parishioners of Oblates of Mary Immaculate mission in eastern Tijuana are always open to receiving friends and visitors. Yariza Amaton learned about the mission when Fr. Jesse Esqueda, OMI gave a talk in Los Angeles. Ending his talk with an invitation to visit the mission, Yariza and her sister knew they wanted to get involved. The amassed 20 nice food baskets and journeyed to the mission. They loved meeting various families, learning of their plights, and even took time to help the children with their homework.

Jose, Yariza’s father, was part of the group that made the trip. Jose told us that he very proud of his daughters and explained that they have been visiting orphanages and senior care centers since the children were small.

The volunteers who live in the Oblate’s mission parish have learned from the Oblates to be very welcoming to visitors, realizing they are here to help because they trust the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Many of the visitors have come from a difficult past and now that they have better life, enjoy giving back to the less fortunate. Our parish thanks all those you have donated and changed lives here, and we love and encourage visitors.

“His family are praying for a miracle”

Martin is a 48-year-old man who works as a taxi driver. He used to be a caretaker for one of the Oblate chapels named San Martin. Fr. Nick Harding, OMI trusted Martin to keep the chapel safe from would be thieves and especially to protect the blessed sacrament reposed in the chapel. This chapel is located next to the railroad tracks where many of the poorest of the poor live and where gangs tend to traffic. Martin was thankful for the job and the trust and did this assignment for 10 years.

Jose is Martin’s son and is 26 years old. He has helped with catechism, played guitar at the mass, and is a responsible young adult. He has worked as an Uber driver until recently when he started having throat pain. This worsened to the point where he had to be hospitalized for 4 days. The doctors are uncertain of the cause but suspect a bacterium has penetrated the normal protective linings of the throat and invaded his head.

Jose celebrating his 26th birthday 2 months ago

Taxi and Uber drivers do not typically have health insurance, so this illness has put a financial strain on the family. The government hospital was too crowded, and they could not afford a private hospital, so they ended up going to the Red Cross. However, they have occurred over $2,000 of hospital expenses and another $50 a day for medicine.

Martin related that he got a phone call saying his son was on the ground and could not breath, he drove as fast as he could to get home, when he got there his son was still on the floor. Because of the dirt roads the ambulance couldn’t get to their house so, Martin took the unconscious Jose to the hospital in his own car. Martin said he is apprehensive because this happened very quickly and he is uncertain of how things will turn out.

Now Martin and the rest of his family are praying for a miracle and have asked the oblate family for their help again, so please pray for Jose.

Student of the Week

Fernanda Solís Perez.

She is studying medicine, is an active member of our community, has been a youth group leader, and participates in our Youth SEARCH Retreat. Fernanda also works on the flea market with her mom in order to cover part of the costs of her school supplies